Is my baby moving too much in my womb? How to tell if it's completely normal

Is my baby moving too much in my womb? How to tell if it's completely normal

It's exciting when you feel your baby's first kick when you're pregnant. For baby however, there's plenty going on in the brain to help baby prepare for the outside world.

Do you remember how excited you were when your baby kicked for the first time in your womb? Beyond getting all excited and telling everyone about it, you probably also went to look up what it meant. Maybe you would have found what an active baby in the womb means for your baby’s development.

What can you read in this article?

  • When does a baby start being active in the womb?
  • What does a baby’s kicking feel like?
  • How often should a baby move in the womb?

New research has discovered that an active baby in the womb means isn’t just saying “Hi!”, they are actually punching and kicking to build their brain network.

What was the research all about?

The study examined 19 newborns, with an average age of 2 days old. Researchers used non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the babies’ brainwaves as they were sleeping, especially when they kick and punch during REM sleep.

They found that brain waves fire whenever a baby’s limbs move. Larger brain waves (increased brain activity) were found in prematurely born babies who should have been still in the womb, as opposed to full-term infants.

Research results also support the fact that newborns should be sleeping with as little disruption as possible to assist with any required medical procedures.

When does a baby start being active in the womb?

Between weeks 16 and 25, you should notice your baby’s first movements, known as “quickening.” You may not feel your baby move until closer to 25 weeks if this is your first pregnancy. While some women experience movements as early as 13 weeks during their second pregnancy.

The movement of your baby in the womb is normal and is a sign that he or she is increasing in size and strength. You’ll begin to notice its movement including the frequency, duration, intensity, and patterns.

As your baby grows, he or she will tend to be more active so don’t be surprised when you experience more movements and more intensities in your womb. It’s your baby’s way of exercising to promote healthy bone and joint development.

active baby in womb means

All that kicking and punching actually helps baby build brain power | Source: Pexels

What does a baby’s kicking feel like?

While some of the earlier movements may feel like a wave, butterflies, nervous twitches, or a fish swimming around in your stomach, they can also be mistaken for gas or hunger pangs. As a result, you may believe you’re hungry or have digestive issues.

You won’t understand it’s your baby shifting in your womb until the sensation becomes consistent and stronger.

How often should a baby move in the womb?

You won’t feel every bit of baby’s movement especially when he or she is still small. As he or she grows bigger, you’ll start to feel more movements every day.

According to studies, by the third trimester, the baby is moving roughly 30 times each hour.

Your baby may also move more often in the mornings, or in the evenings, depending on their sleep cycle. Their movements also depend on your activities!

Why is my baby so active at night in the womb?

You’ll begin to notice more movement when you’re lying down. They usually become more active between 9 PM to 1 AM – yes, while you’re sleeping – due to your changing blood sugar levels.

Moreover, your baby may also become more active at night when he or she is feeling no activity outside. In the morning, your baby may go to sleep while you are more active. Your movements such as walking may even lull your baby to sleep.

Why is my baby active in my womb after I eat?

Babies respond to the food that they eat, thus oftentimes you may feel a change in movement in your womb.

Many babies jump up and kick when they eat spicy meals. Sugary foods might give your baby a sugar high, causing them to move around a lot.

While feeling your baby move in your tummy may be amusing and comforting, don’t forget to keep your diet in check. Avoid sugary foods and drinks and always make sure you get the proper nutrition.

Is my baby moving too much in my womb? How to tell if its completely normal

An active baby in the womb means healthy development, which might explain why baby knows how to breastfeed from birth. | Source: Pexels

Does an active baby in the womb mean early labor?

You may begin to experience rapid fetal movement third trimester as your baby may become more active both day and night. Their movements may also feel larger and more intense. It will come in more stretches and rolls rather than kicks and punches.

Does an active baby in the womb mean hyperactive child?

In general, a healthy baby is one who is active. When your baby moves, it means he or she is promoting healthier bone and joint growth, so don’t worry!

Although all pregnancies and babies are unique, a lot of activity is unlikely to indicate anything other than your baby’s growth in size and strength.

In fact, if you feel like your baby becomes less active, tell your doctor right away. A decrease in movement may be an issue that should be immediately addressed.

An active baby in the womb means the baby is preparing for the world

The brain is the most complex part of the human body, and researchers believe babies’ fetal movements (when the baby’s kicking) help him/her to understand how to control movements and understand how touch feels.

Interestingly, this brain mapping only happens until the baby is finally born. Just a few days before the baby is due, the kicks and jabs no longer affect the brain less, anticipating the birth.

Researchers suggest your baby’s fetal movements are actually preparing the baby for life after birth, setting up the foundation for the baby to learn and process all the new information he or she is about to receive in the outside world.

Active baby in the womb means they are learning instincts

Because a baby learns touch from feeling around in the womb, your newborn knows skills instinctively from the moment he or she is born, like breastfeeding.

The researchers also believe that the study will be able to improve neonatal care in hospitals, especially in the case of premature babies. There can be new ways to wrap premature babies so the baby feels like he or she is still in the womb to continue developing the brain network.

Read more about your super active baby here.


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STUDY: When babies kick in the womb, it’s actually helping them grow!

Baby genius? Listening to music in the womb


Is my baby moving too much in my womb? How to tell if its completely normal

Babies are actually super smart – not smart enough to hold a conversation yet though. What an active baby in the womb means is development. | Source: Pexels

Active baby in womb personality: 8 amazing baby abilities from birth

While babies can’t do all that much when they’re born, the research above shows that babies are very well-prepared for the basics of the outside world. They are definitely a lot smarter than their smile gives away. In fact, did you know your baby is born with these amazing abilities?

  1. Baby knows who’s the boss

In one research, babies as young as 10 months were made to watch a cartoon starring block.

When the small cartoon block gave way to the bigger cartoon block, babies didn’t care. But when the bigger cartoon block gave way to the smaller cartoon block, they stared longer at the scene, indicating surprise.

This suggests babies might be born with understanding social interactions and hierarchies.

  1. Understanding dogs

Worried about introducing your pets to the baby? This study shows that 6-month-olds can match photos of a dog’s expressions to the sounds of angry barks or friendly yaps. Emotions are one of the first things baby picks up.

  1. Comprehending emotions

Speaking of emotions, the baby knows when you’re feeling sad after a long day at work. A study from the journal Neuron in 2010 found that 5-month-old babies can discern between upbeat and sad music. At 9 months, babies can pick out the really sorrowful sounding Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony from other happy songs.

  1. Happy feet

Research has found infants dancing to classical, rhythmic beats and speech, and professional ballet dancers were brought in to analyze their movements. Incredibly, it finds that babies know how to shake their booty to the beat, even better than speaking – suggesting that dancing is our blood.

  1. Sleep learning

Babies sleep all the time, but they might actually be learning too. A 2010 study experimented with 26 sleeping newborns, playing a musical tone then blowing a puff of air to their eyes.

They did this 200 times over 30 minutes. The results – babies learned to anticipate when the air will be blown, tightening their eyelids in response to the music.

  1. Baby can identify where sounds are coming from correctly.

This study showed 7-month olds two videos, A and B. A was a video of two women. B was a video of three women.

When the babies heard two women saying “Look!”, they turned to A. When the babies heard three women saying “Look!”, they turned to B, indicating they knew where sounds were coming from.

  1. Babies learn languages fast

They say babies pick up a new language fast, and it’s true. George Hollich, a psychologist at Purdue University has extensively researched this topic, and found that babies learn and begin to understand grammar from as young as 15 months.

  1. Knows if you’re naughty or nice

Know how babies want to be carried by your husband and yourself but not necessarily by strangers? Kiley Hamlin, a researcher from Yale University, shows 6 and 10 month old infants a puppet show. In the show, Shape A helped Shape B climb a hill, while in another scene, Shape C pushed Shape B down.

When asked to choose between Shape A and Shape C, most babies chose Shape A when asked. This shows that morals may be ingrained in us more so than we think.

Isn’t that wonderful how our babies have formed so many abilities while in the womb?

Decreased movements: when to see a doctor

If you haven’t felt fetal movement after 22 weeks, or are worried about your baby’s decreased movement, try doing a kick count.

Pick a time in your day that you will count the number of times your baby kicks within that time frame. Focus and take note of how long it takes for your baby to make 10 kicks.

If your baby doesn’t make any movement, 10 times, within an hour, try doing something else. You may eat a snack, walk, or lie down. Once you record 10 kicks in the second hour, then that’s good for the day.

Continue doing kick counts on a daily basis. Don’t miss a day and make sure it’s consistent! Once you notice a difference in your baby’s movement, immediately call your doctor.



Livescience, Web MD, Healthline, Mother and more, Family Doctor

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