I remember when I was 9-months pregnant. How can I forget? I mean, with the huge bump and the swollen legs, and the heartburn just at the thought of food. Oh, glorious pregnant days, I miss you so much!
But I digress. Baby kicking. Disturbing both his sleep and your sleep. Again and again. You thought it would be over once the little marrow-shaped baby pops out into the world. But, alas, baby kicking in your womb has been just a prelude to the kicking fiasco you would come upon later on…
If you don’t relate to any of the above, you haven’t experienced the discomforts of pregnancy, and you have a peacefully sleeping baby who wakes up exactly where you put them down (after a straight 8 hours of sleep), then congratulations to you.
For the rest of us, sleep-deprived (and wine-deprived) mothers of babies literally kicking their sleep away, here are 6 reasons your baby is kicking while sleeping (hint: there’s really nothing to worry about):
- Immature nervous system – yeah, that’s another one to blame on babies’ immature nervous system. Twitching (including kicks and punches) are erratic movements your baby makes in his sleep that occur because it’s more difficult for them to control their reflexes. There, I said it. Nothing to worry about.
- Sleep patterns and sleep cycles – you probably already have it up to here reading about baby sleep cycles and how short they are. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the same short sleep cycles are among the main reasons for babies’ kicking in their sleep. In other words, shortly before he’s reached his deep REM sleep, your baby may turn from a peacefully sleeping angel to a kicking little monster looking as if he’s performing on an MMA final’s fight.
- Too much sleep – I know it sounds ridiculous given the fact that YOU never sleep but the truth is that you may disturb your baby’s sleeping routine by letting him take longer daytime naps. The result? A baby who tosses and kicks before going to sleep at night as he can’t fall into his deep night’s sleep.
- Not enough sleep – yep, you read that right. Apparently too much sleep and not enough sleep both lead to babies’ fidgeting and turning from side to side (kicks, punches, and everything). When your baby is too tired (due to not enough sleep), it’s only natural that he is cranky and has difficulties falling to sleep (and staying asleep).
- Discomfort – kicking in their sleep due to a discomfort is very common, especially among younger babies. If your baby is too hot or his sleeping clothes are not comfortable, kicking is his way to let you know that something’s wrong. The same applies for diaper rashes, hunger, thirst, colics, and a need for a diaper change.
- Night terrors – another reason your baby kicks and punches the air in their sleep is a night terror. Unlike nightmares, night terrors look really scary when you witness them as your baby is visibly very miserable – crying and tossing in their bed. But the good news is night terrors only look scary and once they are over, your baby will peacefully go back to sleep without a trace of the night terror memory in the morning.