Baby body language: What's your baby trying to tell you?

Just because they can't talk to you yet doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to tell you something. The bond between a mother and baby is like no other, but it’s okay if you can’t always understand what your little one is asking for.

Thankfully, there have been thousands of studies to help us decide what our babies gestures are actually trying to say. From kicking their feet and bopping their heads to clenching their fists and thrashing their arms about, discover below how to understand your baby’s body language.

Arm jerks

Don’t worry if you spot your little one jolting their arms when they’re asleep, this is a common reflex for newborns called Moro reflex. Your baby will throw their arms out and back when they’re startled by something, like a bright light or perhaps something in their sleep. Many adults jerk their legs in their sleep too, but it often goes unnoticed.

Kicking legs and arms

If your baby is kicking their legs, it’s unlikely that there is anything wrong. You could have the next David Beckham or Jessica Ennis-Hill on your hands, but they could also simply be asking you to play with them. If your baby’s kicking legs and flailing arms are accompanied by crying, or they seem agitated, it could be that they need their nappy changing or they’re just a little gassy.

Scrunched knees

It’s highly unlikely this is a sign they’ll be a future gym-bunny - nobody starts with the crunches that early! Scrunching up their knees could be a sign that your baby has gas or is constipated.

You can resolve this by ensuring you are properly burping your baby during feeding, or, if breastfeeding, you might want to look at your diet and how it might contain gassy foods. If you’re looking to get your diet under control, take a look at our healthy smoothie ideas featuring boosts for breastfeeding mums and sleep deprived parents!

Sleeping with their legs in the air

It might not look so comfortable to you, but if your baby sleeps with their legs up it’s most likely just a comfortable sleeping position for them. Sleeping with legs in the air is a common thing for new babies to do, and it’s nothing to worry about. Most babies grow out of this eventually as their bodies grow. If they’re pulling up their legs when they’re awake, they’re probably just trying to release gas!

Clenched fists

If you’re wondering what it means when your baby clenches its fists, again it’s likely nothing to worry about. In young babies, their nervous system and brain functions aren’t fully developed. Clenching fists is simply a comfortable position for babies, as they aren’t really capable of doing much else with their hands. This should start to fade away around 8 weeks, and when your baby starts to grab things around 3 to 4 months of age.

Start their journey right

We understand how important it is to take care of your baby’s diet right from birth. A great diet can help aid your baby’s growth, brain and bone development - which is why it’s important to ensure they are getting the right nutrients. This could help prevent any unfamiliar gestures like kicking their legs around to release gas.

Our Wellbaby range of vitamins for babies is specifically formulated with Vitamins A, C and D, to give your little ones a healthy start in life. Discover our 5 reasons why vitamin D is essential for both babies and adults alike.

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