Why Are My Baby's Arms So Restless?

Why Are My Baby’s Arms So Restless?

You’ve got an over-enthusiastic arm flapper, have you? Do not be alarmed, there’s an explanation for this and we’ll tell you the exact reason babies have such restless arms.

You’re baby is getting older and really active. Some babies may be constantly moving, even before learning to roll or crawl. At this tender age, babies are in awe of the world around them and are learning with each passing moment. You may notice your baby’s eyes move and widen along with restless arm and finger movements. This is just a baby’s way of expressing new experiences he/she may be feeling.

Startle/ Moro Reflex

Infants have a reflex called the Moro Reflex that causes them to jerk their arms or legs sharply. Even the sound of their own crying can trigger the Moro Reflex in babies. When a baby is startled their arms will extend forward and then back again, really fast. Any disturbance in sleeping may also cause this reflex.


When your baby is awake, you may have noticed non-stop waving of arms, especially if she is looking at something new and interesting. This is a sure-shot sign of excitement. She may wave arms when you talk to her, or when you dangle a toy in from of her.

Enhancing Motor Skills

Your baby increases and enhances his motor skills by moving around to build muscle strength. Common signs of baby’s developing motor skills are opening and closing of hands, waving toys around or putting hands in the mouth. This may seem odd and make your baby seems restless but it is a natural and normal method that all babies use to eventually learn to roll over, crawl or sit up. During this phase, placing your baby on the tummy is helpful because it helps build these skills.

Things to Consider

If your baby isn’t moving his arms around the age of three months, speak to your paediatrician about it. There are certain milestones most babies reach at certain points in time and lack of these milestones may be due to a slight developmental delay. If the restlessness is preventing your baby from sleeping or resting, try and wrap your baby in a blanket at bedtime, keeping the arms firmly in one place.

Other than that, encourage restless arms and legs because it only means that your baby is learning a lot of new and exciting things and can’t wait to express it!

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