How to get your Baby to Kick

Feeling your baby kick is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy.  Especially for women who experience negative symptoms of pregnancy, your baby’s movement easies the suffering, if only temporary.  Kicking, punching and rolling around inside you may feel strange, but it is a true sign that your baby is thriving and helps you create a connection before your little one arrives.  Today we’re talking about baby kicks, including when you should expect the first signs of movement and how to get your baby to kick.

How to get baby to kick__1453481950_108.89.137.58First time expectant moms usually don’t feel kicking until 18 to 22 weeks.  Even then, the kicks may be faint and many moms are unsure that they are real baby movements.  Your baby is actually moving around well before the midway point in your pregnancy, but new moms usually don’t feel it.  Women who have had babies before may feel movement as early as 14 to 16 weeks because they are more aware of the sensation.  Early movements are called quickening, which feels like a fluttering in your stomach.  You may mistake it for digestion, but chances are, that’s your sweet little baby wiggling around.  If you don’t feel any movement by 24 weeks, you should see your healthcare professional to make sure your baby is doing OK.

As you may have seen in an ultrasound, your baby is practicing all sorts of movements and reflexes in utero.  In addition to kicking and punching, he’s flipping over, stretching, swallowing, yawning, pushing, twisting, sucking his thumb or fingers and hiccupping.  As you progress in your pregnancy, the movement will grow in size and force.  This will allow others, such as your partner and older children, to experience the movement too.  Sometimes kicks and punches are so large, your entire belly will move and others will be able to see the movement as well as feel it.

If you want to solicit movement, there are some things you can do to stimulate your baby  For peace of mind that your baby is OK or to show off your little tot’s karate moves, you may try to get your baby to kick.  Here are tips on how to get your baby to kick:

  • Babies in the womb are often lulled to sleep by a mother’s constant movement (which comes in handy once your baby is born!).  To wake up your sleeping baby, sit still and eat a snack.  He’ll probably wake up soon and start his familiar dance.
  • Play loud music or talk loudly.  Your baby can hear you and noises around you.
  • Press gently on your belly.  Sometimes you can get your baby to play a game of back-and-forth as he ponders who is tapping on his living quarters.
  • Drink something very cold or sugary.  This stimulation often gets a baby moving.
  • If you have been sitting or lying and aren’t feeling movement, get up and move somewhat quickly, like doing small jumps or dancing.  He may just need you to shake things up a bit.
  • Lie on your left side, which allows maximum oxygen and blood flow to your baby.

By 26 weeks, moms-to-be should be feeling frequent movement, although the rate may depend on the time of day and your particular baby’s habits.  If you are concerned about your baby’s lack of movement, do a kick test.  Try one of the above recommendations of how to get your baby to kick and then count how many movements you feel.  You should get about 10 forms of movement within a 2-hour span.  If you don’t record this much movement during your baby’s most active time a day, consult your doctor.  You may want to go in for a quick check-up to make sure everything is copasetic.

Feeling your baby kick is one of the many joys of pregnancy.  Embrace these special moments as your baby is showing signs of growth and development in your loving womb.