Is It Normal for a Baby to Move Mostly at Night When You Are Pregnant?

Pregnant woman sleeping with back and stomach pillows
Pregnant woman lying in bed (Image: Rick Gomez/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Every baby is different, both before and after he is born, according to the American Pregnancy Association. By the seventh or eighth month of your pregnancy, you might notice routines in his behavior and preferences. “Normal” behavior varies from one fetus to the next, but generally, all movement is good movement, no matter when it occurs.

“Normal” Movements

At seven months’ gestation, your baby is dozing or sleeping up to 95 percent of the time, according to ‘Psychology Today.” He's usually still moving, however. “Psychology Today” indicates that fetuses will move at least 50 times per hour. Your baby’s pattern can change from day to day, but the closer you get to your due date, the more likely he is to fall into his own unique routine.

Nighttime Movements

The American Pregnancy Association says that some babies are just more active at night. But it’s also possible that during the day, when you’re on the go, you’re not as aware of his movements as you are in the evenings and nighttime, when you’re sitting quietly. This might be especially true if you’re not far along into your pregnancy. You might not feel every blink, hiccup and reach of his hand if you're preoccupied. You might only notice his forceful kicks when something really gets a rise out of him.

Causes

Any number of things might perk your baby up at night. During the day, you may be moving around a lot, which can have the effect of rocking her into complacency. When that movement stops, she might become alert, wondering what’s going on. Fetuses can also respond to sound by about seven months’ gestation and express a preference for their mother’s voice. If you’re watching television and not speaking yourself, there may be a lot of new voices for her to deal with. This could cause her to become more active. According to “Psychology Today,” the trigger could be something as simple as what you normally eat for a late-night snack. If it’s something with a strong taste, your amniotic fluid will pick up that scent, and your baby might notice and react to that change, also.

Tips

If you’re concerned that your baby really is moving mostly at night, sit down and be still for a while at midday. Turn on the television, if that’s your normal evening routine. Do essentially the same things you do at night and see if your baby reacts. Even if you don’t recreate your evening routine, if you tune in, pay attention and put distractions aside, you might realize that your baby is moving more during daylight hours than you thought. Even If she’s quiet and still, this is not necessarily a cause for alarm, as long as she continues to be active at night. She might simply have developed her own unique pattern of being active at night. Of course, any time you have concerns, you should speak with your doctor to rule out problems.

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