A kicking baby isn't just a special treat for your family and friends. Baby kicks and other movements are a sign of healthy growth and development. When those movements stop or become less frequent, it can be a sign of trouble. If you haven't felt your baby move in a few hours and you're concerned, there are a few tricks you can employ to stimulate movement and calm your nerves. The same tricks might entice a shy baby to kick for your guests.
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Pay attention to the times your baby seems most active, recommends the American Pregnancy Association. You'll have the best luck getting your baby to move when he's already awake and active.
Press your belly with the palm of your hand or the tips of your fingers. Don't worry about hurting your baby, as she's protected by amniotic fluid. Nudge in the places you usually feel her kick to see if she moves in response to your touch.
Talk or sing along with music. Babies can identify their mother's voice and will sometimes respond by moving. Your baby may also respond to the vibrations from loud music or music with a lot of bass.
Eat a meal or have a sweet snack, as the change in blood sugar often spurs babies to move, according to Heidi Murkoff of What to Expect.com. Cold drinks may also do the trick. Pay attention to foods that regularly get a response from your baby and try these when you're anxious to feel him kick.
Take a moment to relax and focus on your baby. "Because the motion of your own body during your daily routine can lull the baby to sleep... you may find that the baby is most active after you've settled down," says Murkoff.