First time parents often observe the very tiniest details their firstborn indulges into from the very beginning. When babies are born, they spend most of their time sleeping. Most babies can sleep up to 18 to 22 hours a day. As babies grow older, they tend to move more often. The first few years of a baby are the ones where he/she learns and grasps most of their knowledge of being in this world. Every day can be a new milestone.
The first thing a baby plays with while growing is his own hands. And your baby’s arm movement can tell you important things about what he is experiencing. This is a way your baby interacts with the world around him. It is a beautiful sight to see an adorable baby moving its hands and feet constantly, but this can be alarming to parents if the odds are not set aside.
Is it normal for a baby to move hands constantly?
It is completely normal for babies to move their hands constantly. There may be three basic reasons as to why they do so. However, in order to rule out any problems, you should always share your concerns with your baby’s pediatrician.
- Increasing Motor Skills
Constant hand movement increases your baby’s muscle strength which brings improvement in his motor skills. Movements such as taking hands into the mouth, waving around toys, grasping and then letting go of them are all part of the hand to eye coordination which is a healthy step in his physical growth and development.
- Startle reflex
You may have noticed some sharp hand and feet movement in your baby, like extending the hands in the air suddenly when he hears something loud. This is known as a startle or Moro reflux. Babies also tend to get startled by their own crying sound sometimes. This is completely a normal phenomenon for babies to go through and nothing to worry about.
Babies tend to get excited when they are playing. They get excited while seeing moving objects like a fan or when seeing flashing lights, and when going through such excitement, they constantly move their hands and feet. These are uncontrolled movements when they are 2 to 3 months of age and begin to become more meaningful when they grow older.
When to get concerned?
It’s the things that your baby isn’t doing at the right time rather than what he is that may be a cause of concern. If your baby isn’t able to reach certain milestones at the time when they should occur, you should share your concerns with a doctor.
Many people fear that their baby’s constant hand movement might have something to do with autism. It is always better to evaluate with a doctor. But, all babies tend to move constantly. And the earliest signs autism involves the absence of normal behaviors, not the presence of abnormal ones.
Some early signs of autism include an absence of eye contact by the baby by 2 to 3 months, he doesn’t smile by three months, he doesn’t laugh by 6 months, or he is taking a considerable amount of time to cover milestones than other babies. There are many other symptoms of autism which get easier to detect as your baby gets older.
Doctors’ advice parents to keep a close check on their babies’ progress from the beginning. Early diagnosis and intervention are critical for children with autism. The earlier autism is detected, the earlier its treatments can be started. If you suspect that something isn’t right, don’t wait and get it evaluated right away during this crucial developmental period.