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Understanding Why Your Baby Can’t Stay Still

Why Does My Baby Seem Restless?

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “why can’t my baby stay still?”, you’re not alone. It’s completely normal for babies to be active and fidgety, as they are constantly exploring their environment and developing new physical skills. But sometimes, this restlessness can make nap time or bedtime a real challenge.

Causes for a Restless Baby

Developmental Milestones

When your baby is learning a new skill, like crawling or walking, they might become more restless as they practice this new skill – even during their sleep!


Teething can also cause your baby to be more active and restless due to the discomfort they’re experiencing.


Too much activity, noise, or stimulation before bedtime can make it difficult for your baby to settle down and sleep.

How to Help a Restless Baby

Create a Calm Environment

Creating a quiet, dimly lit environment can signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep and help them settle down.

Establish a Routine

Having a consistent bedtime routine can also help your baby understand when it’s time to sleep.

Offer Comfort Items

A favorite blanket or stuffed animal can provide comfort to a restless baby and help them feel more secure.

Understanding Baby Restlessness

If your baby can’t stay still, various factors could be contributing. Let’s explore some possible reasons and provide solutions for calming an active baby.

Common Reasons Why Your Baby Might Be Restless

Developmental Milestones

Babies tend to be more active when they’re hitting new milestones, like sitting up or crawling. If your 1-year-old isn’t sitting or crawling yet, it might be due to physical developmental delays. However, each child develops at their own pace, and slight delays are usually no cause for concern. If you are worried, consult with your pediatrician.

Hyperactivity in Babies

Hyperactivity isn’t limited to older children. Even infants, such as a 3-month-old, can show signs of excessive movement. A ‘hyperactive’ baby might seem to be continuously moving, unable to settle or rest. If your child seems exceptionally energetic, speak with your healthcare provider to rule out conditions like ADHD.


Babies can also become restless if they are overstimulated. This might manifest as being squirmy during the day or at night, especially if they’re exposed to a lot of noise, activity, or playtime before sleep.

Signs of Discomfort

Sometimes, restlessness in babies can be a sign of physical discomfort. If your baby is squirmy at night, for instance, it might be because they are experiencing teething pain or a diaper rash.

How to Calm a Restless Baby

Establish a Routine

Regular sleep and feeding times can help your baby understand when it’s time to be active and when it’s time to rest.

Limit Stimulation Before Sleep

Creating a calm and quiet environment before bedtime can help soothe a restless baby.

Provide Comforting Touch

Physical contact, like cuddling or swaddling, can help a baby feel secure and promote relaxation.

Consult a Healthcare Provider

If your baby seems unusually restless or hyperactive, consult with your pediatrician or a child development specialist. They can help identify any underlying issues and provide appropriate support or intervention.

Special Considerations: Autism and Developmental Delays

If your child shows signs like fidgeting, not sitting up, or difficulty settling, it might also be a sign of a neurological or developmental condition like autism. Autism symptoms can be detected as early as a few months old, with signs including limited social interaction, lack of eye contact, or not responding to their name. Remember, though, every child is unique and develops at their own pace, and these symptoms do not confirm a diagnosis. Always consult with a healthcare provider if you have concerns.

When Your Baby’s Constant Movement Becomes a Challenge

Having a baby that can’t stay still can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when it’s mealtime or bedtime. Offering a distraction like a small toy or engaging their interest in the food can help. For sleep, creating a calm, comforting bedtime routine can be beneficial.

How Can Help

If you’re struggling to help your baby settle down and get the sleep they need, can provide valuable resources and guidance. Whether your baby can’t stay still due to developmental changes, teething, or overstimulation, has a range of articles and guides to help you navigate these challenges.

From understanding the causes of restlessness to providing practical strategies for establishing healthy sleep routines, is committed to supporting you in your parenting journey. With our evidence-based advice, you’ll have the tools you need to help your baby settle, sleep better, and wake up happier.

Remember, Every Baby is Unique

It’s important to remember that every baby is unique. What works for one might not work for another. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time and trial and error to find the right methods to help your restless baby. With patience and support from resources like, you’ll find strategies that work for you and your baby.