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Why Does My Baby Jump In His/Her Sleep?

My baby jumps in her sleep!

Like adults, babies dream. And sometimes, when we dream we have a tendency to jump or to jerk our bodies while we sleep. This is completely normal. So for all the concerned mothers out there that are freaking out, please do not. You have to constantly remind yourself that babies are restless sleepers, especially babies with sleep disorders.

Newborns are actually the most restless. Newborns actually spend most of their time sleeping in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep.

Think of REM sleep as an active stage of sleep. And the common traits of REM sleep may cause your baby’s legs and arms to jerk or twitch.

Sudden jerks of the arms and legs only occur during sleep. So if this is happening while your baby is asleep, then don’t worry. Keep in mind that this is normal at all ages, not just in newborns.

As stated earlier, you see this type of behavior in adults as well. So don’t think that there may be something wrong with your baby when you see this happening during their sleep.

Newborn Reflexes

It is always important to research things that you are unsure of. Jumping to conclusions (pun intended) is the last thing you want to do.

It will only cause you more stress than you need.

There are several things your baby may do while their sleep that you are unfamiliar with.

Here is a list of harmless behaviors that your baby may perform:

  • Sudden jerks or twitches of the arms and legs.
  • Normal at all ages
  • May happen soon after they fall asleep
  • Last a few seconds but can reoccur
  • Sleep is not quiet
  • Suspect a seizure when jerking occurs when awake or lasts more than 10 seconds

Sleep Myoclonus?

Sometimes when you see your infant suddenly jerk or twitch in their sleep, it could be a sign of a condition known as sleep myoclonus. It is also known as nocturnal myoclonus.

This can develop in adults just as well as babies.

Keep in mind that your baby is not under conscious control when this happens. So don’t assume that this is being done on purpose.

It’s easy to assume that this could be a seizure, but it is not. That is why it’s important to do your research on these types of behaviors. It will only ensure that you don’t get confused with something else entirely.

But don’t feel discouraged! Studying the situation from the outside looking in, it’s easy to confuse the two.

Causes of Baby Jumping During Sleep

Some studies have shown that the causes of sleep myoclonus are not very clear

But what researchers do know is that it may involve problems with the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Seizures, on the other hand, involve electrical changes in the brain.

So with that being said, sleep myoclonus and seizures are pretty much two different things. But the only thing you have to keep in mind is that sleep myoclonus only occurs during sleep. It is also very common in the first weeks of a newborn’s life.

It’s perfectly normal for you to freak out the first time around. But after you become fully aware and knowledgeable about what’s taking place, then there should be no more worry or concern. But if you cannot help yourself, you can always schedule an appointment for your baby to get a neurological examination.

Treatment of Baby Sleep Jumping

Sleep myoclonus is not serious enough for it to be treated. Unless, of course, it’s interfering so much that it’s affecting your baby’s sleep or everyday life.

But in most cases, treatment is definitely not necessary.

Sleep myoclonus is considered a benign condition. What that means is that is it has no short-term or long-term effects on a person’s health or wellbeing. Yes, this is all new to you, but stressing yourself out about something like this will only make you worry more.

If the doctor says that everything is fine, then everything is fine. The only thing you can do is continue to stay positive and take care of your baby.

Don’t Stress!

The more you stress about something, the more stressful you’ll become. Your baby’s health should be the most important thing in your life. If it’s isn’t, then there’s a problem. But, at a certain point, you also have to tell yourself to stop worrying.

Because overthinking and worrying about something too much can put stress on your body. Unnecessary stress can potentially affect your health. So now, not only are you stressed about your baby’s health, but you are also stressed about your own health. That’s extra stress you do not need.

Take some time off to meditate and relax your mind. Because once you relax your mind, your mind becomes more clear. The more clear your mind is, the easier it is to handle certain situations like this one.


Despite what you may think about sleep, babies are subject to have some of the same sleep experiences adults do.

Have you ever dreamt that you were falling off a cliff and woke up to your limbs jerking in response to that dream? Well, this can also happen to babies as well.

Certain dreams can have a way of causing sudden body movements during sleep. If you have a newborn or infant suffering from sleep myoclonus, then call your local doctor and schedule an appointment.

The condition usually resolves on its own, but a trip to the doctor’s office might put you more at ease with the situation.

Also, visiting the doctor’s office might rule out any other possibilities of serious illness. When it comes to your health and your baby’s health, you can never be so sure.

The sooner you look to your doctor for help, the sooner you get answers. But in the meantime, try to remain stress-free until you get the answers your need.

Because once you receive good news from the doctor, you’re going to look back on everything and possibly laugh at how overly stressed you were.

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