Five Month Old Thumps Her Legs All Night

Updated on June 26, 2009
J.M. asks from Lynnwood, WA
15 answers

My five month old baby girl used to be a good sleeper but lately she spends much of the night lifting her legs high and slamming them back down onto her crib mattress with enough force that we hear her anywhere in the house. I'm not sleeping and I can't imagine she is getting much sleep either. I can't figure out why she is doing all this "thumping". Has anyone else experienced this?

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M.K.

answers from Seattle on

Hi J...
I totally remember my first son doing this.. I thought it was soo cute..
Then I realized my little son was looking to have his diaper changed -most of the time.

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M.K.

answers from Seattle on

Hi J...
I totally remember my first son doing this.. I thought it was soo cute..
Then I realized my little son was looking to have his diaper changed -most of the time.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.W.

answers from Richland on

HI J., My little guy is 7 months and he 'thumps' when he wants me to rock his cosleeper to put him to sleep. Sometimes he does it when he's tired and I'm carrying him and he wants me to move. I guess, because he's bored with where we have been standing. I felt silly responding to his 'demands' at first but they have almost stopped now that he can move himself around more. I think that it is a developmental thing, too. Probably, something about adjusting mentally to their own movement. I wonder if babies in other cultures where they are carried til they're two do this thumping or if it's just our culture. That would be an interesting study! Well, I'd find it interesting :) Oh, a totally different thought, maybe try massaging her back & legs before bed; maybe she has pent up energy from her busy day and the thumping relaxes it. I hope these ideas help. Have a good day!

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M.S.

answers from Seattle on

this is normal, she is learning how legs move and is gaining muscle strength which will prepare her for crawling and later walking. don't worry aout her not getting enough sleep, she is keeping herself very busy and happy, all is well

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C.N.

answers from Seattle on

My baby girl did it too. I thought it was a way to get rid of extra energy, or for entertainment. She stopped doing it around 18 months. I just turned down the monitor, I only needed to hear her scream anyway.

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S.S.

answers from Seattle on

Haha, I forgot about that stage. Yes, my son did that, too, but not for too long. It's usually when they're getting ready to do something new like roll over, sit up, crawl, etc. It's just a stage, so I wouldn't worry... I know what you mean, though, it can keep you awake! Hopefully it will pass soon.

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M.L.

answers from Seattle on

Yup! My daughter did that for awhile too. Maybe 1-2 months? I don't remember, but she's nearly 2 and hasn't done it in over a year. I think once she was able to hold herself up and roll both ways, she was done with the thumping legs.

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E.F.

answers from Seattle on

Hi J.,
as you can see your little one isn't the sole thumper! Mine did it for a while too. It is a developmental thing I believe ans as such will pass. All is normal!

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J.R.

answers from Seattle on

my son used to bang his head (not violently, but still banging) on things like his stuffed animal, a pillow, and even me and my husband - we determined that it was a soothing technique and a way that he showed affection...he has outgrown this. My daughter, 4 months, also lifts her legs, although not as forcefully as yours (at least from the way you describe it)...I think it is just a natural movement for babies...

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V.B.

answers from Portland on

My little boy thumped his legs from about 4-6 months... he slept in a co-sleeper attached to our bed, so we definitely felt it. I never did figure out why he was doing it, and he grew out of the behavior eventually.

good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Portland on

Hi J., I have a 9 month old "thumper". He has been doing it for months. He never wakes up from it and I can sleep through it now. I'm sorry to say that I don't know why they do this. I wanted to respond so that you knew you arn't the only mother of a "thumper". :)

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L.M.

answers from Portland on

my son is five months old and does this as well.
it seems like he does it when he's fighting sleep or just as i lay him in his crib.

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J.J.

answers from Bellingham on

Hi J.,

I just recently learned about Restless Leg Syndrom. It sounds like this is one of the symptoms. I don't know if children of this age can have this but it sounds like some thing to look into. My son was still wrapped up tight when he slept, have you tried that? I wish I had more to say on this but unfortunately do not. Good luck with this!

Jen

J.C.

answers from Medford on

We have an almost 11-month-old who did the same thing. He has almost outgrown it, although he still occasionally lifts one leg and thumps it. I think I agree with the mom who suggested it's probably soothing - repetetive motion and all. I guess they grow out of it at different ages, since the other moms seem to be reporting that their little ones stopped earlier than mine. I wonder if other soothing techniques might help her. Maybe a sound machine for some white noise?
Best of luck!

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L.R.

answers from Portland on

Could it be that she needs to pee? I have noticed (and I'm not the only one) that young babies often will wiggle and such when they need to pee, finally giving up and going in the diaper when they can't hold it longer. Try taking her to the potty... hold her with her back against your tummy, hands behind her knees; she'll be kind of knee-chest. If she goes, you'll know that's what it was. If not, I really have no idea what it could be. Put in ear plugs and pray she gets through the stage!

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C.R.

answers from Seattle on

Hi J.,
My baby girl did the very same thing. She started at about 3 months and did until she was about 6 months. The only thing I could think of is that she was trying to roll over, but I'm not sure if that was it or not. She did quit, though. I'll be following this posting to see what ideas others have. I'm still curious about it. Good luck!

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