15 answers

Toddler Shakes First Thing in the Morning

When my 2 1/2 year old son first get up, he shakes/trembles when holding anything before eating or drinking. Once he has a bite or drink he seems fine. Is this normal or should I take him to his pediatrician?

What can I do next?

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I would say yes- take him to the DR. it is not normal to shake in the AM- the 1st thing that comes to my mind is that he is shaking because his blood sugar is low, (since it is better after he eats) in the mean time- try feeling him a little snack before bed and see if that helps.

More Answers

Hello V.,

What your son is possibly experienceing a hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) hence it goes away when he gets something to eat or drink. This is uncomfortable at best, so if he is cranky in the morning before eating then it would be an even greater indication of low blood sugar. It makes you feel really cruddy and cranky. It could also be neurological in nature and worth having your pedatrician investigate. Either way, as hypoglycemia can be a precursor to diabetis then it is worth checking out. If you don't get answers from your pedatrician then you may wish to consider a pediatric endocrinologist or pediatric neurologist.

My money would be on hypoglycemia, but then I am not a doctor just a doula who happens to have diabetis.

Please keep us posted.

Best wishes,

1 mom found this helpful

I really think you should take him to the doctor, I can't say for sure of course, but it sounds to me like he may have low blood sugar, you need to get that tested, because it could cause problems.

1 mom found this helpful

I have to say this story hit a cord with me. I shake & I have done so since I was little. My Mom does it too, but not nearly as bad. When I had my children I noticed that they both shook off & on during the day. That is when I visited a Doctor for the 1st time for the shaking. I was diagnosed with excessive tremors. This is NOT life threating. You need to ask your doctor exactly what it is all about. I do know my doctor said that if children get these tremors too, they usually develop them in their toddler years. My doctor gave me some blood pressure medicine that is WONDERFULL!!! Why he gave me blood presure medicine, is something you need to ask your doctor. I am offended that someone said in response to your question here, that the shaking is not normal. Does not mean if you shake you are not normal, maybe those who do not shake are not normal? Eating or Not eating NEVER really affected it too much. Now people who do not eat enough will shake more. My doctor said if it does not affect my every day activities or taking care of my family, then I should not worry at all. I say go check it out so you can relax.

It's always best to check with your doctor with things like that. However to ease your mind in the meantime. I am a mother of 4 and the last two boys do that. Not when they wake up but they will do this whole shaking thing. Sometimes sitting on the couch or in a highchair. The oldest started doing it when he was about 1yr and 1/2 and now he is 2 1/2 and doesn't do it anymore. My youngest one started it at 1 1/2 and did it for a couple of months. I noticed he does it less and less. I think they just become aware of other things their body does and they just do it because they can. They do it more when they get a reaction from you. I think it's normal. My boys are really active. My dr said they are normal. G.

Take him to the Dr. my baby use to do that but it was becaues hre sugal levels were not high enough. Good luck!!

Both of my boys (now 2 & 3) have done this. Both in the Morning when the wake up and also after naps. In the mornings I just make sure they eat right away and the shaking stops. After naps I give them some kind of snack with sugar in it. Like, fruit snacks, apple juice, a cookie, etc. It seems like as time goes on this happens less and less.

I agree with taking him to the doctor just to be sure. Even if everyone said it was fine, if you are like me you would worry and its worth the money not to worry about it. FYI my son gets a glass of milk right before bed, but if he didnt eat much dinner or missed his milk (falls asleep in the care etc) I have noticed him tremble just a bit when handed food in the morning. I know its just because he is extra hungry as he only does it when I expect him to be "starving" in the morning. I also give him milk right away in the morning while I am fixing breakfast so he isnt too hungry. Good Luck, Jen

he sounds a little hypoglycemic, I would talk to your pediatrican. There might not be anything wrong (I'm a first time mom with a 5 month old so I don't know for sure), but it's better to safe rather than sorry.


I would say yes- take him to the DR. it is not normal to shake in the AM- the 1st thing that comes to my mind is that he is shaking because his blood sugar is low, (since it is better after he eats) in the mean time- try feeling him a little snack before bed and see if that helps.

I don't want to scare you. My daughter had shaking spells when she woke up and I just let it slide. As time progressed these spells got more frequent. I took her to the doctor just a few weeks ago for it. Now we are dealing with an inoperable brain tumor, which I found out is what is causing the shaking. If I were you, I would get to the doctor right away just to make sure it isn't something too serious.

Hi V.. I just joined mamasource today, but I saw your request and my 5 year old daughter does the same thing. She has done it since she was about 18 mos old, and now it just happens for a few minutes, but it used to be that she would do it until she REALLY woke up, ya know? I was worried she was diabetic or something, but the doc said it was normal, just her body trying to wake up. So, we've just dealt with it and it's gotten better, but still is not completely gone. hope this helps!

One daycare mom had fainting at work. I get dizzy if I haven't eaten & mild shakes from caffeine. I have not come across this with our own girls or daycare children.

One of my high school teachers had the tremling and passed out. Yes, please call your pediatrician.

I agree with the others that it could be a blood issue such as diabetes or hypo-glycemia.

I also agree that it's just a normal neurological reaction to waking up. My son trembles also when he wakes and it has nothing to do with his blood sugar. The way he reacts to waking is as if he is coming back to reality from a farther place... than us adults. His little body has a hard time dealing with the sensation of waking up. This is totally normal.

And it can even get worst: Some children even tantrum for quite some time as their body wakes up (yelling "No, go away!", kicking, screaming, won't take a bottle to calm down, combative, fighting, smacking at you). Even this is normal. For some it can take up to around 45 minutes to an hour of this screaming and fighting. It's perfectly OK to just check in on these kids every 5 minutes as they lay there tossing, turning, and tantruming until they decide to sip a milk bottle or sippy cup to calm down. It's basically sensory overload to wake up. Sipping can be a calming effect. Milk also has sugar in it, but not as potent as juice.

So, I would agree that you should check with your pediatrician about the blood issues, but also check into the sensory issues as well. If your doc recommends an occupational therapist, I encourage you to follow through. The OC can show you and your son techniques to self sooth and calm the body down, so that he doesn't get afraid of the shaking... and end up as a tantrumer. The techniques are practiced during the therapy session and in a playful way. But, children seem to like them and will use the techniques in many other situations. They seem to figure out pretty quickly what works for them and how to apply their new coping skills.

God bless,


Hi V.,

They grow so fast at this age. Things I would think about - how long between dinner and breakfast? Often times at this age it is 11 to 12 hours, which means his little tummy is completely empty by the time he wakes up. Does he eat heartily or like a little bird at meals? I've had one of each kind of eater :)
I would try offering him a dinner heavy on the protien and veggies light on carbs - to help last him through the night. For my light eater, (she was waking up hungry in the night at this age) what worked for me was having dinner
later in the evening as well. That all said, definately run this by your your ped, I'm sure he/she will have some ideas. Good luck :)

have him tested for diabetes. My step daughter used to do the same thing turned out she was diabetic.

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