4.5 Month Old Baby Boy Flailing Wildly All Night in Crib...

Updated on December 29, 2009
D.G. asks from Canoga Park, CA
8 answers

Hi! my 18-week old is overall sleeping well - started sleeping through the night around thanksgiving - but recently, after about 6 hrs of sleep at night, he lifts up his legs and bangs them against the crib. It sounds awful (i have a monitor next to my bed and hear everything - he's right next door in the other room). I have a 'breathable bumper' so he doesn't get his legs stuck in between the slats (and he's in a halo sleep bag too so his legs stay together and no danger of a blanket being kicked over his head), but by the morning he's completely at a different 90 degree angle.

His eyes are closed this entire time, so he's sleeping through it at first. The banging starts around 1am; I run in and out for two hours resettling him, usually by replacing his binky; then, just in the past couple days, around 3am he is woken up by his movement, no crying, just looking up like, 'huh?!?', and I nurse and rock him back to sleep. Sometimes he's out till 6 or 7am, other times the craziness begins all over again.

The sounds of him slamming against the crib are really scary. However, he's not bruised or injured, and my pediatrician is not alarmed by this as it is normal for some babies to do. She also said if he rolls over in his sleep (he hasn't yet) she's unconcerned as he's been able to push himself up since around 2 months.

My mom told me by brother did the same thing and was unscathed in the morning. She said to maybe not resettle him throughout the night and see what happens...if he wakes himself up I'll nurse him back down anyways.

Anyone have a similar experience? It's been about 2 weeks now that he's done this - maybe it's a short lived phase? I can't swaddle anymore because he busts out of the swaddle.

Thanks so much!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your help and similar experiences. I TURNED OFF THE MONITOR (can't believe I had it on being right next door! feel a little silly about that) and we both got a lot more sleep the past couple nights, and he didn't even wake himself up around 3 or 4am like he'd been doing lately. I did have to address his cries while he was asleep and replaced the binky a couple times but it was way better than going in constantly for hours. I think he actually gets all the movement 'out of his system' when I don't interfere. Thanks again!!

More Answers



answers from Reno on

Do babies get restless legs syndrome? Is anyone in your family a sleep walker? It might be something along those lines as those are genetic. Mine is 8 week and wakes himself up some with sudden jerky movements, but my doc say sit's just the Moro reflex.



answers from Las Vegas on

Hello D.,

i also have a 4 1/2 month old baby boy who does the same thing. He sleeps in his cradle next to me and lifts his legs so high and slams them down hard...normally this is how I know he is waking up at night or at nap time. He will sometimes wake up after doing this for a while and other times goes back to sleep. I don't think it's anything to worry about, just there way of testing out there new found skills...but this new skill IS very irritating to listen to at night! I'm sure it's just one of the many phases they are going to go through.



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter (now 7) has always been a restless sleeper. She thrashes,kicks and moves all night. (I swear she was like that even while I was pregnant with her since she is the only one of my four kids that would actually wake me up from a complete sleep during the night...LOL) All that thrashing never really seemed to bother HER.....she got plenty of sleep. We co-slept for a long time but, even after moving her to her own bed/room, I could hear her kicking the wall during the night. It's better now that she is older but she's still a mover. Once we realized that was just the way she is, we didn't stress about it. You have provided a safe sleep environment for you son so I'd let him be. :0) I agree that turning off the monitor is a good idea. You'll be surprised how much you can hear without it. You might be able to sleep better if you are not hearing every little noise he makes. Rest assured you will hear him if he actually wakes up and needs you....so you will still be able to go to him. Good luck! :0)



answers from San Diego on

Maybe you'll think this is crazy, but what about turning off the monitor so you can sleep through it. As long as you can hear him from your room if he cries, there is no worry about his getting hurt or anything and you not knowing.

It seems like he's fine and might just go right back to sleep if left alone. You could try it for a night, maybe even sleep on his floor and see how he does if you don't resettle him, then try to go to your own bed and get some sleep. You've done everything you can to make him safe, and if he will do this for a while, he needs to learn to settle himself down. I hope this is helpful.



answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with Coreen. Give yourslef a break and turn off the monitor. Both my kids are very active sleepers. They wiggle and squiggle all night. They are 5 and 3 now and still do their moving about, just not as much. If your baby isn't crying like he's hungry, wet or sick, there's no need to wake yourself up completely and check on him! Give him a chance to try to settle on his own. Practicing it now will help him learn to go to bed without using you as a crutch to go to sleep later on. Both of you will be happier!



answers from Los Angeles on

I think your little one has colic...try this trick...put the dryer on and lay him on top some cozy blankets...the vibrations and heat will soothe him..
or get a little vibrating egg that fits under their mattress from Target...this soothes them..

Good luck..sleeplessness is rough on the system.




answers from Los Angeles on

This brings back memories of when my 1 year old did the same exact thing. I think it was at the same age too. He was still in his bassinet so the whole thing used to shake. I thought it was hilarious. We moved him into the crib in good time, because just like your baby he started to move around the crib and ending up in completely different positions than where I laid him down. He still does this today (the moving, doesn't really bang his legs anymore). Instead of the swaddle I recommend the sleep sack. I put a sleeper underneath and layer him so that the "blanket" stays with him as he moves around. He wakes himself up sometimes, but goes back to sleep by himself after a few minutes. He doesn't hurt himself or anything so I just check on him on the monitor and let him go back to sleep.



answers from Los Angeles on

It may or not be related, please make sure YOU have done the research on vaccinations for YOUR child. The AAP recommended schedule of shots for children is too many, too soon. Here are sites and books that I always recommend for people to start their research:


Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, by Dr. Kenneth Bock

The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Robert Sears

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations, by Dr. Stephanie Cave

Evidence of Harm, by David Kirby

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