Instructions for counting the baby's movements


The mother notices about 85 % of the baby’s movements. Each baby has an individual sleep-wake pattern.  The baby moves from 3 to 50 times in an hour. The resting periods last from 20 to 40 minutes. The baby moves its limbs and body. These movements may feel weak or strong, individual or serial.

The baby may even have the hiccups. The mother feels this as rhythmic tapping on the abdominal wall. The quantity of the baby's daily movements remains rather stable until late pregnancy.  When the baby’s central nervous system gets enough oxygen and nutrition, it is feeling well and moving normally.

When the mother is moving, the baby’s movements decrease and may be difficult for the mother to notice while she is concentrating on her chores. This is why you monitor the  movements of your baby when you are resting. The monitoring can be done anytime during the day. However, babies are often most active in late evening / early night.

Count the movements once a day. Lay down on either side and record the movements you detect during one hour. All clearly distinct movements count – hiccups are not included. If you detect less than 10 movements during an hour, repeat the counting after one or two hours. If the number of movements is still low (less than 10 movements per hour) it may be necessary to check the baby’s condition at the delivery ward. If the baby is very active, you do not have to count the whole hour.