Newborn Leg Shaking – 4 Natural Causes

newborn leg shaking

From those cute little yawns to the adorable baby coos, welcome to the  enchanting world of parenthood where your newborn’s antics are a constant source of joy. But what’s the deal with those tiny legs shaking like they’re preparing for a secret dance-off? In this blog post, we’re going to unravel the mystery behind newborn leg shaking and determine whether it’s just your baby’s way of busting a move or something that needs closer attention.

What is Newborn Leg Shaking?

Newborn leg shaking refers to those teeny-tiny tremors and quivers that can be observed in a baby’s legs during the early weeks and months of life. It’s like their miniature limbs have a mind of their own, ready to break out into a spontaneous salsa or an impromptu tap routine.

It’s important to differentiate between normal and abnormal leg shaking. In most cases, newborn leg shaking is a normal part of a baby’s development, but in some instances, it may indicate an underlying issue.

Subscribe to my blog for Parenting tips that will make you feel like a pro, and get access to exclusive free Printables that will keep your little ones busy and happy! 

What Causes Newborn Leg Shaking?

As you watch your little one’s legs perform their spontaneous shakes and shimmies, you might find yourself wondering, “What on earth is causing this adorable phenomenon?” Well, fret not, curious parents, for we are about to uncover the reasons behind these mesmerizing movements.

The Moro Reflex: One of the primary culprits behind newborn leg shaking is the Moro reflex, also known as the startle reflex. This reflex is like the surprise party of the baby world. When your little one experiences a sudden noise, movement, or change in position, their arms and legs instinctively flail outwards, resulting in those delightful leg shakes. It’s their way of saying, “Whoa, what just happened?”

Adjusting to the Outside World: Picture this: your baby has spent nine cozy months snuggled up in the womb, shielded from the external world. But now, they’ve emerged into a universe filled with new sensations, sights, and sounds. As they acclimate to this brave new world, their legs might involuntarily shake as they adapt to the unfamiliar surroundings. It’s their version of saying, “Hey, world, I’m here, and I’m ready to explore!”

Developing Nervous System: Your baby’s nervous system is still in its early stages of development, like a delicate work of art that is gradually taking shape. During this process, the communication between the brain and the muscles is still fine-tuning itself. As a result, those adorable leg shakes may occur as their nervous system learns to coordinate movements with precision and finesse. Think of it as their little dance academy, where they’re mastering their moves one shake at a time.

Natural Tremors: Just like us adults, babies can experience natural tremors, especially when they’re tired or exerting themselves. These tremors are typically harmless and temporary, similar to the wobbly legs we might experience after an intense workout. So, if you spot some leg shaking during particularly active moments, rest assured that it’s often nothing to worry about.

newborn leg shaking and tips to manage it
newborn leg shaking and tips to manage it

Normal Leg Shaking in Newborns

Many newborns experience leg shaking, which is usually considered a normal physiological response. These tremors are often attributed to the immaturity of the baby’s nervous system. One common reason for leg shaking is the Moro reflex, also known as the startle reflex. This reflex is triggered by sudden movements or loud noises, causing the baby to extend their arms and legs, resulting in leg shaking. Other normal causes of leg shaking include adjusting to the outside world and the immature coordination of muscle movements.

Abnormal Leg Shaking in Newborns

While most instances of leg shaking in newborns are normal, it’s important to be aware of signs that may indicate an underlying problem. If your baby’s leg shaking appears unusually intense, occurs frequently, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional. Abnormal leg shaking may be associated with conditions such as seizures, neurological disorders, or metabolic abnormalities. However, it’s important to remember that these cases are rare.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Knowing when to seek medical attention is crucial for the well-being of your newborn. If you notice any of the following red flags, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional: excessive or uncontrollable shaking, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, or abnormal muscle tone. Healthcare professionals can perform a thorough assessment and determine whether further investigation or treatment is necessary. Trust your instincts as a parent, and never hesitate to reach out for medical advice if you are concerned.

Tips for Managing Newborn Leg Shaking

While most cases of leg shaking are normal and resolve on their own, here are a few tips to help manage and soothe your baby:

  1. Offer reassurance: Remember that most newborn leg shaking is a normal part of development, and your baby will likely outgrow it.
  2. Swaddling: Wrapping your baby snugly in a blanket can provide comfort and help reduce leg shaking.
  3. Gentle movements and touch: Holding your baby close, gentle rocking, or providing skin-to-skin contact can help soothe tremors.
  4. Calm environment: Creating a quiet, soothing atmosphere can help minimize any overstimulation that may contribute to leg shaking.
  5. Consult a healthcare professional: If you’re ever in doubt or concerned about your baby’s leg shaking, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a healthcare professional


Newborn leg shaking can be a normal part of a baby’s early development, but it’s important to stay vigilant and recognize any signs that may indicate an underlying issue. By understanding what is considered normal and when to seek medical attention, parents can navigate this aspect of their newborn’s behavior with confidence. Remember, healthcare professionals are there to provide guidance and support, so never hesitate to reach out when in doubt. Enjoy the precious moments with your little one and embrace the beautiful journey of parenthood!

I would stay connected and keep you updated with parenting tips, pregnancy guides, creative ideas, easy crafts, and Free Printables. Subscribe to Colossalumbrella to get new ideas delivered to your inbox. Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Newborn Leg Shaking – 4 Natural Causes
Share on Social Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top