Recently I’ve noticed that when Little Man gets excited, he goes through a very specific set of behaviours. He will raise both arms up and out wide, lean in with wide eyes, and start shaking. This could happen over a new and exciting toy, a new experience such as when we first took him to the seaside and dipped his toes in the ocean, or even a new food. It’s such a rapid shaking, it’s almost like he’s vibrating with excitement. This got us a bit worried… Why does my baby shake so much when he gets excited?
Shaking when excited
We’ve all heard the phrase “shaking with excitement”, but I have to admit I assumed it was a metaphor until I had a baby. It’s almost as if he gets so excited that he just can’t contain himself! Now, I know that babies do lots of things that seem weird (like staring at lights, or crawling backwards) but are actually totally normal. So, is it normal for babies to shake with excitement?
Is it normal for babies to shake with excitement?
Yes! It’s very common. It’s to do with baby’s developing nervous system. Their nervous system sends too many electrical impulses to the muscles and they get all twitchy. It’s normal for babies to shake with excitement, when they see someone they know or a favourite toy.
Some babies may also display shuddering or shaking at seemingly random times. No-one really understands the cause of this infant shuddering, but it’s not harmful and usually goes away by the time they’re four years old.
If baby is otherwise healthy, developing well and meeting his or her milestones, then there’s probably nothing to worry about if he or she tends to shake with excitement. Life is just that exciting when everything’s new!
When to get worried about baby’s shaking movements
Of course, as parents it’s natural to worry. Shaking can be evidence of a seizure, but there are some specific seizure warning signs to look out for:
- If shaking continues for over 20 seconds
- If the shaking movement is accompanied by vomiting, unusual eye movements, or loss of consciousness
- If it’s associated with illness or injury, or if baby sleeps for a long time afterwards
If you notice any of these signs, you should seek medical help urgently.
Ultimately, you know your baby best, so even if you don’t spot any of the warning signs, if you think it’s time to call the doctor or NHS 111, then do it. It may help (if you think of it at the time) to take a video of the shaking behaviour that’s worrying you, to show your health professional.