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11 Answers

My son is 5 months old and has been arching his back and pushing his feet against bassinet trying to push his face into the bedding and liner of it? Can some please help? Im so worried he’s trying to smother himself?


Posted by Denversmoma1231, 21st May 2020


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  • My daughter was very similar. She would do it a lot during the day which was just getting to know how her body worked and the start of moving around on her own. She would do it in the evening and at night as a build up to a burp or passing painful wind. It helped when we changed the way we fed her as the milk flow was too fast creating extra wind. Could also be a reflux thing since it happens at night. I know a friend of mine had a baby only do that sort of thing at night, he had silent reflux, if your concerned maternal health nurses can always give you some piece of mind even if it is nothing but him exploring his body movements


  • He’s not trying to smother himself. Most likely he’s just learning how his body works and what he can do with it.


  • It sounds like he might need to move into a cot. He may be crowded for space and simply be trying to stretch out more?


  • My nephew used to do that all the time for months and it was just stretching. And he worked out he could move around a bit as got a bit older.


  • Uncomfortable with wind or tummy ache? Ask gp or try probiotics drops


  • He doesn’t seem in pain or anything when he’s doing it. It just looks like he’s stretching really far back to look behind him but he thrust backwards and shakes his whole bassinet. And he does it from 1am to like 330 am. Sometimes during the day but mostly at night?


  • Is he crying when need doing it? If not he could be trying to move. My daughter would practice trying to crawl so she had to be moved out of her bassinet at about this age.


  • Could be wind he’s trying to get out. Try burping and having him sit up a little after feeds


  • My 3 all got reflux and would arch their backs. Like the others mentioned I would give a tummy rub in a clockwise direction starting from the belly button and following down to just above the pelvic bone. I would recommend you get a Dr or nurse to show you how but it can relieve discomfort. It could also be a developmental/ sensory thing as babies are learning they can react in different ways. Always if in doubt check with a medical professional.


  • I agree with what Ellen said. Try some clockwise tummy rubs around the belly button and some bicycle movements with the legs. If you are still concerned it’s best you speak with your MCHN.


  • There is a multiple of possible reasons why a baby arches it’s back. Most commonly a baby arches it’s back as a sign of discomfort or pain (for example reflux or cramps) but a baby can also arch it’s back when it becomes more aware f it’s body.


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