Baby Throwing Legs Up And Down In Sleep – (3 Solution)

When your baby throwing legs up and down in sleep – there can be 4 reasons. First, she/he may be trying to fart. Next, your baby may be dreaming something. And finally 2 medical disorders PLMD and Intussusception can be the reason for this problem.


I know you are curious and want to learn more about it. Don’t worry. This article contains the reasons with proper explanations and solutions. So, let’s move on to the in-depth guide to helping your kid

Why Do Babies Throw Legs Up and Down in sleep?

In this segment, I’ll broadly explain the reasons for this behavior. So, let’s dig deep into the reason.

1. To Pass the Gas/Fart

Babies pass gas almost all day long and even while they are sleeping. But you may wonder what’s the relation between farting and leg kicking while sleeping.

Changing position helps babies to fart more comfortably. For example, very often you will find your kid pulling her legs toward the chest. It helps to pass the gas more easily.


The full meaning of PLMD is Pediatric Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.

It is a neurological disorder that impacts a baby’s spine, brain, and connecting nerves. Due to this illness, the baby’s ability to lie still gets affected. Then every 20-40 seconds a typical movement occurs with their legs. So, it hampers the quality of sleep. 

Note: PLMD can affect people of any age or gender. And it was previously known as nocturnal myoclonus or sleep myoclonus.

Now let’s figure out the causes and PLMD baby symptoms.

Symptoms of PLMD

  • Typical leg movement every 20-40 seconds such as kicking, flexing foot, jerky leg, etc.
  • Behavioral issues such as anger, depression, poor concentration, hyperactivity, etc.
  • Daytime sleeping.
  • Restless sleep.
  • Turning and tossing in bed


The legit cause for this problem is unknown. However, according to some physicians, problems with nerve conduction or low iron level can be the cause of this problem.

3. Intussusception

Another serious medical condition is Intussusception which is another reason for this throwing legs up and down problem. It generally occurs when the intestine part pulls into itself for example like a telescope. This problem occurs among children younger than 3 years old.

Just like the previous one, the causes of this illness are still unknown. But it generally causes pain and when it becomes unbearable babies start to cry and wince. 

However, you can detect the disorder by following some signs. Let’s learn a bit about them

Symptoms of Intussusception

  • Vomiting
  • Crying all on a sudden
  • lifting legs up and grunting (Lifting toward the chest)
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Limp ins abdomen
  • Lethargy

4. Dreaming

The final reason for this problem can be very normal – your baby is dreaming something. And it must be an unpleasant dream. Now he/she might not be able to control and that’s why they throw their legs up and down during sleeping. 

How to Stop My Baby from Slamming Legs in sleep?

So far you are now aware of the reasons for throwing legs. So, it’s time for the solutions. No worries, this segment is all about the solutions for leg kicking while sleeping. So, let’s get into it.

Help to Pass the Gas

To your kid in passing gas rud your sweet one’s tummy in a clockwise direction. Another thing you can try by laying them face-down across the knee and moving your leg gently to message their tummy. 

Use a Thin Blanket

Another easy way to stop their kicking is by putting a thin blanket across your baby’s leg. Putting the blanket on her leg will add some load to her leg. She might try to kick but the load will prevent it.

However, make sure you don’t make it heavy for her.

Use a Baby Sleeping Bag

Using a baby sleeping bag is the easiest way to get rid of this problem. A sleeping bag ensures both comfort and warmth as well as requires no additional bedding. Here the plus point to preventing this leg-throwing problem is there is a limited space for your baby to throw his legs and hand. 

However, make sure your baby is not facing discomfort inside the sleeping bag.

If you are up for a quality sleeping bag, I would recommend this Baby Sleeping from Baby Deedee. This one will fit both newborns and infants (6-18 months).

Is It a Regular Thing?

I’ve explained 4 reasons for this. Gas passing and dreaming are very common reasons for this issue. You don’t have to get worried if those are the reasons. 

But if it is happening due to the other 2 medical disorders then you have to be serious and cautious about the problem.

When Should You Call the Doctor?

Sometimes the problem can be dangerous for your kid. In that case, you should call a doctor ASAP. Here I am showing some cases when you shouldn’t wait thinking it is a natural behavior.

  • If your baby keeps crying every few minutes and it gets louder and longer.
  • If you find other symptoms like vomiting, fever, or mucus-like/bloody stool.

Final Verdict

Your baby throwing legs up and down in sleep is no more a mystery for you now. In this article, I’ve covered everything related to this topic. 

Most of the time this is a very natural behavior. So, I’ll be saying not to get worried. If you’re thinking about it seriously, match the symptoms of the added medical disorder with your baby’s regular activity.

That’s all for today. Happy Parenting!

About Sujana Vij

Hi, this is Sujana. I am an independent strong woman. My noteworthy identity is I am a mother of two children and also a baby site blogger. Besides, the part of my job I love to help parents by giving them useful and practical suggestions that I gained through many difficulties. Normally, we use many products or items for our baby. As a mother, I know how difficult to choose the best product for your baby. In addition, if you are a rookie parent then it's much more difficult. You might need to talk to real parents. That's why I share my experience and feelings upon the best baby products and parenting tips