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My 2 months old baby is extremely agitated and not sleeping. Why?

My 2 months old baby is extremely agitated and not sleeping. Why?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At June 23, 2018
Reviewed AtJanuary 19, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My son is 2 months old. He is a normal healthy baby. I did not have any trouble with him so far. Sometimes, he will grunt and raise his knees to his chest when he has gas but has always been able to get a normal amount of sleep. Today, though he has been very agitated and alert, the whole day he has been kicking with his legs and flailing his hands like crazy. Extremely agitated I would say. He was hungry and ate a reasonable amount (he is bottle-fed), but the rest of the time he keeps squirming and kicking. He did not get almost any sleep for 12 hours so far. He falls asleep and wakes up every 5 minutes, with startling reflex, throws hands in the air and then starts to squirm and kick. Then cries and weeps and this keeps going. Sometimes, he just stares super alert and kicks his legs and arms for a long time. This is not a usual behavior. He occasionally has been like that, but not as much as today, and it never stopped him from sleeping. His temperature is normal (rectal 99.1 degrees Fahrenheit). His food intake normal. There is no vomiting or diarrhea or constipation. He never had colic. He usually sleeps 12 to 14 hours per day (7 to 9 hours per night). I am not sure about his problem. Can you help me? Does this sound serious? Should I go to an ER or is it likely something I can wait?


Welcome to icliniq.com.

From your explanation, a few things are evident. This is probably your first child.

1. We are talking about a normal well-growing child with a weight of 13 lbs at the age of 2 months, which is very good.

2. The behavior that you are explaining is known as startling reflex. It is normal. In this phenomenon, the child suddenly might wake up from sleep in a startled state.

3. It is normal for a baby to cry or be agitated either before or after passing urine, stool or gas, which may be the case in your child.

4. The sleep cycle takes six months to become normal in children. So, we cannot comment on the reduced sleep behavior.

5. We cannot call this behavior as a convulsion as the child is alert. However, I need to see the baby during this activity to say that this is a convulsion. I doubt this is a convulsion though.

6. Warning signs in children are lethargy, refusal to feed, convulsions, abdominal distension with vomiting and non-passage of stools. Please be watchful for these signs.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim
Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim


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