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

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

Answered by
Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 23, 2018 and last reviewed on: Aug 16, 2023

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

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.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
My daughter has deteriorated coordination after cerebral malaria. Please help.

I have been taking her for therapy but still cannot see any change ... I advise you to take physiotherapy treatment in the form of exercises in various ways like on physioball, and with toys training related to strengthen mus   Read full

Is continuous twitching worrisome?

I have been paranoid and freaking out for the past two months over life threatening neurological diseases like ALS ...   Read full

Why has the infant not defecated for a few days?

It is absolutely normal for an infant to pass stool once in a week or 20 times a day in whatever consistency ... As long as the baby is active, is feeding well and is passing adequate urine there   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Paediatrician Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.