When Can You Feel The Baby Move

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When you first find out you are pregnant it can feel unreal other than nausea, tiredness and other symptoms that go along with it. What makes it feel real are the first movements of your baby, when can you feel the baby move for the first time.

I found myself asking these same questions not that long ago after finding out we are having another baby. This is my third pregnancy and I couldn’t help but wonder when the movement will start and when I felt it in my last pregnancy.

I know you are wondering the same thing since you are reading this so let’s move on and get to what you really want to know.

I am going to cover when you feel the baby move, what flutters feel like along with the earliest fetal movement so keep reading.


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When can you feel the baby move for the first time

Every pregnancy is different and it can vary from mom to mom when it comes to feeling babies movement.

For moms that have been pregnant before it can happen just into your second trimester and for others, it usually occurs between 18 to 20 according to healthline.com.

Some first-time moms don’t feel any fluttering until they are 24 weeks. It all depends on your body and how intune you are with it.

In this pregnancy, I started feeling the baby move around 18 weeks, before that it was hard to tell if it was gas or flutters.

One of the best ways to tell if you are feeling movement is during those calm times of the day when you are laying down or sitting quietly. You may start to feel something like bubbles or digestion and that could actually be your baby moving.

If you start to notice it more often than it most likely is your baby moving around.

Babies first movement during pregnancy

Earliest fetal movement

The earliest most moms feel their baby move is around 16 weeks and some moms I talked to have had it happen around 14.


It is hard to pinpoint when you will feel your baby move because it varies from mom to mom.


The placement of the placenta has a lot to do with when you will feel your baby moving.



If you have an anterior placenta (sitting on the front part of your belly) it will be harder for you to notice movement because it tends to muffle it.

What do baby flutters feel like

The technical term for fetal movement is called quickening which came about before the time of ultrasounds.

The term quick meaning alive (which makes sense why they call it that) and was the first indication of life in the womb.

When you start to feel movement you can expect it to feel like bubbles or twitching. It can be mistaken for digestion movement which is why some moms don’t notice it until later.

If you lay very still and focus on your abdomen you will start to notice a different feeling, you may notice gurgling or swishing going on.

Some moms describe it as a fluttering kind of like a butterflies wings or swimming feeling like a fish.

As your baby grows the movement becomes more noticeable and a lot stronger especially into your second trimester.

When I first started feeling my baby kick it was like a gurgling feeling almost like digestion but with some twitches.

At times it would feel like fluttering of wings or little bumps and thumps, you can’t ignore it when it keeps happening here and there. It is undeniably the baby moving around!




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When to start counting baby kicks

Usually around week 25 and beyond it is a good idea to keep track of how much your baby moves.


It doesn’t matter as much before that because you don’t notice every movement due to your babies size.


Lay down in a quiet place and get comfortable, pick a time when your baby is usually active and count the movement that happens for the next two hours.


Your doctor will tell you that your baby should move at least ten times in two hours if not more.


If you don’t feel any movement try drinking orange juice or eating some kind of sugary snack to try and perk your baby up.


Your baby should have at least one to two active periods in 24 hours and as they get bigger 28 weeks they should have at least three and move ten times or more in an hour.


If you don’t feel a lot of movement or have these active times you should call your doctor just to be safe.


They will have you come in and hook you up to a fetal monitor to keep track of his movements and make sure everything is okay.


final thoughts on when you will feel the baby move

Don’t be frustrated if you haven’t felt your baby move yet, wait a few weeks and you will.

It can be hard to wait for those first signs of life in the beginning especially when you don’t feel or look pregnant.

Here are the most common times to feel baby movement:

  • After you eat- your sugar will increase and baby gets energy from the surge in glucose
  • When you are laying in bed for the night- when you are relaxed it is easier to notice fetal movement
  • If you feel anxious or nervous- the adrenaline kicks in and your baby starts responding to it.

It’s normal in your first pregnancy to not feel your baby moving until you are 20 weeks or more. 

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you are having movement and think it is something else. Be patient and look for signs during the most common times listed above.



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