Is it normal for baby to flap arms at 8 months old?

Is baby flapping arms at 8 months old normal?

Babies are a bundle of joy to every family. As your baby develops and becomes more aware of their environment, they will start to exhibit behaviors and body language you may not quickly understand, like baby flapping arms at 8 months old. Others open and close their hands and move their feet around in circles. If you are worried about these movements, you can discuss them with your pediatrician. However, they are natural and should not give you any cause for concern at this early stage. These are simple ways your baby communicates their emotions with you or their caregiver when they are excited, hungry, sad, etc.

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Arm flapping in babies – what does it mean? 

1. Excitement

Your baby flapping arms at 8 months old means they are beginning to show different emotions, such as excitement. Your baby can flap their arms when they are excited about something. It is a way to express themselves, considering they cannot speak out. That is not limited to only when they are happy; they also do it when they are sad, angry, or need something. 

2. Early reflexes

Your newborn may have some reflex actions that may be involuntary. After some months of development, they may make a loud noise, flap their hands and move their legs upward, downward, sideways, etc. 

3. Colic

Colic is a condition that affects some newborns when they are a few months old. This condition may make them cry for hours a day. When your baby is experiencing colic, the flapping of hands may likely go with the crying. Other colic symptoms are clenching the fist, arching the back, being irritated when held, and wriggling the fingers.

4. Autism

In rare cases, baby flapping arms at 8 months old may be a sign of autism. Before you, however, conclude on this, you should consult your pediatrician to confirm whether that is the case.

Is it normal when a baby flaps their arms when tired?

Yes, it is normal for your baby to flap their arms when tired. Arm flapping is a sign that your baby is overwhelmed by some emotions or is anxious about something they want you to do for them. Besides showing that they are excited and want you to play with them, your baby will flap their arms to show you that they are tired and want you to soothe them. They want you to pick them up and rock them to sleep. If you delay doing so, they may cry or become fuzzy. 

Is it normal when a baby flaps their arms when trying to sleep? 

Yes, it is normal for a baby to flap their arms while trying to sleep. Some babies become restless when they want to sleep. This sign may be accompanied by crying. As your baby develops, they seek ways of showing you what they feel and want. Flapping their arms is a significant sign language for babies to say they are sleepy and want to hit their crib right away. So you do not have to worry when your baby flaps their arms when they want to sleep as it is perfectly normal. Babies show other signs when trying to fall asleep such as yawning, fluttering eyelids, or difficulty in focusing.


Baby flapping arms at 8 months old is nothing really to worry about. It does not mean that your baby has any medical condition. It is instead a sign that your baby is happy and healthy. They may also be trying to communicate their needs to you. However, when this affects your baby’s developmental skills and behavior, please consult your pediatrician for a proper diagnosis.

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