There really wasn’t anything wrong. As far as I can tell, she simply has a LOT of energy in her body. Her father is the same way. Londo is full of energy and has always been a fidgeter. And me? I can’t sit in one position for a long period of time. I don’t really fidget so much as I shift positions periodically, and I don’t think I ever simply sit normal, facing forward with both feet on the ground when I’m in a chair. In fact, sitting normal sounds like torture to me.
But three years ago, when the Pumpkin was a few months old and through her babyhood, I didn’t know why she was fidgeting so much. When I would nurse her, when we’d be rocking her to sleep, when we would try to hold her calmly, when we’d be lying in bed with her to get her to sleep, she would flail her arms and legs, move her hands and fingers relentlessly, twist and twirl my hair, move constantly, constantly. Sometimes the movements were more flailing than fidgeting. Sometimes it was little but intense movements like twisting her fingers in my hair.
I wondered why and if it was normal. I googled, but found no real information that helped me, and no one else wrote about their baby fidgeting at the time. I asked the doctor, and pretty much came to the conclusion that some babies just fidget. The way that some kids, teenagers, adults, people just fidget.
Yet over the years, I’ve wondered. I’ve wondered about other people with fidgety babies, because thanks to the many, many hits to my site from search engines on the internet, I know that there have been a lot of other people searching about fidgety babies, just as I once did. And I think of all those other people and their fidgety babies, and I wonder if those babies are/were like my girl in other ways. I wonder if those kids continued fidgeting through toddlerhood, like my girl did. Did those kids have so so SO much trouble calming their bodies down to go to sleep or even just sit still, like my girl did/does? I wonder if those kids were later on the curve for developing self-soothing skills. I wonder if those kids were earlier on the curve for developing motor skills, gross and fine. I wonder if those other kids are as energetic and highly active as my pre-schooler.
There are some comments on my posts about my fidgety baby in which people have said that perhaps my child didn’t fidget they way theirs did, that it didn’t sound as severe or as constant or, I don’t know, as MUCH as their did. I believe she probably did, although I haven't seen these other peoples kids so I can't compare for sure. I totally understand the sentiment, the questioning. Like it says the Raising Your Spirited Child book that I often mention: sure most kids are energetic or all 2 or 3 year olds are
My boy, who is now 14 months old, also fidgets some. An average amount. An expected amount, I would even say. I might have once thought, “Gee, this baby sure can be fidgety.” But I would have just been slightly irritated during the worst of the fidgets, and moved on in my thinking. After having a truly Fidgety Baby, I know that his fidgeting is nothing. All babies fidget. But some fidget more. And some babies fidget WAY MORE!
So I wonder about those other kids, those other fidgety babies. Did they learn to crawl early, walk early, climb early? At age 18 months, did their parents move them into a big kid bed to try and make the bedtimes and nights easier? As 1 year olds, did they spent hours in and out of their beds, walking circles around their parents, as their parents fell asleep in their beds, as they kept walking, walking, climbing, climbing? At age 2, did their physical skills match those a year older than them, except the skills needed to sit still for any length of time? As a 2 year old, did they simply stop napping and have trouble even resting at nap time? At age 3, did they need excuses to get out of their chairs at meal times because they simply could not sit still for the whole meal? Are those children also spirited or simply high-energy kids?
Because my fidgety baby did all those things. My little, fidgety girl has great physical skills, and more energy than I thought possible in a human! My girl keeps moving and figuring out how to do things with her body that many kids a year or even two years older than her cannot do. At 4 or 5 months, she was crawling. At 10 or 11 months, she was walking. At 1 year, she was throwing and catching balls relatively accurately. At 18 months, she was sleeping (when we’d finally get her to sleep) in a big girl bed and coming into our room by herself when she’d wake up in the middle of the night, turning the knobs to the doors with ease and climbing into our bed with no problems. At 2 years, she was running and dribbling a soccer ball while she ran. At 3 years, she is already hitting balls off the t-ball set.
I think that all that fidgety energy drives her to do things with her body. She needs to channel that energy and activeness, and it’s up to us as her parents to find ways for her to do that. It’s also up to us to help her learn to calm her body down and to listen, through all the impulses, to the signals that her body is giving her. It’s not easy, for her or us. But the skills we help her learn to handle all her energy and impulses and plain fidgetiness will be so important for her to channel that drive into accomplishments as an older kid, a teen and an adult.
I don’t know if my daughter is a typical example of a child who was a Fidgety Baby. I don’t have any clue how other Fidgety Babies have developed. I wish I did, because I love to learn about development patterns in general, and I love to hear about other kids who might be similar in certain ways to my girl. But what I do know is how my daughter as developed and how amazing she is in so many ways.
My daughter went from being a Fidgety Baby to being a Highly-Active Toddler to being a High-Energy Pre-Schooler. And from here, we’ll see what kind of school kid, pre-teen, teenager and adult she will be. I have a feeling it will continue to be really fun to watch her grow!