Why do babies stretch? For 3 reasons
1. It helps them get everything moving and working properly in the first few days and week after they are born.
2. It helps them overcome something, for example wind is trapped or they are pushing out a poo.
3. It feels good, just like in an adult stretching out after you've been sitting too long feels good (unless of course you've been sitting for too long then it can feel bad cos you are too tight and stiff, but usually it is still helping!) Babies sleep for long periods so stretching is a natural remedy to open up the joints and muscles
So baby stretching is completely normal, but it can worry parents especially if your baby starts to arch or pull their legs up to their chest. This is still baby stretching in a good way as they are trying to relieve pain or push out gas or a poo, but if it goes on for too long then both baby and you can get very distressed.
So the type of baby stretching and how long it goes on can be a good clue to how baby is doing, and if baby is distressed and crying and this continues or is frequent then they may have baby colic or reflux.
That's where you helping them stretch can be extremely useful, remember the baby stretch is their way of trying to overcome the problems so if you can help them stretch out then it can often really help them ease out their pain and discomfort.
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