Tremor in newborns


Involuntary muscle contractions are common in newborn babies quite often. Tremor can be both physiological and pathological. To understand the nuances of this state in crumbs will help this article.

What it is?

Multiple contractions of different muscle groups in newborns are involuntarily called a tremor. This condition is found in children's practice almost every day. When tremor appears, it is very important to distinguish between what time it occurs and whether it is pathological.

Tremor can be seen independently. The baby begins to shake some parts of the body. In some cases, there may be several hundred small oscillations in one minute. Their amplitude is usually small. Sweeping tremor occurs only in pathological neurological conditions. As a rule, in newborn babies, it is often the tremor that occurs with a small amplitude of vibrations that occur.

The most frequent manifestation of this state - trembling hands and feet, chin and parts of the face. Head tremor is less common, however, is considered one of the most important symptoms of ill-being in the neurological status of infants. After a year, tremor is becoming less common. The appearance of this condition at an older age indicates the presence of functional disorders, often caused by pathologies in the nervous system.

Many scientists have tried to find the answer to the question of what changes in the children's body occur during tremor. It turned out that the immaturity of the nerve centers affects the appearance of involuntary contractions. This is especially pronounced in premature babies. Babies born earlier than the established deadline are subject to the appearance of various types of tremor much more often than babies who were born on terms. Imperfect functioning of the nervous system leads to the fact that in babies of the first months of life various multiple muscle contractions easily appear.

Some scientists believe that the appearance of tremor occurs with an increase in the concentration of noradrenaline in the children's body. This hormone, synthesized by the adrenal cortex, is responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses. Increasing its concentration in the blood contributes to more rapid excitation and active muscle contractions.

The reasons

The development of various clinical forms of tremor leads to the impact of various causes. As a rule, they operate even during intrauterine development. This explains the appearance of tremor in babies in the first months after birth. This condition can even develop in a completely healthy child. Any appearance of tremor in a newborn baby is an occasion for consultation with a pediatrician.

The appearance of the child involuntary contractions of the body results from the following causal factors:

  • Imperfect work of the nervous system. Most neurological disorders occur in babies who were born before the prescribed period. In this case, organogenesis is disturbed - the process of organ formation. The shortening of the period of intrauterine development leads to the fact that the organs of the nervous system simply do not have time to form properly. After birth, this is manifested by the appearance of tremor in the baby, which often affects the limbs or certain parts of the face and head.
  • Dysfunction of the endocrine glands. Impaired work of the adrenal glands leads to increased levels of norepinephrine. This condition provokes the appearance in the child of involuntary muscle contractions of various amplitudes. Most often, such situations occur in premature babies or with congenital diseases of the endocrine glands. Tremor can be manifested by twitching of the lower jaw, tongue, lower lip, hands, and other parts of the body.
  • Physiological causes. Body tremor can occur in babies and is normal. During sleep or after waking, a newborn baby may feel involuntary muscle contractions. This is a completely normal situation that does not require medical intervention. It is connected with the functional feature of the nervous system. As the child grows up, the central nervous system organs normalize their work, and the tremor will completely disappear.
  • Oxygen hypoxia (fasting of tissues) during fetal development. Various abnormalities of pregnancy, pathological presentation of the fetus, chronic diseases of the mother — all of these pathologies cause disturbances in the supply of oxygen to the child’s body through the bloodstream. Reducing the concentration of this vital substance contributes to the development of tissue hypoxia. Prolonged oxygen starvation significantly disrupts organogenesis and the formation of nervous tissue.
  • Increased muscle tone. This condition occurs in newborn babies quite often. Disorders in the coordination of movements in young children may also be associated with hypertonia. After some time, it disappears completely, and the tremor passes. Hypertension usually occurs in babies during the first months of life.
  • Birth injuries. The fetal cord entanglement, long standing in the pelvic cavity during passage through the birth canal, weakened labor activity - all these pathological conditions contribute to severe hypoxia of the brain and nerve cells, which leads to the appearance in the baby of involuntary contractions of individual muscle groups.
  • Emotional mood of a pregnant woman. European scientists conducted a series of experiments that indicate that the mood of the expectant mother greatly influences the intrauterine development of the fetus. The more a pregnant woman is nervous and stressed, the more likely she is to give birth to a baby who has problems with involuntary muscle contraction.


Tremor can be physiological and pathological. A benign or physiological variant occurs in completely healthy newborn babies. It can occur at any time of the day after exposure to a number of reasons. So, to the emergence of involuntary trembling of the lower jaw, face and upper half of the body leads to a strong sad cry.

When a newborn baby cries, you will notice that some parts of his body begin to contract actively. Such a physiological response to emotional or physical pain is a manifestation of the norm.

Also, some babies have tremor during sleep. Such a phenomenon occurs, as a rule, in the fast phase. It is at this time that the child dreams. The activity of the brain in this phase of sleep is maximum, which causes the appearance of dreams in the head. Active events occurring in a dream manifest in babies in the form of various clinical variants of tremor. This condition is also a variant of the norm and does not require special treatment.

Pathological variants occur when a child has various diseases. Especially often to the development of tremor in babies lead to diseases of the nervous system, including diseases of the brain. In newborn babies, such conditions are mostly congenital.

To eliminate the adverse symptoms in this case, the treatment of the underlying disease is required, which contributes to the appearance of involuntary muscle contractions.

In some cases, severe pathologies of the endocrine system lead to the appearance of tremor in the smallest patients. It should be noted that the prevalence of these diseases is very small. They occur equally often in both boys and girls. These violations manifest themselves not only with tremor, but also with many other systemic disorders. Identify these diseases can be when referring to the children's endocrinologist.

Strong fright may also cause the child to involuntary contractions. The baby in the first months of its life has a still weak nervous system, therefore it reacts to all external stimuli rather sharply. Exposure to even a small factor can lead to involuntary muscle contractions in a child. A child aged 4-5 months reacts to external stimuli less rapidly.


With normal physiological tremor no negative long-term effects occur. All involuntary muscle contractions disappear on their own by the age of 3-4 months. To eliminate tremor in this case does not require the use of drugs. It passes on its own as the nervous system “grows up”.

Some one-year-old children have small signs of tremor. Usually such residual symptoms remain in premature babies or children with congenital defects of the development and functioning of the nervous system. In this case, a specialist consultation is required.

The doctor will conduct a clinical examination of the child and determine further tactics for the management of a baby with neurological symptoms.

Who to contact?

When tremor appears in a baby, be sure to show the child to a pediatric neurologist. This consultation is necessary for all children with involuntary muscle contractions. A neurologist assesses the child’s condition and reveals signs of pathological conditions. In some cases, additional diagnostic methods may be required. They are used mainly to establish signs of organic pathologies of the brain and nervous system.

If the baby tremor is physiological, the doctor will give parents all the necessary recommendations that will help prevent the transition of this state to the pathological form. Usually these tips are pretty simple. Almost all the recommendations can be done at home. If the child has signs of endocrine pathology, it must be shown to the pediatric endocrinologist as well. Additional testing in some cases is necessary to establish the correct diagnosis.

Observe babies with physiological tremor, mainly district pediatricians. During regular visits, these specialists assess the health status of newborn babies, as well as review the dynamics of their individual development.

When any, even a slight deterioration in health status, district pediatricians refer these children for consultation to a pediatric neurologist for correction of management tactics.

Medicines for treatment

Physiological options for tremor do not require treatment. For optimal development of nervous higher activity, doctors recommend:

  • Maintain breastfeeding for as long as possible. Mother's milk is a unique biological product, containing in its composition all the components necessary for the growth and development of the baby. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are contained in it in an ideal ratio. Prolonged breastfeeding has a positive effect on the development of nervous tissue, and also improves cell differentiation.Babies who get mother's milk fall asleep well and develop quite intensively.
  • Observe the mode of the day. Breast feeding should be carried out on request. At night, the baby must sleep. Good rest is very important for its growth and development. From the very first days of a child's life, one should build the correct daily routine.
  • Monitor the duration of the rest. Night sleep should begin at about the same time. To perform this task in a newborn baby is quite difficult. However, daily compliance with this rule will help to significantly improve the functioning and development of the nervous system. Happy newborn baby should also rest.
  • Massage. With physiological tremor, it can be performed independently at home. Doctors recommend a massage at a time when the child is as relaxed as possible. All movements performed during the procedure should be as smooth as possible, with a small amplitude. Massages can be performed daily. Try to make this procedure bring the child pleasure and comfort.
  • Walks in the open air. For the active development of the nervous system, it requires a sufficient amount of oxygen. Doctors recommend daily walks with newborn babies. For such festivities should choose the best clothes for the weather. It is not worth strongly to overheat or wrap the baby, as this will only contribute to the violation of thermoregulation.
  • Positive attitude. Many parents make the mistake of believing that a newborn baby does not respond to their behavior. From the very first days of life, a child well defines all the emotions that are directed towards him. If the parents are in a too upset or depressed mood, then the baby will recognize this very well. For active growth of the child and proper psycho-emotional development, positive emotions and the manifestation of parental care and love are very important.
  • In some cases, the elimination of adverse symptoms of tremor requires the appointment of special drugs. They are mainly used when the child has any neurological disorders. Prescribes these medications to a pediatric neurologist after conducting a clinical examination of the baby. Appointment of drugs is usually carried out on the course.

Medicinal products are usually prescribed for the following pathologies that may cause tremor in newborns:

  • infectious sepsis;
  • organic encephalopathy of various origins;
  • hyperkalemia;
  • hyperglycemia;
  • intracranial hypertension;
  • hypocalcemia;
  • hemorrhage into the brain tissue.

To improve the nervous activity in children can be used: «Glycine», «Cinnarizine» and other drugs. Dosage, duration of course application and frequency of use are determined by the attending physician. To improve the functioning of the nervous system, drug therapy is usually combined with various non-drug methods. One of them is a medical massage. He is conducted by a specialist with the skills to work with the youngest patients.

The best place for a massage is the house. In the conditions that are familiar to him, the baby feels more relaxed and balanced. Massage in this case has a greater effect, since during the procedure the child is completely relaxed. Having a mom nearby also has a positive effect on the result. Massage is carried out, as a rule, on the changing table.

During the procedure, the children's masseuse speaks with the child, which also has a positive effect on the baby’s nervous system. The duration of the procedure may be different. It depends on the initial state of the child, his age, and the presence of concomitant neurological disorders. Usually procedures are conducted by courses. One treatment cycle usually consists of 12-15 sessions.

Each procedure necessarily ends with stroking. It helps relieve muscle tension and improves the mood of the child. Properly chosen massage techniques lead to an improvement in nervous activity, and also have a positive effect on muscle tone. The procedure is usually carried out with the use of special children's cosmetics, which does not contain in its composition any aggressive chemical components and fragrances.

When choosing a specialist who will massage your child, try to draw attention to his level of education and experience with newborn children.

Another technique that allows you to relieve muscle tension and eliminate involuntary muscle contractions is gymnastics. The most pronounced results have procedures held in the water. Usually newborn babies perceive such activities with great interest and willingly do them. At home, water gymnastics can also be carried out; however, it is better to do this under the supervision of a specialist.

For easily excitable kids fit a variety of baths. It is better to spend them in the evening, before the child goes to bed. Adding broths of various medicines to the hygienic bath will not only have a calming effect on the nervous system, but will also have a tonic effect. For this purpose, suitable: chamomile, lemon balm, lavender, sedative fees.

When choosing plants, parents should be as careful as possible. In some babies with individual sensitivity to different herbs, an allergic reaction may appear on the skin.

In this case, the use of this medicinal plant should be canceled and replaced with another. Before this, you should always consult with a pediatrician.

For optimal development of the nervous system is very important psycho-emotional attitude in the family. If parents treat with due love and care to their newly born crumbs, the chance of acquired neurological abnormalities is significantly reduced. Proper mental development of the baby in the first months of life is impossible without regular positive emotions.

High-quality care for the newborn can reduce the risk of developing dangerous neurological pathologies in the future.

About what treatment for this type of disorders recommends Dr. KomarovskySee the next video.


The development of tremor in newborns results in a variety of causes. Many of them are beginning to act on the children's body in the period of prenatal development.

To prevent congenital neurological disorders, which are often the causes of tremor in newborn babies, it is very important to follow all the recommendations of doctors even at the stage of pregnancy.

A pregnant woman must eat right, walk in the open air and avoid stress.

All arising exacerbations of chronic diseases or infectious pathologies must be treated. During fetal development, the fetus is connected to the mother by a single circulatory system. Any infections pass well through the placenta and reach the child’s body. Intrauterine infection often causes neurological abnormalities in the baby in the future. Prevention of infectious diseases during pregnancy helps to prevent the development of tremor and neurological problems after the birth of a baby.

Information provided for reference purposes. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, consult a doctor.