Infant Shudders

Hello Everyone,

Last night I posted on Instagram that Emma was going to be seen by a neurologist today to be evaluated for the sudden movements and shaking she has been doing lately. I wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of you who reached out to me with prayers, love, words of encouragement , and your own stories. Having you all there for me and Emma is more then I could ever ask and it fills my heart with love, from the bottom of my heart thank you all! I am so thankful to have so many amazing and wonderful people in my life!

I am not a doctor and if your child is experiencing anything you worry about please take them to see a doctor for their own diagnosis and advice. I wanted to write about my experience with Emma and infant shudders in case anyone else is experiencing this.
Emma has been having several episodes a day of stiffening the arms, clutching her fists, and a shiver-like shake. The more I saw them the more worried I became about seizures and infant spasms (I am going to include the 4 videos we brought in to her doctors at the end of this post).

At the appointment our doctor watched Emma and asked questions regarding her development:

Is she speaking: Yes, she says dada

Does she know her name: Yes most of the time she responds to Emma but sometimes we are ignored (LOL)

Does she pick things up without difficulty: Yes

Does she use her pointer finger and thumb to pick up small things: Yes like when she picks up her cereal

Does she smile and react to play: Yes, Emma loves to smile and laugh at us

The doctor asked us about our family history and all the difficulties with my pregnancy. She looked at Emma’s growth, weight, height, and head circumference. Since Emma was born prematurely she asked about any problems right after birth. Then we got into questions regarding her “episodes”

Does she have any episodes while sleeping: No

Do they happen several times at once or are they typically one at a time: Almost all are one at a time we have only witnessed two or three episodes followed by another one.

Do these episodes seem provoked: Yes, most of the time they seem to be a reaction to our dog, a toy, a movie, or food (excitement) They also come when she is angry or crying (frustrated)

Do these seem more frequent when waking up or falling asleep: No

After we spoke about all these things our doctor stated that there is nothing to worry about. She went on to explain that some babies experience shudders. They are non harmful episodes that typically disappear as the baby matures into a toddler and child. She stated that some kids will experience this into childhood but the important thing is that it is not doing any harm to her. She stated that she does not see any reason for further evaluation or testing. There is no recommended treatment and Emma will be fine.

I asked her if there is anything we should watch for that would mean things have changed and she needs to be reevaluated. Our doctor stated that we should call them back if the episodes become serial, meaning that the episodes begin happening one after another in clusters. She also told us to call her back if these episodes begin happening while she is sleeping or start to happen frequently when she is waking up or going to sleep.

Like I mentioned if your child is having any health problems see a doctor but I wanted to share our experience and create a place for moms experiencing this can talk. It is a scary thing when you think something could be wrong with your child so please seek help but reach out to others for support so you do not feel alone. I am always here to talk.

Love you all,

Michelle & Emma


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2 responses to “Infant Shudders”

  1. Hello. I’m trying to figure out if my son is also experiencing shudder spells.
    When you mention: “She also told us to call her back if these episodes begin happening while she is sleeping or start to happen frequently when she is waking up or going to sleep.” — do you know why this is something that would require follow up? I ask because my son mainly has his spells as he is feeding and falling asleep.

    • Hi I am so sorry for the late reply. For some reason I wasn’t notified of your message so I apologize. I believe they would have done an EEG if she started having episodes while sleeping or while falling asleep and waking up. I am not a doctor so I am not absolutely sure if there could be other reasons but I would recommend trying to get the episodes on video and to have a neurologist look at them, they can tell a lot from a video.

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