When you’re a new parent, you get an overwhelming rush every time your baby does something new. But when you catch your baby looking between their legs, you might wonder…is this normal?
Ah, there are so many great things you catch as a new mama. I miss those days. Now I soak up as much as possible when my youngest squeezes between us in bed. My girls’ milestones are now education-related, with them reading almost every book at the local library.
But I do remember these baby bend-over days, and it’s not as glib as you think, so breathe!
So what does it mean to catch a baby bending over and looking between their legs? Read on, and I’ll give you the lowdown.
Superstitions Revolving Around Baby Looking Between Legs
I can’t recall if there were any unusual superstitions about this in China, and I can’t find anything online. Still, some people fervently believe these superstitions about a baby looking between legs.
Here’s what I found:
- You might be getting another baby
- They’re looking for a sibling
My friend Cassandra swears by this. She said that her first son was about 14 months old when he started bending over and looking through his legs. He kept doing it. And I’m not sure about anybody else, but I can tell you what Cassandra said to me via email:
“Jaxson kept doing this bend over the baby thing. It was adorable because he’d look between his legs, see me, and smile and laugh. Then he started coming up to me and patting my belly and babbling. I didn’t think anything of it until I suddenly felt ill one morning and threw up. I took a pregnancy test and found out I was expecting again. This old wives’ tale was definitely true for me!”
One reason for this could be that babies are super-intuitive. If you’ve read my posts before, I’ve talked about it numerous times, especially when it comes to keeping your baby calm. They sense it when you’re anxious or nervous, so it’s not such a huge stretch to think they might be able to sense a new sibling on the way.
Now, if you already have an older child or two, your baby bending over and looking through their legs is very likely an act of exploration and looking for their sibling.
Why Else Would a Baby Bend Over?
When a baby is more or less standing on his head, you have to wonder what on earth is going on. The majority of the reasons are surely nothing to worry about. Especially if your child seems happy as they’re doing it. It’s really a normal part of development, which you should see emerging around 14 to 16 months on average.
So, why is this happening?
We can all take a cue from babies in their fascination with the world around them. To a baby, everything is new. When they realize the world is upside down just by looking between their legs, it’s a lot of fun.
They like that dizzy feeling
As someone who gets dizzy when I pull out the step ladder to put my giant casserole dish away, I can’t get behind things that make me dizzy. My dad always tells me I loved it when I was little. As an adult, not so much.
My eldest definitely fell from the same tree. She would love that dizzy feeling, and she STILL lays on her bed in such a way that she’s dangling upside down. I can’t watch when she does that, or I’m the one that gets queasy.
They’re imitating what they saw another baby do
My friend Andrea owns a daycare in Tennessee, and she once told me how one of the little boys there started bending over and looking between his legs. Then, the rest of the little dumplings all followed suit! She said it had to be one of the most adorable things ever. Babies imitate what they see, and it’s very endearing.
They want to see what’s behind them
By now, you’ve probably gleaned that babies are all about the drama. Why discreetly turn and look over your shoulder when you can go balls to the wall and look between your legs with a flourish? Exactly! Channel your inner baby and think about what they’re likely thinking. It’s very simple.
They’re getting in a stretch
Babies naturally tumble around and stretch. They like to explore and try new things. Remember, around 14 to 16 months; they will be more mobile and exploring all the more. It’s very natural for them to get into these yoga-like poses. Once they see they can look between their legs, it’s absolutely fascinating to them.
They love your attention
When you notice the baby bending over like that and comment, your baby will give a repeat performance. And since this is such a great milestone, you can cheer them on!
They find it soothing
Children are natural yogis. They easily engage in yoga poses without throwing out their little backs. Let them. If your baby seems happy and calm while doing this, allow them to enjoy it.
Is There a Time to Worry About Baby Bending Over?
I am going to go with not really on this one. In MOST instances, this is such a normal thing, a milestone you’ll hope to catch on camera to show them one day.
But as always, if you ever feel like something is wrong with your child or are in pain at any time as a parent, you should contact your doctor.
While it’s usually a benign thing to look between the legs, there are a few telling clues that will reveal if it’s beyond a simple milestone and cause for concern.
Among them, spine curvature could be a problem. This won’t necessarily cause them pain at the moment, but you will see when your baby bends over that the spine is straight in proper formation. But if it has a curve or bump that looks unusual, you should bring this concern to your doctor. It’s not urgent, but it is something that you’ll need to discuss with a medical professional.
Now, onto the urgent one.
Something could be wrong if your baby acts as though they are in pain as they bend over. Keep in mind that a baby at 14 to 16 months of age still cannot say something like, “Excuse me, Mother, but it seems my back is hurting again. Shall we go to the doctor then?”
Again, you’re the parent, and pediatricians are used to parents worrying. It is better to err on the side of caution and talk to the doctor about any concerns.
But in general, baby bending over is almost always a sign of that tender milestone where they learn more about life, gain depth perception, and find new ways to entertain themselves. When baby giggles and keeps bending over, you can be sure she’s having a grand old time and not the least bit hurt or anything.
Baby Standing on Head
Before I go, I’d like to tell you about my friend Janice whose son, Sonny, started bending over and looking between his legs. Janice called me, freaking out because he stood on his head. Then he fell over.
“Is he hurt?” I asked.
“No, he’s laughing at me!” she shrieked and then yelled to Sonny, “Stop that! You’re scaring me!”
I, too, began laughing because Sonny was discovering his acrobatic skills. If your baby stands on his head, as long as it’s on a soft surface with no dangerous objects around, it should be fine.
Here’s my suggestion:
You can try to discourage them all you want, but they’ll still do it. Try to make a safe space with padding and encourage your child that if they want to stand on their head or somersault, they should only do so in these safe play spaces. This keeps them safe while exploring their newfound skills and keeps them from having heart failure.
And honestly, half of what your kids do, either intentionally or unintentionally, will give you heart palpitations anyway. Just roll with it and do your best. One day, you WILL look back and laugh!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.