Track your pregnancy week-by-week

4 steps to counting baby kick counts

“It takes a village to raise a child!” Join our Facebook 2020/2021 Pregnant Mummies Support Group!

The first time you feel your baby move is such an exciting time. The first movements of your baby, called quickening, should happen sometime between week 16 to week 24, with the average between week 18 to week 22.

However, this will depend on your baby and some mothers will feel it earlier, and some later.

When should you start counting kick counts?

For the first two trimesters, which is earlier than 28 weeks, the baby wouldn’t have a predictable pattern that you can monitor.

However once you arrive at 28 weeks (start of the 3rd trimester) pregnant, the baby’s kicks will be stronger and more predictable and you can start to count your baby’s kicks.

Why is it important to count your baby’s kicks?

Counting your baby’s kicks is a good way to monitor your baby. When you count your baby’s kicks, you will get to know your baby’s habits and patterns. The pattern might not be noticeable at first, but in time you will be able to recognize it.

You will gradually learn your baby’s sleeping and waking cycles and when the little one is most active, and also what seems to trigger your baby’s activity.

Why counting kicks is important is because a change in the movements of the baby is usually a sign of distress. It will be able to alert you to signs of problem in the pregnancy and can help prevent stillbirth.

We hear from mothers whose babies were saved because they noticed a change in their baby’s movement patterns and alerted their doctor.

4 steps to counting baby kick counts

You should be counting your baby’s kick counts every day from week 28 of pregnancy, and preferably at the same time. Here are the 4 steps to counting your baby’s kick counts:

  1. Pick a suitable time of the day

Start by picking a time of the day in which your baby is most active. Generally, your baby will be most active after a meal, after a physical activity or after drinking something cold.

  1. Get into a comfortable position

Make yourself comfortable, either by sitting down in a comfortable chair or lying down on your side. Ensure that you are comfortable as this could take up to half an hour. But each baby is unique, and some could take just ten minutes, while others could take up to two hours.

  1. Count the time it takes your baby to do 10 fetal movements

You will have to count it takes your baby to do 10 fetal movements. Start the time from when you feel the first fetal movement. Fetal movements refer to kicks, flutters, swishes, jabs or rolls.

If the little one is not moving, try having something to eat or drink. You can also try drinking a glass of cold water, which will usually rouse the baby.

  1. Repeat steps 1 to 3 the next day

Record the timings every day to ensure your baby is doing well. If something seems off, inform your doctor.


Example on how to record your baby’s kick counts

You should use a notebook or record it in your mobile device, the date and total time taken for your baby to perform 10 fetal movements. What you should be looking out for is a significant deviation from the pattern.

Even as you will come to expect an exact amount of time taken for 10 fetal movements, there can be a wide range of time differences. Do look out for deviations over the course of a few days. Remember, if unsure, always check with your doctor!

You should be recording all these data when you monitor kick counts.



Start Time (from the first fetal movement)

End Time (time of the last fetal movement)

Total time taken for 10 fetal movements

6 July




33 minutes

7 July




49 minutes

8 July




28 minutes

9 July




50 minutes

10 July




38 minutes

When should you call your doctor?

You should contact your doctor if:

  • If you have not felt 10 fetal movements by the end of the second hour, wait a few hours and try again. If after trying a second time you do not feel 10 fetal movements within two hours, you should contact your doctor immediately
  • If you noticed a significant deviation of the timing taken to complete 10 fetal movements over the course of a few days

Connect with other Mummies! Join our Facebook 2020/2021 Pregnant Mummies Support Group!

Similar Topics