Stubborn Baby During Ultrasound (Tips & Tricks To Get Baby Moving)

With more movements, there’s a greater chance the ultrasound technician can determine the sex of the baby and can access a variety of things like the amniotic fluid levels and the baby’s growth measurements between 18 and 21 weeks of pregnancy which is referred to as the second-trimester ultrasound when the baby is more developed and should be more active compared to the 10 and 14 weeks first-trimester ultrasound that is mostly used to just confirm a pregnancy.

All pregnant moms live for those moments when they can see their little munchkins before they are born, and no matter how stubborn your growing little one is, there’s no shortage of strategies to get the viewing party started during the ultrasound.

How to get your stubborn baby to move around during an ultrasound

Getting your baby to move around in your belly during an ultrasound appointment is desirable, but If they are sleeping and will stubbornly not move around, you won’t get to see too much on the screen and also on the video recording. 

Here are a couple of tips to follow right before your ultrasound appointment that will increase the likelihood of your baby moving around and kicking for the best ultrasound photos.

1. Walk around 

Physical activity won’t let the baby go to sleep sooner, but you don’t have to engage in heavy exercises on the morning of your ultrasound appointment. Just make time to walk around for at least 10 minutes right before your appointment starts. 

You have to motivate them to move, and It’s unlikely that the growing baby will fall right back to sleep during the scan.

2. Drink orange juice

Supposedly, many women have found that orange juice has an energizing effect on the baby. The drink’s natural sugars and chilling temperatures are usually enough to spur baby movement in the belly. 

It’s also a healthy drink, so there’s no reason to hold back from experimenting with the juice to see if your baby becomes more active.

3. Eat some chocolate

Sweet things have a good chance of stimulating your baby to move around and be more active. For many expectant mothers, chocolate works great, but other sweets could be effective too to other women.

The spike in your blood sugar will also affect your baby by sending a boost of energy directly to them and getting them moving, but do not overdo it on the sugary sweets.

4. Fizzy drinks and caffeine in moderation 

Fizzy, sugary drinks get a stimulating response in most cases. You can try and experiment with a plain sugary drink at first and see if it works for mama and bear.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, expectant mothers should consume no more than 200 milligrams of coffee per day, but the jolt of your daily cuppa may have a similar effect as sugar on your baby.

5. Eat ice cream

Ice cream and cold sweet drinks might do the trick for you if chocolate didn’t offer any stimulation. Eat a little bit of ice cream and anything sweet before your ultrasound appointment.

6. Pickles and other spicy foods

If nothing sweet works, sour food might get your baby to start dancing the flamenco and move around. Try pickles, lemon or lime slices, grapefruit juice, or sour green olives from the can right before you go in for the appointment.

Although they are also known for causing heartburn during pregnancy, they are anecdotally known for having baby moving powers.

7. Drink milkshake

If ice cream effectively stimulates your baby to move around in the womb, a milkshake should have the same effect and is a good option if the weather is cold and you’d rather have a healthy drink than ice cream.

8. Poke, poke and poke some more

Gently brushing and stroking your belly usually gets a response from your baby, especially after 17 weeks. If your sonographer allows, try doing it even during the ultrasound.

The idea behind this suggestion is that the maternal touch somehow arouses the fetus from its comfy place of relaxation into more awareness and alertness, and sometimes nudging them causes them to nudge you right back.

Reasons for having an ultrasound

An ultrasound of a baby in mom's womb

Your healthcare provider uses ultrasound for screening and testings to see if your baby is more likely than others to have a health condition and several other things, including:  

  • To confirm that you’re indeed pregnant.
  • Check your baby’s health and growth to help your provider figure out your due date.
  • To check your baby’s heartbeat, muscle tone, movement, and general development.
  • To check if you’re pregnant with multiples (more than one baby at the same time).
  • To check if your baby is in the head-first position before birth.
  • To examine your uterus and womb.
  • To screen for birth defects that change the shape or functions of one or more parts of the developing baby like spina bifida or heart defects.
  • To check for pregnancy complications including ectopic pregnancy and miscarriages.


How early can you determine the gender of the baby?

Gender determination can be as early as 14 weeks. If you’re having twins, you should wait until 16 weeks. Determining the gender is always done on 2D black and white technology for reliability purposes, but it can also be requested in color 3D/4D.

Can too many ultrasounds harm the baby?

Having multiple ultrasound examinations during pregnancy is unlikely to cause any harm to the growth and development of the fetus. The examinations are widely accepted as safe for both mother and child.


These tips and tricks can be easy, fun, and safe ways to get your baby to move and turn in the uterus to enable perfect ultrasound photos and video taking, but if they don’t work for you, don’t be concerned. All babies are different, and some are stubborn while others are just plain lazy.

As long as you can feel the regular movements, all is well, and you can always reschedule with your sonographer for an appropriate time when that little ninja is ready to somersault for the camera, which usually doesn’t take long.

So just sit back and bask in one of the most amazing and fulfilling moments of being an expectant mom. In no time, you’ll have your little one and start planning newborn photos!

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Hello, I am Emelda from Nairobi, Kenya. They simply call me mama Lilly. A fun of long road trips and a very good cook, along with my mommy duties to a super active girl. She inspires and challenges me in equal measure, and that is how I get to share with you our journey of triumph as we grow and tag you along.

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