During the 1970’s, it was thought that the number of times a baby kicked each day would indicate the baby’s wellness after birth.  Thus, many women began to use a "kick chart" or "kick count chart."  This is a simple chart that on which you record the number and/or intensity of kicks or other movement that your baby makes.  Kick charts try to provide guidelines for how active a baby should be.  Unfortunately, there is little agreement on how much movement is sufficient.

A kick count chart may be reassuring to a mother.  Others may find kick charts time consuming, bothersome and stressful, particularly if their baby doesn’t move much during the time they are trying to do the chart.

One of the most common types of kick charts is called The ‘Cardiff count to ten’ method. With this method, you use an 8 to 12 hour period to record at least 10 of your baby’s movements.  You should choose a time when you think your baby is most active.  If your baby has at least 10 movements within this 12 hour period they are thought to be well.  You should contact your physician to see if this is a reasonable method for you to use.  If you use this method, start your timing at same time each day.  record the first time and write it down on your graph.  count every movement or kick until your baby has moved ten times. When you feel your tenth movement, write down the time (or put an X in the box corresponding to that time).

Another method is the One to 2 hour method.  For this technique, lay quietly on your left side for about 30 minutes after eating.  Be sure to avoid any distractions such as the television or talking, as this will help you focus just on your baby’s movements.  Your baby should move about 3 to 5 times within an hour to two.

If you are concerned about your baby’s movements, you should discuss this as soon as possible with your physician.

What is a kick count chart?