According to a popular belief, if a baby looks between their legs, it indicates that their mother is pregnant or will become pregnant in the near future. However, there is no scientific evidence to validate this claim.
In reality, babies look between their legs when they are:
- Exploring and learning about the world.
- Discovering how their body works and learning to use muscles.
- Being silly and wanting your reaction.
- Imitating others.
Body language expert Patti Wood shares her opinion:
“Toddlers are working on depth perception. So I believe they may look upside down through their legs and see a totally different world.”
I have seen my own children and other toddlers do this many times.
From my own observations and some research, I’ve learned that it is a way for them to be silly and that they are fascinated by the way the world looks from a different perspective.
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Reasons for Baby Looking Between Their Legs
There are a variety of reasons why children look in between their legs. Curiosity and playfulness are certainly big ones!
Here are the most common reasons behind this unique aspect of childhood behavior.
1. To Enjoy Seeing Things Upside Down
Babies lack depth perception, and it is not until around 5 months that they start to see the world in the way we do.
When babies bend over and view their world upside down, they see the world at an entirely new angle. This is fascinating to them!
Babies love to stretch. We see this a lot after a long nap, and they love to stretch and contort themselves in their waking hours too.
Bending over in this position gives them a chance to use their muscles in a new way and helps them learn what their body can do.
3. Being Silly
Children have an incredible imagination, and in addition to the fun toys that encourage their play, babies are pretty good at making their own fun!
If you spot your little one sporting a silly grin while looking between their legs, it’s a good bet they’re indulging in a bit of silliness!
4. Copying Others
Babies learn from observing the actions of those around them.
They are keen imitators, so chances are they have seen another baby or a parent bend over in a similar way. Now they want to try!
5. To Get a Reaction From Parents
The whole “Mom, look what I can do!” phase begins long before children can speak.
Getting into this funny position is a big feat for your baby and makes them happy, so naturally, they want you to know about it too!
6. Normal Cognitive and Physical Development
You may see your toddler get into this position around the age of 14-16 months.
At this age, they are learning about balance and exploring what different things their body can do.
Everything is brand new to your little munchkin, so getting into strange positions like this one is a sign they’re exploring their world fully and with healthy curiosity!
Also, when your baby’s world is inverted, they are developing new muscle memory, gaining new cognitive skills, and exploring a different perspective.
Each aspect associated with this upside-down position creates new pathways in your baby’s brain.
They are making connections about holding up their weight, using the muscles that control the head, improving coordination, and so on.
When To Be Concerned
This silly behavior is often a very normal part of development and should not cause you to worry, especially if it is accompanied by smiles and laughter.
However, this position can help reveal any existing spinal conditions that may need attention.
If you notice that your child has any bumps or irregularities on their spine or if they seem to be in pain in this position, you should seek attention from their doctor or a medical professional.
Baby Looking Between Legs: An Old Wives’ Tale
An old myth suggests that if a baby is looking between their legs, they are looking for a sibling to play with.
If they don’t yet have a sibling, this position supposedly means they are expecting a sibling, therefore predicting that pregnancy is on the horizon!
This old wives’ tale is believed to have come from the fact that a woman is usually fertile again by the time her baby can get into this position.
So this is a signal from your little one that another pregnancy is possible (whether they wish for a sibling or not!).
Some parents swear by this wives’ tale, while others have seen their children do it when they are not expecting.
As Far as Toddlers Being Able To Sense Pregnancy…
Toddlers cannot sense pregnancy, but they can certainly detect changes.
Babies and toddlers can pick up on stress felt by mothers and can display behavioral changes such as irritability, sleep disturbances, tantrums, or clinginess as a reaction to the sense that something new is happening.
You have likely heard that craving certain foods or displaying a specific “bump type” is an indication of your baby’s gender, but there are plenty of other myths and superstitions surrounding babies and pregnancy.
Take a look at these strange baby-related superstitions…
1. More Babies Are Born During Full Moons
This idea is believed to date back to a time when lunar cycles were used to predict a woman’s fertility.
One study in North Carolina attempted to find a correlation between moon phases and births. Spoiler: it was inconclusive.
2. Acne/Skin Issues Mean It’s a Girl
While baby boys are said to induce a pregnancy “glow,” the opposite is apparently true of girls as they are thought to “steal their mother’s beauty,” causing acne breakouts and greasy skin.
The reality? A boatload of hormones producing extra sebum oil is responsible.
3. Baby’s First Steps Will Predict His/Her Future
This Bulgarian myth stems from a well-loved tradition involving a ceremony in which a toddler walks toward a table of different items indicating different professions.
Items may include a toy screwdriver for engineers, a ball for athletes, a toy syringe for medical careers, etc. Whichever they pick is said to decide their future!
4. Wait Seven Days Before Celebrating Birth
A tradition in Egyptian culture sees some families hold a form of baby shower or rite of passage known as El-Sebou (the seventh) a week after the birth.
Unlike your traditional baby shower, a Sebou entails deliberately scaring the baby to instill bravery and scattering salts around the home to deter evil spirits.
Mom of three (including identical twin boys), wife, and owner of Parents Wonder. This is my place to share my journey as a mother and the helpful insights I learn along the way.