Counting Kicks: Best practices and methods

Tracking your baby's movement is an easy way to check in and make sure the baby's okay.
At 28 weeks, your baby’s kicks become stronger and more predictable, so you can start in on your kick counts until delivery.
How to start tracking? Find a comfortable place, lie down on your left side or sit with your feet up. Once you’re ready to start doing kick counts, you’ll be timing how long it takes to feel 10 movements. What counts as a movement? All those kicks, swishes, rolls and jabs you feel.
You can track kicks in two ways:
the Cardiff method
tracking movements over one hour
The Cardiff method is based on saving the first and tenth moves and calculating how long it took your baby to complete them. The right result is when you notice ten movements during twelve hours. If you reach ten kicks faster, finish your tracking.
If you aren’t at 10 movements after one day, be more careful the next day or if there’s a noticeable or long-term change from the norm, give your doctor a call.
The second method is counting the number of moves over one hour. You should be feeling ten kicks over an hour during regular time of activity. Finish tracking when you reach ten kicks. If you aren’t at 10 movements after two hours, or if you notice your baby is moving less than usual, contact your midwife or doctor.
Set aside time for kick counts every day and try for roughly the same time each day when the baby tends to be most active. That tends to be
after meals
in the evening
after your activity
Your baby sleeps as well as you. Try to wake the baby up by eating something sweet (if you don't have problems with diabetes), moveor drink some milk (if you are ok with lactose). Once your baby has woken up, start counting again. If the number of movements varies from what you would expect, contact your doctor.
Attention! If you notice a significant decrease in your baby’s normal activity and waking it up doesn't help, call your doctor, midwife or maternity unit.
REMEMBER! In the ninth month of pregnancy,your baby’s movements can be less noticeable. Your baby is growing and has less space, so you can feel more slow and delicate movements.
Babies are different and have different activities too. However, regularly counting the time it takes to reach ten kicks will make you more aware of your baby’s movements.