What To Do When Baby Covers Face With Hands While Sleeping

What To Do When Baby Covers Face With Hands While Sleeping

Having a baby is an exciting stage for every parent. You might have imagined how your little one would look and act before they were born. Now that your little one is here, you get to see your imaginations come to play and some mums cannot help watching their little one fall asleep so quietly and peacefully for hours. Generally, a baby sleeps for about 6-10 hours a day, depending on the age range of your baby. While gazing at your baby while he/she falls asleep, you might begin to have questions like why your baby would cover his/her face with their hands while seeping. Even if you are a new parent, it is important that you should not be worried. Below are some of the reasons why a baby covers the face with hands while sleeping.

Reasons why your baby covers face with hands while sleeping

There are different reasons why your baby covers their face with hands while sleeping. Here are some reasons.

1.           It comes as a Moro reflex

Moro reflex or startle reflex in babies is the involuntary motor response that an infant develops after birth. Generally, a Moro reflex may involve your little one bringing their arms in front of their body, covering their face with their hands, etc. The Moro reflex is mainly an instinctive reflex or an automatic response that your little one had when he/she becomes startled. A baby might not necessarily cry during a Moro reflex but would have certain body movements which include covering their face with their hand. If you are not near your little one at this point, this position might remain until you get to where your little one is.

2.           Your little one is still assuming the fetal position

The fetal position has been your little one’s most comfortable position even while in the womb. You might see your little one curled up and even covering his/her eyes with their hand. Do not panic because this has been the go-to position they adopt most time even after stretching and kicking in the womb. When your baby is born, they would naturally be in this position till about 6 months of age. Your little one would feel much more comfortable in this position since they have been in this position for 9months.

3.           To prevent light sensitivity

Even before birth, a baby is sensitive to light. According to research, when the womb of a pregnant woman is illuminated with bright light, it can be seen under ultrasound that the fetus turns its head away from the bright light. At birth, your little ones’ eyes are sensitive to light. Your little ones’ eyesight is between 20/200 and 200/400. Hence, they would most likely open their eyes wide open in low light or cover their eyes with their hands. If your baby is sleeping and perceives that a bright light is in front of him/her, your baby would naturally shade away from the light with their hand.

4.           To keep warm

The bodies of babies are much smaller than adults hence they get cold quicker than adults do. Babies like to cuddle to keep warm and you might not always be around them. Hence their first instinct is to cover their face with their hands to try to keep themselves warm.

After understanding what causes your baby to cover their face with their hand, you would generally want to know what you can do to help your little one. Below are the things you can do when your little one covers their face with their hands while sleeping.

What to do when baby covers face with hands while sleeping

1.           Put your little one in a sleep sack such as the HALO Sleepsack to swaddle at night

The HALO Sleepsack is ideal to ensure your baby stays warm all night and does not need to cover his/her face with hands while sleeping. It is designed in such a way that it allows for ample room for your baby’s comfort but cannot be kicked off by your baby at night.

2.           Monitor them with a baby monitor such as the Owlet cam baby monitor

The owlet cam baby monitor streams an HD video of your little one. You can ensure that your baby is secure and you know when to check on your little one.  The Owlet cam baby monitor ensures that you free yourself from the restrictions of a hand-held monitor and you check on your baby anytime. You can also monitor if your baby is constantly covering the face with a hand because of sensitivity to light, cold, or something else.

3.           Occasionally move the hand of your little one away from their face

If you notice that your little one covers his/her face with a hand while sleeping, you can move their hand from their face occasionally. The natural instinct that they are in the womb would still be present and moving their hand away from their face reminds them that they are no longer in the womb. Ensure you check on your little one constantly while sleeping. When you move their hand away, they would adjust to having their hand away from their face.

4.           Don’t panic

As a parent, especially a first-time parent, you might begin to panic when your little one constantly covers their face with their hands while sleeping. Ensure you do not panic as most babies outgrow this habit after a while. You can pay close attention to your baby to know if they are reacting as a result of light sensitivity, cold, or just a habit gotten from being in the womb for a long period.


Babies are an exciting part of having a family. You could stare at them for a long time after birth but what happens when you notice that the baby covers the face with their hands while sleeping? As a parent, especially if you are a first-time parent, you might want to get worried or scared but you shouldn’t. Highlighted above are some of the reasons baby covers their faces with hands while sleeping and also what to do when you notice that your baby covers face with hands. Ensure you don’t panic because most babies outgrow this behavior after a while.

4 thoughts on “What To Do When Baby Covers Face With Hands While Sleeping”

  1. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top