when baby shivers like a chill

What Is Infant Shudder Syndrome?: When Baby Shivers Like A Chill

Have you ever wondered why your baby usually shiver or shake at intervals yet look active or most times it gets you extremely worried you wonder “what’s wrong?”. At times your baby shivers like he is feeling cold and at times you realize it’s involuntary and also at the same time it looks normal yet frequent. Infant shudder syndrome is more like a shiver attack.


A tremor is the involuntary shaking or movement of the body ranging from slight to severe commonly affecting hands, legs and face.


Infant shudder syndrome can be in the form of shivers, tremor and shudder whereby the baby tends to tremble convulsively, shaking slightly or uncontrollably. Infant shudder syndrome is more recorded in infants as old as a day old to 18months upwards.


Babies with shudder syndrome might have any of the following symptoms

  • Chin shivers
  • Shaking slightly
  • Shaking violently
  • Involuntary shaking of the body

Involuntary shaking of the upper part of the body and clattering of the teeth. Leah reported her young baby who was shaking involuntarily even while in thick clothing’s and wrapped close to her, and her shaking didn’t seem to stop.

A lot of babies shows symptoms of the syndrome, but it varies depending on the severity in the babies.
Are you scared it’s a plague? Not it’s not!. Most cases of infant shudder syndrome are as a result of vitamin D deficiency and hereditary occurrences of epilepsy.

Often times during antenatal checkups, expecting mothers are always advised to take a vitamin supplement for the benefit of both the mother and foetus. For example, the temperate region is known for its moderate sunshine compared to tropical regions, the natural vitamin D that will have been absorbed into the body is not sufficient enough to sustain the baby that’s why most cases, the baby starts showing tremors which in most cases are as a result of vitamin D deficiency.

Perhaps your baby might have shown little symptoms like shaking in such a way of being cold, but later you realize the shivers gets worse and involuntary.

What is infant shudder syndrome?

what is infant shudder syndrome

I will say infant shudder syndrome is the involuntary shaking of the body known as tremors and shudders, which is as a result of the early signs of vitamin D deficiency. Although if there happen to be a reoccurrence or persistence, it might be as as a result of various other conditions such as hypothermia, hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism etc.

Babies with hereditary occurrences of epilepsy might show similar symptoms of the shudder syndrome. Infant shudder syndrome might involve shivers without affecting the physical activities or consciousness of the baby. The symptoms might resemble epileptic seizures but shudder syndrome in most cases does not affect consciousness.

I will give an illustration of three cases for easy understanding of what this syndrome is all about.

CASE 1
Kate noticed her three-week-old baby boy shivers at intervals, but she didn’t seem to pay much attention to him, she said: “I felt it was because of the weather which was very cold and I made sure I tucked him in thick,warm clothes” later on even after her little baby boy was in his warm clothing’s, he did not stop shivering, that caught Kate’s attention, she drew him close to her, wrapped her arms around him to provide additional warmth but he didn’t stop shivering even in her arms.

She met her pediatrician the next morning and lodged her complaint to the doctor, the necessary tests were taken, and it was discovered that her little baby had vitamin D deficiency, he was only showing the symptoms of the early deficiency. Vitamin supplements were prescribed, and her little baby is fine. Actually, anyone can suffer from vitamin deficiency, what really matters is getting treated, if supplements are prescribed, then it is fine.

CASE 2
Young Sam is two weeks old, and during his first weeks, he only does shiver once in a while, but on getting to the following week which makes him two weeks old, his tremors became more frequent and intense which drew the attention of his mother. Several tests were run on him, and his pediatrician asked his mum if she took her vitamin’s supplements during her pregnancy, she replied no.

The results for the tests came out, and the reason behind his shivers was as a result of the vitamin deficiency. I am sure you’re confused as to why the symptoms changed drastically from mild to worse.

Babies need the necessary requirements such as nutrients and vitamins for their proper growth and development, which helps to boost their immunity against diseases. Pregnant women are often advised to take vitamin supplements and foods rich in nutrients for the proper nourishment of the baby, which will strengthen the immunity of the baby against diseases and for the normal growth and development.

Often times the symptoms of the infant shudder syndrome might also be like that of epileptic seizures, but one thing to note is that we can’t really jump to conclusions about the exact cause of the symptoms which might be as a result of other factors such as hypothermia, hypoglycemia etc. hence, it is necessary for the baby to undergo various medical observation for the right prescription to be administered.

CASE 3
Kim is a month old and her mom Mia noticed her being jittery for weeks, she observed her daughter and realized she looked as though she is cold, but at the same time the shuddering feeling is on impulse. This got her worried because her daughter is always dressed in warm, wool clothes but it’s summer, why will Kim shiver? Is the question that runs through her mind. Definitely not hypothermia, she thought.

She visited the hospital, and after a series of tests, vitamin supplements were prescribed since she couldn’t breastfeed her kid and placed her on formula.

It was during summer and not during winter, more reason why the symptoms don’t look anything like hypothermia. Though the symptoms might look-alike with regards to hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia etc. but despite this, the necessary test has to be run to get the actual defaults.

Why the shivering? Does not look like flu? is it fever? But my baby only shivers? That’s the question that might be running through your mind right now. Infant shudder syndrome is not a death sentence. It can be corrected with food rich in vitamin D or rather still taking vitamins supplements.

A baby with a hereditary occurrence of epilepsy might experience epileptic seizures, but the symptoms might be mistaken for shudder syndrome, they are similar yet different until the necessary tests are taken until then we can’t draw up conclusions.

Actually, shudder syndrome might not be noticed in kids depending on how severe it is. If acute, you might not even notice since it is regarded as a normal routine while they play or you might just feel like your baby is funny. It might not necessarily cause for alarm. All you need to do is

  1. Pay attention to your baby
  2. Take note of the odd behaviors and gestures
  3. Observe your baby whenever he or she is making an odd sound; don’t just assume he or she is playing
  4. Once you notice your baby is not feeling too well, visit your doctor immediately and don’t jump into conclusions.
  5. Make sure you visit your doctor and don’t self medicate.
  6. Follow the doctors prescription and don’t exceed it.
  7. As a breastfeeding mother, eat food rich in nutrients and vitamins
  8. If your baby is placed on formula, get the brand that offers the necessary requirements in the diet.
  9. As a pregnant woman, make sure you eat food rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals for the proper nourishment of your foetus.
  10. Always eat a balanced diet and get enough vitamin D required for you and your baby.

Oftentimes babies show mild symptoms of shudder syndrome, and they grow out of it. At times it might be as a result of their reaction to a food or feeling, and once it does not affect physical activity and consciousness it is still considered normal, but in situations where babies seem to get more frequent symptoms like the clattering of teeth, involuntary movement of the body and shuttering it is also necessary to check the eyes of your child. I’m sure you’re wondering why. The eyes have a good connection with the brain, and all those symptoms have to do with the brain also.

Whenever your baby starts shivering or shuttering. First of all, observe to check for any oddness, then check your baby’s eyes to know whether it’s spaced out or not, then when you notice anything out of place, you can always visit your pediatrician.

Infant shudder syndrome is associated with babies and depends on how intense the symptoms are. Babies might show a mild symptom which might be a reaction to a particular thing, but it is necessary to observe your baby and take the necessary precautions when anything out of the ordinary is observed.

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