Baby Shoulder Popping When Picked Up – A Detailed Explanation

Picking up or keeping your infant in the arms is a sweet bond between you and your little sweetie.

However, the baby shoulder popping when picked up may be disconcerting, and you may feel worried as your toddler can get hurt.

Calm down and relax! In the article below, I will discuss the reasons and solutions and tell you when you should be concerned. Scroll down for more!

Why Baby Shoulder Popping When Picked Up?

baby shoulder popping when picked up

The phenomenon of baby shoulder popping is caused by the interaction of the hard tissues (bones) and the soft tissues (tendons).

Thus, the friction happens, creating bubbles (or nitrogen gas) from the joints. It is often compared with the sound of knuckles cracking in adults and is generally identified as normal.

The Explanation 

Firstly, you should understand that the shoulders and shoulder joints are complex skeleton areas.

The infants usually lie down and move their arms (where connected to the shoulders) a lot as a part of their physical development.

Thus, the area can easily produce sound when soft tissues (notably tendons) come into contact with rigid connective tissues (notably bones).

Is it normal for babies’ bones to pop? Yes, in most cases, the noise should not be a concern. It usually happens around the shoulders, knees, ankles, and spine.

This sound produced by the muscle contraction is called crepitus.

The baby’s bones crack when picked up. This issue can also result from the air escaping from the lungs.

Pressure on the affected area can make the split air stuck between body joints, creating a popping sound.

In most cases, you can relax when your baby’s shoulder pops.

However, if you think the sound is more like a clunk but not a click, and it especially comes from the hips, you should think of the case of congenital hip dislocation.

If it’s your case, I highly advise you to contact the pediatrician as soon as possible to determine the situation. Your infant may be required to do an X-ray as well.

Tips To Deal With Baby Shoulder Popping Sound

Tips To Deal With Baby Shoulder Popping Sound

In general, the baby’s shoulder popping when picked up is temporary and harmless.

However, there are ways to improve their bones and joints and promote healthy growth. Let’s read along! 

Expose Your Baby To Sunlight

Everybody knows the benefits of sunlight in helping the infant’s body to produce vitamin D, an important element in calcium absorption.

Therefore, I advise exposing your little one to the early morning sunlight for 15 to 30 minutes.

It’s not only useful in producing vitamin D but also a helpful method for bone strengthening and preventing rickets.

I usually take my little one for a walk in a jogging or regular stroller for more convenience.

Give Him Frequent Massage

You can help your infant relax and balance their joints by frequent massage and gentle exercises.

Get an efficient amount of high-quality baby oil and gently massage along the body. It can reduce the newborn shoulder popping sound.

One more important note is that exclusive breastfeeding is highly advisable as it promotes healthy growth in toddlers. A breast pump and its accessories can come in handy in this case.

Handle Your Baby Carefully

As mentioned above, the infant’s shoulder popping sound is generally normal and safe. It can happen sometimes as a part of their fast growth.

However, it’s always necessary to handle your kid with care.

As a mother, it happens naturally to you when you always want to keep your little one close to you.

Whenever you hold or pick them up, do it with caution so you and your sweetie can have a relaxing time together without causing any big issues in the future.

When Does The Sound Indicate A Concerned Issue?

When Does The Sound Indicate A Concerned Issue

Hip Cracking Sound

Do babies’ joints pop? Yes, they do.

However, it might be a red flag if it happens in the hips. It’s worth contacting the pediatrician or orthopedic surgeon to ensure your little one is fine.

An X-ray is needed to identify if your infant gets dislocated hips or improperly placed femur.

Dislocated Elbows And Shoulders

Grabbing the toddler in the arm may lead to the baby’s arm popping sound.

If it comes with other symptoms, such as pain, redness, and swelling, or your kid struggles to move the joints normally, it’s time to consult a doctor.

I highly recommend you not pop them back in place by yourself. Plus, some babies are not vocal about their pain; thus, keep watching out for your kid for any discomfort.


Does Popping Sound Mean Your Toddler Is Growing?

The phenomenon, like the baby arm cracking sound, is relatively common and can be a part of your kids’ growth process.

The babies’ growth rate often increases quickly (yet there are particular rules to follow).

Sometimes, parts of their body don’t expand at the same time, causing popping sounds in the joint areas of shoulders, arms, wrists, elbows, and knees.

However, remember to pay more attention when you hear the sound from the hip joint or see your kid in pain. Seeking medical attention is necessary in this case.

Should You Worry About Baby Bones Cracking?

If there is no sign of pain, you can relax. However, if your infant experiences pain, swelling, and redness in their joints, I suggest you visit a pediatrician for different testing.

For example, a hip cracking sound may mean hip dislocation; thus, an X-ray can be required. In some cases, babies don’t show discomfort or show fewer symptoms.

Therefore, you still should keep an eye on them.

The Bottom Lines 

The issue of a baby shoulder popping when picked up may scare many moms for the first time.

In general, it’s a normal phenomenon that can also happen in wrists, elbows, and knees, and you should not be too worried.

However, consult a doctor if you see (or think) your infant is in pain

Regularly letting your infant be exposed to sunlight or massage can reduce the frequency of the baby’s shoulders popping.

Plus, always pick up your little one with care to avoid serious issues.

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