Like just about everything else related to pregnancy, this varies from woman to woman. You probably started feeling baby move around week 20, but that tapping or fluttering sensation takes a little bit longer — anywhere from 23 to 30 weeks — to be felt from the outside. If you’re dying to share this new development with your partner, remember that it’s all about timing, so pay attention to when baby is particularly active. “Many babies move more in the evenings or at night, so this is when your partner should spend some time with their hand on your tummy,” says Mary Hirschi, certified nurse midwife at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in Houston. During the day, baby can be lulled to sleep by the movement of your daily routine, which is why when you settle in for the night, he or she is often perking up. You may also just be more aware of baby's movements when you’re no longer focused on your busy schedule.
Hirschi suggests light massage, music or drinking ice water to help wake baby up and trigger some kicks. But don’t get discouraged if your partner keeps missing out on the movement; getting it down right away is almost an art, and it requires a lot of patience. “Sooner or later, the movements will also become visible to others from the outside, and baby will provide you both with some entertaining moments,” Hirschi says.
Once you feel baby squirming on a regular basis, it’s also a good time to start recording kick counts. “Fetal movements are a great indication of fetal health, so doing a daily kick count after 28 weeks can be a reassuring sign baby is healthy,” Hirschi explains. Pick a time each day to track how long it takes to feel 10 movements — it should be less than two hours. If you notice any major deviations, give your ob-gyn a ring and let them know.