Updated by Maria Birch on 20/02/21

I’m often asked about the best timing for a 4D scan.

The answer?

24-34 weeks.

The optimal time is right in the middle—28 weeks.

But that’s just a guide.

It’s not the “be all and end all.”

There are many factors that determine the quality of a 4D scan.

One is timing.

But even at 28 weeks, it still may not be possible to see you baby’s features clearly if:

  • Your placenta is in front of your baby’s face
  • Your baby’s hands or feet are in front of their face
  • The cord is in front of your baby’s face
  • There’s only a small amount of fluid surrounding your baby’s face
  • Your BMI is higher than average
  • Your baby is in an awkward position (e.g. facing your spine)

As you can see, 4D scans are unpredictable.

It’s impossible to know what position your baby will be in at the time of your scan.

Which is why timing is important.

It’s the one thing you can control to give yourself the best chance of getting nice images and videos.

But the optimal timing still doesn’t guarantee optimal images.

Which is why we offer a “repeat scan guarantee.”

It works like this…

If we can’t initially get nice views of your baby for any reason, we’ll try three things:

  1. First, I’ll ask you to move around and have a jiggle!
  2. If that doesn’t work, I’ll invite you to go for a walk.
  3. If that doesn’t work, I’ll ask you to drink water or something sugary.

A combination of these tricks often persuades your baby to move into a better position.

But not always.

So if all else fails…

I will invite you back for another scan free of charge.

Depending on my availability and yours, you may even be able to come back later the same day.

At some private scans, there simply isn’t enough time to persist and try these things.

Which means you are more likely to have to “make do” with the images you get. Or…

Go back for a second scan.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course.

But it may be inconvenient and require an additional time and money cost to travel back to the clinic.

At Sneak-A-Peek, you get a 45-minute appointment, which gives you plenty of time to savour the experience and the best possible chance of leaving with nice images and videos to remember it by and share with friends and family.

This is also one of the reasons I ask you to send an application for a scan.

That way, if you are already over 34 weeks…

Or you know, for example, that previous 4D scans have been unsuccessful…

I can help you decide whether a scan would be worthwhile.

That aside, the application process has now become a necessity.

There are very few appointments available so it allows me to prioritise.

And it also means I can work with you to find a convenient appointment which may be outside of my normal working hours (and would therefore be “unavailable” on a public calendar.)

If you have a question about 4D scans or would like some more information, take our free scan quiz:


Take care.

Maria Birch.