Baby shakes head back and forth

Why Is My Baby Shaking Her Head Side to Side?

baby shakes head back and forth

Parenthood can be interesting and frustrating too. Read about why do babies shake head side to side along with reasons, remedies & more.


But when you see your baby shaking his head, it may be a cause of concern for you. You may wonder if he is too little to be shaking his head. As he grows, his motor skills will increase proportionately and the muscles around his neck will develop to help him turn his head. While it is normal in most cases, sometimes it could indicate a neurological or developmental disorder. This article lists the common reasons why babies shake their heads and when it is a cause for concern. When your baby shakes his head, it is just a sign of playfulness and interaction. Most often, during the first few weeks of life, babies display jerky movements as they develop control of their muscles.

Babies develop much faster during the first twelve months than any other stage in life. During this period of developmental milestones, your child will double his or her weight, start rolling over, put his legs ups, and make raspberry sounds. However, with baby shaking head, it might be an indication that something is wrong and you need to pay closer attention. Babies start shaking their heads when they are as little as one month old and, as they continue to pass different stages, their motor skills and muscles, especially around the neck area, become stronger. This makes it easier for the baby to shake his head from side to side.

Over the course of their first year of life, your baby will reach various milestones related to reflexes and motor skills. When a baby starts shaking their head, you may be concerned that something is wrong. You might even wonder if your baby is too young to be shaking their head. Some cases of head shaking are related to neurological or developmental disorders. However, the majority of cases are normal. After all, your newborn is delicate and unable to defend themselves. According to the March of Dimes , by the end of the first month of life, babies have the ability to move their heads from side to side.

If your baby has been shaking their head from side to side while sleeping, nursing, or playing, you may be wondering when head shaking is part of normal child development and when it may be indicative of a larger problem. As babies learn to control their bodies, develop the muscles they need to hold up their heads on their own, and test their movement abilities, head shaking can help them reach developmental goals. Some babies may shake their head side to side as a way of self-soothing and lulling themselves to sleep. While head shaking alone is not typically a cause for concern, in tandem with other symptoms and behaviors, it can indicate an underlying illness or developmental issues. If head shaking is frequent and prolonged and accompanied by the following symptoms of autism in babies and toddlers, we recommend consulting your pediatrician:. Some children with epilepsy may experience myoclonic head jerks or spasms, which are neurological in nature and should be evaluated by a physician. If your child is experiencing abnormal headshaking, Woodburn Pediatrics can help.

Why Is My Baby Shaking Their Head?

Baby Head Shaking: What’s Normal?

Baby head-shaking is usually considered normal behavior, and the video below shows a good example of what you might be experiencing. If your baby shakes his head and has no other unusual behaviors but seems otherwise completely normal, there should be no cause for concern. However, if your baby shows any of the following signs, you should contact your doctor immediately, as these could be indicators of a neurological or developmental disorder:. If you suspect that there might be something else going on besides normal development, please seek the opinion of your pediatrician. Do you have any experience or questions with baby head shaking? If so, please let us know in the comments below!

While it is okay if they are just playing and shaking their heads, there are times that it can be quite different. For instance, the rapid head movement may be uncomfortable or a sign of discomfort on your baby.

Baby Shaking Head Side to Side: Is It Autism? | Causes, Remedies & When to Worry | Autism Symptoms

The answer is always: it depends. There are many expected reasons your infant could be doing this. There are also some other less common reasons this could be happening, but only consider those if accompanied by the other signs listed in this article. Around 4 and 5 months, your child will begin to really test his or her movement. Note from Dr. Leah Alexander, M. If they can put their hand on the area that is shaking and the movement stops, the movements are not a seizure or sign of a neurological problem.






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