Baby Shaking Head Often? Know the Reasons Why They Do!
When my baby was about seven months old, I kept noticing that she loved to shake her head. At first, it was kind of cute especially when she makes sounds or facial expressions. But, as days passed, the shaking continued, and I became worried.
Is baby shaking head always a regular thing? I kept wondering what may be wrong or if it is just a phase. Then, I found that too much shaking of the head could mean something serious and needs to be addressed immediately.
If you see your child shaking his head always, try to identify the reasons behind it and understand the signs so you can act on it quickly.
Reasons Behind the Shaking
There is nothing unusual when one shakes his head. We shake our heads to say NO to someone discreetly. We shake our heads when we groove along a good music.
For babies, some of the reasons they shake their heads are the following:
- They think it pleases you. When they hear a positive response whenever they shake their heads, babies love to repeat it.
- Babies try to imitate you. If babies see you shaking your head often, they are likely to copy you, even if they do not imply a refusal.
- They are interacting with you. Babies who still cannot speak are likely to shake their heads as a form of an answer to you.
- Babies are learning to control their body. Your child is going through physical development, and part of it is learning to control how parts of their bodies work, even carrying their heads.
- They do self-soothing. When your child gets tired, one of their responses is to shake their heads until they fall asleep.
- They shake when nursing. Babies will attempt to latch to nurse and getting the hang of it causes excitement that makes them want to shake their heads.
- They want to ease the pain in their ears. Children can get an ear infection, and it will be painful for them. To feel more comfortable, they try to shake their heads and search for a position that lessens the pain.
- It is another symptom of autism. One of the signs of autism in children is repetitive behavior. If your child is repeatedly shaking his head, it is best to consult your pediatrician
When to Get Worried?
While the shaking of heads may be a part of our baby’s development, there are times that it happens out of the ordinary. You need to watch out for other instances that may contribute to the underlying disorder so you can detect whatever may be wrong at an earlier time.
When should you get worried with the shaking?
- They do not interact with you, their siblings or with anyone else.
- They bang their heads more often.
- They shake their heads extremely when they are in a stressful situation.
- They are not reaching more milestones in their development.
- They fail to respond to outside stimuli such as sounds.
- They do not show any interest in new things.
- They do not make eye contact.
- They do not want to communicate and choose to stay quiet or create fewer non-verbal gestures.
- They are losing some of their skills.
What You Need To Do
Early detection can lead to earlier intervention and treatment. When you suspect a strange behavior or added symptoms on your baby, the most practical thing to do is consult your doctor. Lay down all the observations you have seen on your child, so your doctor can have a better assessment.
Know what autism is and how it can affect your child. Getting more information about the disorder will help you sympathize with your baby. It will make you understand his predicament and will enable you to act based on what the situation needs.
Learn more about the different assessment and diagnosis. It is still wiser to know more about the best treatments for your baby to help you create better decisions, even if your doctor explains all of it to you.
Understand the process of screening tests and what is needed from your part as a parent. Talk with your doctor about the different diagnosis and how it may affect your baby especially in their overall development.
Facts About Autism
Autism is a bio-neurological disability that affects the normal development of the brain regarding cognitive skills, communication, and social interaction. Also referred as the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this disorder creates challenges for the person affected that may impact their activities, behaviors, and interests.
To help you know more about autism, here is a list of some facts you can learn about:
- Autism is a genetic disorder. Children who are at risk of autism may pass it on to their siblings because of their similar genetic makeup.
- Boys are more likely to incur autism than girls. They are five times more susceptible.
- About 1 out of 68 children are identified with autism spectrum disorder.
- The number of children experiencing autism is growing as of the present compared to 35 years ago.
- Some kids with autism do not speak until their childhood. Others may express a few words at 12 to 18 months but later lose them.
- Babies born with bigger heads, or larger brains, are more at risk of the disorder. Studies show that most children with larger-than-normal heads during their 6 to 14 months ended up having autism.
- Early detection of autism starts between 6 to 18 months. Children manifesting unusual behavior can be tested for the disorder.
- About 46 percent of children assessed with autism is said to have an above average intellectual ability.
- Children with autism can now get an earlier diagnosis to combat the disorder and help in their overall development progress.
It is normal for us parents to worry about the conditions of our baby. I fully understand since I also went through the same stages of parenthood. The sleepless nights, the worst-case scenarios in our head and the loneliness in our hearts if something may be wrong with our children.
But, worrying without actions can lead us nowhere. When I spotted an unusual behavior from my baby, I immediately look for the reasons behind those gestures and try to understand what they are going through. I ask her pediatrician to enlighten me more of their behavior so that I know when it happens again.
How about you? Does your baby shake his head always? What have you found out? I want to hear from you!