Reasons Why Babies Shake Their Head

Originally published at: https://nappies.co.nz/parenting-blog/reasons-why-baby-shake-his-head-side-to-side/

Every action of babies seems super cute. From a warm smile on their face to sucking the fingers, parents find such activities a sign of cuteness. Right? But when you watch your baby shaking his head, then it’s time to sit straight and take this matter seriously. Such behavior of your baby is a cause of concern for you. As we all know very well, when a baby turns one month old, then they will be able to shake their head. And what’s allowing them to shake their head is the muscles that continuously grow faster and help them to turn their head. By nine months old, infants start shaking their heads side to side. You may find it normal, but in most of the cases, it points towards the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other neurological or developmental disorders. This acts as a warning sign for parents to take necessary actions towards it. 

Therefore, we are here with this article listing everything you need to know about why your baby shakes his head side to side and how to stop it. So, what are you waiting for? Read this article thoroughly to know-

  • What are the common reasons why babies shake their heads?
  • Is it a warning sign of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
  • How to stop your infant from shaking his head?

What are the common reasons why babies shake their head?

If the baby is shaking his head, then it can be a sign of growth. But at the same time, it also gives birth to serious problems which can affect your infant’s growth as well as their bright future. As a parent, you never want to let it happen. Right, mums? If your baby is shaking their head to answer “Yes” or “No,” then it’s normal, but if they are doing the same all of a sudden, then it’s time to know the reasons behind it. The below-listed points are some common reasons why your baby is shaking his head. 

  • Exploring Their Body Moves

Yes, sometimes babies shake their heads to test how their body moves and works. Because their muscles develop faster, they start discovering their body’s working and exploring their increased range of motion. At this point, you can conclude that shaking the heads is just another way of baby’s reaction. 

  • Fatigue

Another reason for baby’s such behavior of shaking their heads is to soothe themselves and create dizziness that makes them fall asleep easier in a few minutes. So, if your baby is shaking their head, then it can be just a way to fall asleep. 

  • Gaining attention

Babies could be shaking their heads to gain everyone’s attention. They love that happy reaction and gain your attention while doing so. 

  • Ear Infection

Yes, it could be a reason why your baby is shaking their head. When there is an infection in the ear, they do so to feel more comfortable. On the other hand, they also shake their heads from side to side while teething or when they have a cold. In such a case, you should definitely consult a doctor and ask for the proper medical advice. 

  • Nursing

Babies, most of the time, shake their heads to show that they have enough feeding. So it is basically a signal of excitement when they nurse or when they attempt to latch while breastfeeding. When they do so, it is important to support your baby’s head during the first three months of his life.

Is it a warning sign of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

The shaking of the head and certain other signs points towards the serious problem of Autism Spectrum Disorder. But shaking the head is not only the sign of autism. There are also many other symptoms that do not seem normal. As a mum, you must pay attention to the health of your infant; after all, they are the precious part of your life without whom your life seems impossible. By the time your baby turns 18 months old, one can notice the strange behavioral patterns which point directly to the ASD.

Below, we have listed the signs that are commonly observed in the babies who are on the spectrum. Take a look- 

  • Repetitive Behaviours

Yes! Unusual repetitive behaviors that can harm your baby is one of the signs that shows that they might be at risk of autism. So, it is important never to ignore such signs and take medical advice from a pediatrician.

  • Slower Physical Growth

Slower physical growth is also a big reason to worry as it straight points that your baby may have autism. Your infant’s growth consistently gets slower as compared to others their age. If your baby has such signs, then it’s time to pamper them a little more.

  • Headbanging

If your baby bangs their head on objects or other maneuvers that can cause self-harm, then you should take such behaviors seriously. Be careful whenever they shake their head violently to react during the moments of anxiety.

  • Less Eye Contact

Babies start making eye contact with every month of their life. It is also considered as a positive sign of the better growth and development of their body. But if your baby makes less eye contact, then this could be the symptom that they are on the autism. This disorder symptom is generally observed between 9-12 months of age. 

  • Lack of Social Interaction

Yes! The lack of interaction with parents & anyone clearly shows that your baby is at risk of ASD. If you have noticed the lack of response to their name or sounds, display no interest, hold an unusual gaze, or respond to smiles that may require medical intervention. Consult the pediatrician today before it’s too late!

Head-shaking and the above-listed signs basically alarmed you to take your infant for a complete checkup to the child’s healthcare specialist and confirm if they are at risk of autism or not. We hope that the above signs help you to ease your worries in a better way. 

How to stop your infant from shaking his head?

Now you very well know the reasons why your baby shakes his head from side to side. When you know the causes, then it’s time to take some necessary steps to avoid such behavior. Below, we have mentioned some tips to get your baby to stop shaking his head. Read it thoroughly- 

  • Ignore the behavior

Babies basically shake their heads to gain attention, so you must ignore it and show no reaction. Do not pay attention when they shake their head. It will also avoid fueling their behavior. 

  • Keep an eye on the frequency & duration

Keep the complete track of frequency and duration of how many times your baby shakes his head. In this way, you can easily figure out whether it’s normal head shaking or autism. This step from your side will help you to pay attention to your baby and take some necessary steps. 

  • Change the environment a little bit

It’s important to alter the environment around the baby that always leads them to start shaking their head. Such a smart move from your side will help your baby to shake their head. Yes, it will. If you find your child doing this action, then try to distract them with toys and doing such activities that can work best to achieve your goal. 

  • Give the Baby a Massage

Yes! This is a great way to calm your baby. Massage is the most relaxing technique that will not only assist you in ending such behavior of your baby but also give them a bundle of happiness and joy as well. After all, their happiness is the reason for yours. 

The above-listed tips are ideal to stop your baby from shaking his head. So, what are you waiting for? Try these tips today and give your baby a healthy and bright future ahead. 

The Bottom Line

Head shaking is a common behavior among babies that most of the parents do not take it seriously. With continuous research on a child’s behavior, experts cleared that it can be a sign of autism. In such a case, the thing you need to do is to remain calm & find a proper way to pull out your infant from such a situation. You can consult the pediatrician and have the complete checkup of your child. Your baby is your lifeline. As a mother, you can cross any limits for their bright future. Right? And the head-shaking of your baby is also a reason to worry. 

We hope that this blog assists you to know everything about the signs and symptoms of ASD ( Autism Spectrum Disorder) along with shaking the head of a baby continuously. If your infant is also suffering through this, then it’s best to get medical advice from a professional. 

Be the best mum taking care of your child to a great extent. We hope you like this blog!