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Baby Shakes Head Side To Side
Baby health & safety

Why Do Baby Turning Head Side To Side?

Why my baby shakes head side to side? Why does this happen so often, and what is the reason for it? Why do they shake their head back and forth when they are sitting on your lap? Why doesn’t this seem to bother them at all? Babies might be too young to understand words but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them. Sometimes, they will even respond! So if you’re interested in learning about why these adorable little ones shake their heads back and forth, when they’re at 7, 10, and even 12 months old, with such vigor keep reading. 

Baby Shakes Head Side To Side

So, why does my baby shake his head side to side?

Exploring: By the time they are 7 months old, most infants can sit up, roll over, reach for items, and investigate things with their hands and tongues. Although it may be alarming to watch your infant begin to shake his head, most of the time he or she is doing it for one of the reasons listed below.

Entertaining: Your infant may be experimenting with how their body moves and functions. Have you ever taken a moment to observe how your head feels when you shake it? All of these factors cause babies to respond, as well as explore their expanded range of motion.

Self-soothing: Is your kid getting a positive response from others when they shake their heads? It’s possible they’re doing it to attract your attention. When they get drowsy, some infants move their heads to self-soothe.

Imitating: You may not know it, but you’ve probably shook your head at your child. It’s possible that they’re just copying what you’re doing. As babies become older, they’ll learn to shake their heads to indicate “no” in the same way that adults do.

Fatigue: Tired babies may toss their heads, causing dizziness and making it easier to fall asleep.

Ear Infection: Ear infections are most common in children under the age of three, and your infant may be attempting to convey the issue to you.

Nursing: Your baby’s attempt to breastfeed may have caused you to shake your head. The head of your baby will often shift back and forth as he or she tries to latch. As they breastfeed, they may get enthused. To indicate that they have had enough feeding, the infant may shake their head at the conclusion of the breastfeeding session.

Autism: A newborn with just the symptom of head shaking is unlikely to develop autism. Autism-affected babies exhibit extra characteristics such as difficulty establishing eye contact with caretakers or being unresponsive to their names when called. They may also engage in repeated activities like hitting their heads against the crib or the wall.

Why Do Babies Move Their Heads Side to Side When Sleeping?

There are a few theories as to why babies shake their heads side to side when sleeping. One theory is that it helps them process information and sort through memories. Another theory is that nodding helps to stimulate the brain and keep them awake. And lastly, it could be a reflexive action that helps to soothe them. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that head shaking is a normal part of baby sleep. So if you see your little one doing it, don’t worry!

During their first year, babies develop quickly. The development of gross motor skills is an essential component. Gross motor skills relate to how your kid functions and interacts with the world around them using the bigger muscles and appendages of their body. That’s why they are simply tossing heads back and forth.

Why My Baby Shaking Head While Breastfeeding?

There are many reasons why babies shake their heads while breastfeeding. This is because the baby shakes his or her head to release milk bubbles that may be trapped during feeding. Babies also shake their heads when they do not like something about the way breastfeeding feels, which can include if a mother’s nipple slips out of his mouth and causes him discomfort, pain, or frustration.

As, previously stated, babies turn their heads side to side while sleeping for many reasons. Sometimes, they do this because of an ear infection or sinus congestion. This movement often helps with the pressure in their ears and can help them get a good night’s sleep without discomfort. For some infants who have acid reflux, turning from one side to another is painful and can cause them to wake up. If your baby is moving his head from side to side, it might be a good idea for you to take him in for an examination with his pediatrician to see what’s going on inside of their little body.

When you should pay close attention to baby head-shaking signals?

It’s normal for a mother to be concerned about her child’s development and some of the new things they do as they become older. There are a few times when your infant shakes their head to indicate pain and distress.

It’s time to see your doctor if you observe any of the following in combination with your baby’s odd movements.

Fever, visible scrapes and bruises, or a rash are all symptoms of an infection or injury.

Evidence of a fall that may have resulted in your baby’s head being injured.

Head shaking that becomes worse when you’re stressed or agitated.

Your child hits his or her head on the cot or a wall.

Adults are having difficulty establishing eye contact with the baby.

Other delays in development.

Is exhibiting sluggish behavior or is having difficulty waking up

Do babies shake their heads when teething?

Babies also turn their heads while sleeping because they are teething or have uncomfortable teeth. This side-to-side motion typically occurs when they are sleeping so it doesn’t bother them as much during the day, but can be painful at night until their teeth break through the gums. It’s also common for babies to have earaches related to teething which might make the head-shaking more noticeable.

If your baby is turning his head from side to side, you might wonder if there’s something wrong. In many cases, babies will start to move their heads less and even sleep more soundly when they get a little bit older without any medical intervention or treatment required. If your baby seems to be in pain while moving his head from side to side, talk to your pediatrician about what you can do.

Legs and muscles stiffening, uncontrollable shaking or jittering motions, or breathing difficulties. These are the signs and symptoms of a myoclonic seizure. It’s very uncommon, but when it does happen, it may be catastrophic or even fatal. It is critical for parents to be aware of these characteristics and to call their doctor as soon as possible.

An ear infection is the most frequent reason of a newborn shaking their head. A temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is one of the characteristics of an ear infection in babies who are unable to vocally communicate their discomfort.

Your infant may also get agitated when put on their backs, have difficulty reacting to noises, or have fluid leaking from their ears. Another sign that your kid has an ear infection is if you see them pulling on their ears.

Trust your mother’s intuition in every circumstance. After watching the situation, if your infant is shaking their head in a manner that concerns you, get advice from your doctor. They will be able to provide you with further assistance.

Is baby shaking head a sign of autism?

Head shaking in infants is not typically an indication of autism on its own. Autism usually manifests itself in a variety of ways over a long period of time, so if you have no additional worries about your baby’s movements, it’s doubtful they have autism.

However, it’s always a good idea to pay attention in order to see additional early warning signals. Because autism is a disease that may impact a child’s development in a variety of ways, certain indications may never appear in an autistic kid – they may not exhibit all of the symptoms that are often associated with autism.

You may start seeing these habits in your kid as early as 18 months.

There are many resources accessible to parents who are attempting to figure out whether their kid has autism. If they are not autistic, most youngsters will outgrow many of the typical symptoms by the age of three.


The following are some warning signals to watch out for before 18 months:

Eye contact: As infants become older, they begin to establish eye contact, which they do often while feeding. Autism should be examined in babies who are unable to sustain eye contact once their eyes adapt to their new environment.

Unusual repeated actions: such as beating one’s skull against objects or other self-harming techniques are examples of repetitive behaviors.

Lack of interest: Even at an early age, babies may exhibit an interest in what is going on around them. Bring it up with your child’s doctor if your kid seems to be out of it and unable to interact.

Slower development: Your baby may have autism if they regularly miss developmental milestones compared to other babies their age, particularly delayed speech production or understanding, as well as poor interpersonal relationships.

Luckily, unless your infant exhibits any of the other symptoms mentioned above, there is minimal need to be concerned about head shaking. Bringing it up with your child’s healthcare provider may help alleviate your concerns or clarify whether any other symptoms you’ve seen in your infant could be a sign of autism.

How to Stop Shaking Baby’s Head

If your child’s head shaking causes them damage or pain, you may wish to put a stop to it. The continuous shaking, for example, may cause them to become very dizzy or confused, resulting in accidents and mishaps. You also don’t want your kid to bang his or her head on anything, such as the crib’s side, a table corner, or a wall.

Follow these steps to prevent your child from shaking their head:

Pay attention: If your child shakes their head, do not respond. Keep your phone down and don’t giggle, even if it’s adorable. Any response can energize your kid if he or she is shaking their head to attract your attention.

Timing: Keep track of how long your infant moves their head. If you experience shaking during breastfeeding or before going to bed, there may be underlying causes that you may address. Learn more about alternative ways to assist your baby in sleep if he or she is doing it for self-soothing reasons.

Environment: If your infant seems to be shaking their head due to anxiety or tension, try to establish a quiet atmosphere for them. Remove them to a quiet area and rock them gently. Place your hand on the back of their head and gently cradle it in an effort to calm them down.

Massage: Do you know what a baby massage is? To relax your baby’s muscles, get some baby lotion or oil and try some of the methods in the video below. The head and neck may be relaxed in a variety of ways.

Consult your physician: Call your doctor if the head shaking is extreme or if there are other indications of concern, including developmental delays. Early detection of issues or confirmation that your kid is OK can benefit both you and your baby in the long term.

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Chelsy Gallagher

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