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Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

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Old 08-03-2004, 08:45 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4
Grandmato2 HB User
Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

My grandaughter has a very wierd habit since she could sit up.She shakes her head from side to side...sort of a Stevie Wonder movement or like she is saying no.Although it appears to be involuntary,she can be redirected and stopped,however she will do it again.It has not caused any motor delays. She was born about 5 weeks early,This habit began at about 5 months,she is 11 months now.She can sit up,crawl,pull herself up and cruise along the furniture....walking is only days away.
She is prone to ear infections and has lots of fluid in her ears.
Some days it is more pronounced than others and strangers "in her space" or stressful office.... increase the activity.It is minimal or non-existant if she is concentrating on something.
She is scheduled for an appointment w/neurologist...I am just wondering if anyone has had this experiance with their child and what it was?

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Old 08-03-2004, 09:37 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 432
PinkPiglet HB User
Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

It could be just the sound of the fluid in her ears but when you say she increases when she is stressed I start wondering about Autism or Asperger's (a form of Autism).

Most kids with any type of Autism will have 'tics' or movements that they do when they get stressed or when they just are in their own world. My son used to do things like that and we didn't find out he had Asperger's until he was 10. It was a long road before that! lol He could walk and talk early but just had strange movements and behaviours. It's probably not it but just something to think about.

Old 08-03-2004, 05:53 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2004
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moriachik HB User
Cool Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

Ive read before that babies from 5 to 10 months tend to shake their heads, its because they are figuring out their bodies, what things they can do, like shake their heads lol, they especially like to do it to new people, like doctors and such, so i wouldnt worry, but if you feel like its something else, take her to the doctor again. Lol

Old 08-03-2004, 08:39 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Grandmato2 HB User
Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

It is amazing the number of moms I have "spoken" to on various boards who are going through this same behavior...and it seems most "outgrew" it.That makes me feel pretty good.She did go back to see her primary doc...he does NOT feel it is a tumor,leans toward a sensory thing,but really does not have a clue. Em is going to see her eye rule out anything like spasmus nutan,her hemangioma specialist...does not appear to be a problem:no growth in several months and is involuting, and will see a neuorologist on the 24th.
My daughter kept her busy today...bubble painting,swimming,and Em "mastered the sippy cup" today and took her first semi-real steps today!I will continue to post what goes on just in case someone else finds this site that needs it.Like I appears to be somewhat common,although docs "never seen it"!!

Old 08-04-2004, 07:20 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2004
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moriachik HB User
Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

lol, docs try to find the medical problems of situations my children did it too, it was just that they discover what they can do with their movements at that age, i think its perfectly normal

Old 08-12-2004, 06:31 PM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2004
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1egnima HB User
Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

Hi! My daughter did that exact same thing. I was really worried about her ears and nearly drove my doc nuts. increased dramatically in stressful situations. We did go to a Neurologist and eventually she was diagnosed with very mild turret's syndrome. She is now 3 and sstill does the head shaking on occasion. She has also developed a very small facial tick...a blink that get wrose under stress (really noone but her dad and I notice it). The Dr's have told us it could go away...or get worse as sge gets older. There rae medications if it should get worse.

My best to you and your baby...try not to worry...Mom's tend to think the worst .


Old 08-12-2004, 09:13 PM   #7
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Chrissi HB User
Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

my 10 month old has just started doing this and my friend has a 12 month old who does it....but our girls do it volontaraliy, because when i tell my daughter "no" i always shake my head no at the same time and now she mocks me by shaking her head back at
i agrre with moriachik, they just discover that they can do something new and they do it over and over and over and....well you get the picture!
DD Born:10-13-2003
DS Born: 5-04-2005

Old 03-19-2008, 07:27 PM   #8
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Melbourne, FL, USA
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twinbabies07 HB User
Thumbs up Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

All of these messages have made me feel a little better. One of my 8 month old twin boys has been doing this constant head shaking for the last few weeks and tonight he was in his crib just laying there shaking his head staring at the ceiling and I decided to look it up. I am wondering if all of you who have written about this subject who's child wasn't diagnosed with anything, have had any problems since, or if it has passed. I am hoping it is just a motor skills thing where he is just learning. Or maybe he picked it up from me shaking my head at him. LOL. He is crawling, standing, he pulls himself up, side steps, and stands on his own for short periods. He seems to be a really bright baby and I guess I may be just paranoid. He is trying to talk, says mama and dada, reaches for things. He does a weird nose thing where he seems to be trying to clear his nose and is constantly sucking things up his nose....I guess that is the only other strange thing he does. I will ask his doctor what she thinks. But thank you for all of you insight. It was helpful.

Old 03-19-2008, 08:31 PM   #9
Join Date: Jul 2005
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sem627 HB User
Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

My son who is 22 months also rocks his head from side to side. I don't even remember when it started, but he's been doing it for at least a year now because I remember my mother commenting about it when she visited this time last year. My son noticeably does it when he's tired. In fact, it's how he puts himself to sleep in the crib every single nap and each night. He used to do it in stressful when we dropped him off in the nursery at church. He wouldn't want anyone to hold him, but rather lie on the floor and rock his head. It's his way of soothing himself. Here lately, he only does it in the carseat or highchair when he's tired, and always when he's falling alseep in his crib. Now he even prefers to have his stuffed Mickey Mouse under his head when he does it at bedtime.

We used to really, really worry about it, until he started interacting and talking more. He is completely normal....runs, plays, is social, is now putting small sentences together, etc. He's done all milestones on target. I did a search for head rocking/banging and found some information that was really helpful and really put my mind at ease.

Yes, it is a sign of autism, however, like 20% of very normal children do this. There are three things to look at to determine if it's just a normal childhood thing or if it's related to autism.

1. Does the child point to get an adult to look at something?

2. Does the child do imaginery play? (Like my son would open a toenail clipper and pretend it was a phone and put it to his ear)

3. Does the child follow your gaze?

If a child does any one of these by 14 months, the chances of autism are very small. You can then say the head rocking/banging is just a normal habit. It can last up to four years of age!!!!!

Another thing that made me feel better when my son was younger was he would stop if we talked to him and look right at us. I kind of thought that if there really was a problem that he would just continue and totally ignore our presence. But he always stopped, looked at us and smiled.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by sem627; 03-19-2008 at 08:34 PM.

Old 03-20-2008, 05:26 AM   #10
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,501
KeltoKel HB User
Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old

I just want you to know that my son started this at 9 months or so and outgrew it recently (he is 16 months). He does it when he is happy and it is just something he does. We do it back to him, he does it back to us, and we laugh so I guess he knows he is doing it.

My son shows no signs of autism whatsoever so I am not worried about it. Like sem67 said, if she is developing appropriately then I am sure she is fine.

Old 03-25-2008, 11:31 AM   #11
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Aurorasmommy HB User
Re: Head Shaking In 11 Month Old


My daughter started doing the same thing around the same age. She has epilepsy, and we were worried that they were seizures. They did an overnight EEG (Video Monitoring) and the EEG showed they were NOT seizures! She eventually grew out of it! It was so odd though! She would do it all night in her sleep... her head would go BACK AND FORTH, BACK AND FORTH! It made me really concerned!

The neuro said that kids do the weirdest things, and that she might enjoy the feeling!

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