8 Month Old Keeps Scrunching Head Toward Left Shoulder While Playing -- Problem?

Updated on February 14, 2007
J.H. asks from Sykesville, MD
8 answers

My 8 month old daughter just started to occasionally scrunch her head/cheek down to touch her left should while playing (and it’s always her left side). I am not sure if it is just an exploration move (look, I can do it) or if it is a sign of a larger problem (ear infection, mental tic, etc). Has anyone else experienced this behavior? Please help, my mind is running wild with the worst personal diagnosis. Thank you.

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S.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Both of my girls did this. My oldest would raise her right shoulder and bring her head down to meet it. At first I was freaked, but she just seemed to like doing it, after a while she would do it and make silly faces at me, it had become a little game for her. After a few mouths or so she just stop as she started doing other stuff. My baby at about 6mts started to do it when she would be sitting in her highchair(which is the only time she sits!)she only did ita few times and stopped. Hope this helps!

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H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't have any experience with this specific concern, but I just want to mention that any time you notice something that creates concern in you, it doesn't hurt to put yourself at ease by checking in with the pediatrician. You don't necessarily need an apt for questions - or should anyways. My ped is great about phone consultation. Moms notice tiny details and have a good sense about possible problems - just call your ped. Mine has hours in the am for ?? but they will take them anytime if something comes up later in the day. Just tell the receptionist that you have a concern/question for a nurse/doctor. They will take a brief message and your child's name. They pull the chart and someone returns your call. It has always been the most helpful thing for me to settle my wild thoughts about what might be the problem. If the nurse/doctor feels it's necessary to see the child, they will tell you to make an apt. If not, they can offer suggestions for behaviors that might be of concern and instruct you when it might be necessary to make an apt.

Another option is to try chiropractic care. A ped isn't likely to refer you, but insurance doesn't usually cover infants anyways. The chiropractor usually has a low fee for children because of this. My children have been going since they were a few days old. Any time they are sick, we take them for an immune boost. We also know they need to go when they develop big attitudes - it's their way to say they are uncomfortable. Many issues that may be handled with surgery or braces can be easily and less intrusively managed and repaired with chiropractic care.

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D.V.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I was wondering if you have considered seeing a chiropractor. My husband is a chiropractor and he has adjusted our 3 children since the day they were born. I have learned so much from him about children needing adjusted. If you think about the trauma they endure at birth how they are pulled and twisted just being born, their bodies are definitley out of alignment. Our kids are happy and healthy and my 2 year old nephew comes over and actually asks my husband to adjust him. They do know what makes them feel better. If you would like to ask some questions about kids and chiropractic let me know I can get you in touch with my husband. He specializes in pediatric chiropractic and I know he would love to answer any questions you may have...she may have a pinched nerve that keeps pulling her head that way. Good Luck.

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S.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Both of my girls did this. My oldest would raise her right shoulder and bring her head down to meet it. At first I was freaked, but she just seemed to like doing it, after a while she would do it and make silly faces at me, it had become a little game for her. After a few mouths or so she just stop as she started doing other stuff. My baby at about 6mts started to do it when she would be sitting in her highchair(which is the only time she sits!)she only did ita few times and stopped. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful
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C.G.

answers from Allentown on

I have a friend whose son had torcolosis (not sure of the spelling). What it was was that his neck was scrunched up while he was still inside and one side of his neck didn't develop as quickly as the other side- so, although it was BARELY noticeable- he didn't ever really turn his head all the way to the weaker side. Her ped. showed her some exercises to do with him and he's kind of just grown out of it- with lots of stimulation to the weaker side and the exercises the ped. showed her. Check with your doctor. Don't freak out!
Take care-
C.

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H.H.

answers from Washington DC on

OMG! My son did the exact same thing and I was worried out of my mind! He's 10 months old now, but he was also 8 months when he did it! Weird! I'm glad to say that it was nothing! I thought, "He's probably got some kind of disorder!!!" He is totally fine and normal, as is your daughter :) I'm so relieved to know that other babies did it, too ! Whew!

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E.P.

answers from Washington DC on

J.,
I suugest a trip to the pedi. She most likely has an ear infection which is common. Does she ever tug at that ear? If you suspect an ear infection, when bathing her try your best not to get water into the ear. Hope this helps.

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C.G.

answers from Washington DC on

My son had Torticalus as well. It was caused due to his size while in the womb. He was 9lbs 5 ozs and 20 inches at birth. I am only 5'2" and 115 lbs not pregnant... His size didn't allow him to move as freely on both sides in the womb and one side of his neck muscles didn't grow as well as the other. I didn't notice anything was wrong at all! It was the ped. at the four month well baby that noticed. I took him to therapy once a week for about six months. She showed me things to do to encourage his development. It is not noticable now. However, if you don't get this taken care of it can cause her to be delayed in her development.

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A.R.

answers from Scranton on

My son does this a lot also. We have had him to the doctor and he said that his ears are fine and there is no infection. I have pretty much come to the conclusion that it is teeth. He'll do it for a few days, and then he gets teeth and stops. They say that babies can get sore ears when they are pushing teeth. I hope this is of help to you!

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