9 Month Old Flapping Both Hands

Updated on May 12, 2010
M.T. asks from Bedford, TX
19 answers

hello!! I have noticed that my 9 month old son flaps both of his hands all the time, almost like he is riding a motorcycle. Is this normal? At fist we thought he was learning to wave, but he does even when someone is not waving at him. When we do wave at him, he will start doing it, but he does it alot on his own. when we stand him up, he waves his whole arms. Didn't know what this was...Any ideas?

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L.D.

answers from Dallas on

My 9 mo is doing the same thing. I think he just realized that he is in controll of those little hands. He loves to do it to music or when he is in his high chair.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter did the same thing, but when she was a little younger. She would do it while she was laying on her belly (before she started crawling). We called it doing the motorcycle. We thought it was so cute and would just laugh about it. She is 8 now and is perfectly normal, so I say don't worry about it.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter did the same thing, but when she was a little younger. She would do it while she was laying on her belly (before she started crawling). We called it doing the motorcycle. We thought it was so cute and would just laugh about it. She is 8 now and is perfectly normal, so I say don't worry about it.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

In our house thats the sign for "all done". He did it for EVERYTHING when he first learned it. Once they get a trick down, they like to practice it, a lot. No worries, next week he'll be clapping or waving.

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L.D.

answers from Dallas on

My 9 mo is doing the same thing. I think he just realized that he is in controll of those little hands. He loves to do it to music or when he is in his high chair.

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L.V.

answers from Chicago on

Hi..my son did the same thing for several months. It was just him learning to get my attention to let me know he wanted something. He stopped once he could start communicating verbally a bit. Although....he does love motorcycles now!

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

You know, if this is the only thing he's doing to concern you there's really no reason to call eci just yet. ;) There are a ton of behaviors that perfectly normal children exibit that are also considered "indicators" of autism when you go online. My advice, is to wait it out and not make too much of it. If there are other troubling behaviors going on, talk to your ped. Otherwise, enjoy your baby!!! I know a few toddlers who hand flap and you know what, they're considered normal. They get excited or, as someone previously pointed out, are signing "all done".

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N.M.

answers from Dallas on

It is probably a habit, especially if he's learning to wave or responding when you wave to him. Our kiddos learn by repitition and imitation. He's also probably figuring out all of the great ways he can use his hands and arms. I would give it time, see if it passes. If not, talk to the doctor at his next well check.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

Don't stress!!! My son did this FOREVER and was speech delayed too so I was in a PANIC, but turns out that I was just being neurotic! He is totally fine I swear he flapped his wings (thats what we called it) for almost 8 months straight! Enjoy this time - don't sweat the small stuff and just enjoy this time. They grow so quickly.

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K.R.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter was waving her arms around 5-6 months. It was so cute- she doesn't do this any more. I don't think this is any issues. My DD is now 11 months old and doesn't do this anymore except to wave. Her development is perfectly normal - about to start walking now.

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

Watch him for a few weeks. If he stops, it was probably just "practicing" a new skill, like other people mentioned. However, if he's still doing it then, mention it to his pediatrician at your next appointment.

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E.W.

answers from Dallas on

He probably just learned how to control his arms and he is so excited. My daughter did the same thing, he will get over it I am sure.

D.L.

answers from Dallas on

I think it's so interesting reading all these responses. You get everything from PANIC NOW to wait and see. It just goes to show you that you have to tune into your own parental instinct. Look for more than one sign (as mentioned) and follow your feelings.

My daughter did some repetetive motions at different stages of her development. Looking back, it was just a new "trick" she could do and enjoyed performing it over and over. After a short time, she would move on to doing something different.

We didn't go the "panic now" route. We did, however, mention those things to our pedi and allowed him to determine if there was further concern. And as it turns out, our daughter is a happy healthy (almost 3 year old) now.

Have fun with your baby boy!
D.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Megan,
It is probably just a habit :) My daughter started blinking her eyes constantly about 8 months ago and I was so worried etc., even took her to an eye specialist, everything checked out and one day she just stopped! LOL
But you may want to just be cautious and watch for any other signs because my 6 yr. old nephew has autism and this is a sign, however do NOT panic, there are many others as well. I am just probably overly sensitive since it runs in my family due to a liver genetic defect that does not allow the body particularly in boys to process out toxins so I watch my own 19 month old son and limit his exposure to toxins and shots etc.
You can read more at www.camsvoice.com if you wish, I think my SIL has links to many website listing other indicators. It can also be an indicator of sensory disorders which can be easily corrected. :)
But again it is probably just a phase :)
M.
www.BeHomeToo.biz

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

That sounds like it can be a sign of autism. There really isn't enough info given. i hope it is nothing other than he likes to do that.

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K.W.

answers from Dallas on

M.,
when they learn a new skill, they will repeat it over and over until something new comes along to capture thier attention. Then they will do that.
don't worry.

K.

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J.

answers from Dallas on

I am wondering if this keeps him from using his hands to pick up food and put it in his mouth or picking up toys during his play time. If so you might have ECI come and do a free evaluation. If he qualifies for services they can help you find ways to help your son. You can call 800-628-5115 for a program in your area. Let us know what happens. J.

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

M.,
Never wait on anything you feel may be something wrong. Always go with your gut. If there is something you suspect just isn't quite right then go get evaluated. If there is something going on, then EARLY intervention could be the key to a successful outcome. Call ECI or see a neurologist. DO NOT WAIT! It could be NOTHING but waiting is not going to do any good.
PLEASE listen to your gut and no one else.
L.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

M.-

I think it's just a normal thing. I too have a 9 month old little boy and he gets so excited sometimes and just winds himself up doing the thing with the arms. A lot of times he gets so crazy with hit it's like he slaps me with both arms but you can tell it's just something he's learned to do and is a little excited about it. It will calm down soon enough!

KT

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R.W.

answers from Denver on

Hi M., when my youngest (now 24months) was that young he literally used to "twirl" his feet when he was excited or wanted something. He'd move both of his feet in a circular pattern and would sometime twirl his hands too. It started earlier and he kept it up most of his infancy.

I asked our Pedi and fortunately my son did it during one of his checkups.

My doctor thought it was probably a sensory thing...a calming movement for him since it usually only happened when he was excited or really wanted something he saw. My oldest has sensory integration issues so that seemed to make sense, it often runs in families. Once my son was walking and could actively get what he wanted and have more control in his environment, the twirling stopped. I think my doctor was right...

I'd mention it at his next check up if he is still doing it, but would not worry about it.

-R.

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J.B.

answers from Austin on

My son is 10 months and he does the same thing. When he gets excited or upset he will flap his arms like he is trying to wave. Sometimes, he also twirls his feel in a circular pattern when he is sitting and seems anxious. Did you ever figure out what this was? I was afraid it may be early signs of Autism.

Thanks.

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