28 answers

Baby Pats/Hits Head When Feeding

I am wondering if there are other parents out there that have expeienced this, but my little 7 month old hits her head with her hand when she nurses. This only happens when she nurses. It is not hard or anything, its just weird that she does it and we do not know why and have not found any other info on the internet and were wondering if this is a natural thing or if this is something we should look out for. Anyone else dealt with this?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your responses. It was actually my dear husband who posted this question, because we were talking about it that morning. :)
As one of you mentioned, she also has started pinching and/or scratching me while nursing, and she also sometimes scratches the furniture we're sitting on! How funny.
Again, thank you all. I'm glad it is normal.

Featured Answers

My 9 month old does this too. She extends her affection to herself when she's happy/proud of feeding herself. The petting, or patting becomes less funny looking when they become more coordinated.

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Just be careful what kind of cheap plastic beads they are. If they are made in China I would not buy it. I believe all their toys especially the cheap ones like the ones in gumball machines are poisonous. My husband has been saying this for over 15 yrs when he was only 23 yrs. old and now you hear about it on the news. No wonder Americans have joint diseases and other cancers. I believe this is from lead toys and all toys made in China. Now they are saying cell phones are going to be the number one cause of brain cancer. That's why I tell my friends who are breast feeding to not talk on phone while breast feeding. Good luck.

My son is 10 1/2 months old and does some what the same thing. He will either put his finger in his ear or rub his thumb back and forth over his head. I never looked into it, but I just took it as the "thing" he does to soothe himself to sleep. He now takes his little stuffed Tigger and brushes the tail over his face when he is falling asleep too. He has been doing this for a while now.

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One of my twin's does the same thing! THey are 9 months old. The other twin does not slap himself at all. Basically Isaac takes his hand and slaps the side and top of his head and sometimes he slaps me in the chest. My older son used to also pull his hair when he nursed at that age. I think they are just trying out new sensations or looking for comforting techniques even though it doesn't seem very comforting! Maybe teething? In any case my older son is perfectly fine despite the hair pulling and slapping.

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My 9 month old does this too. She extends her affection to herself when she's happy/proud of feeding herself. The petting, or patting becomes less funny looking when they become more coordinated.

1 mom found this helpful

Your post brings back memories for me! My older daughter would hold/tug on her ear when nursing. I always thought it was the strangest thing, but our pediatrician said it was normal. Eventually she grew out of it. My younger daughter insisted on squeezing my chest (hard!) with her tiny little fist while nursing, and I wished that she would just hold her own ear like her sister had done! =)

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Our now three-yr old used to do the very same thing. I was so perplexed, especially since his older brother never did it. Oddly enough, it seemed to be some sort of self-soothing move on is part, seriously. It was almost like an "aaaah" response. It did go away all on its own but I did find myself saying things to him when he did it, like "Sweetie, you don't need to hit your head, you can hold mommie's hand", etc -- and usually he would push away my hand, or shake his head "No", especially as he got older. I eventually had to giggle about it and he would grin at me like he knew it was funny too. And, believe it or not, I'd mostly forgotten about until I saw your question! But all traces of this disappeared after many, many months - possibly a full year, so hang in there.

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Your post brought back wonderful memories for me as well, I think she is so happy she is loving herself as she is all safe and snuggled in her happiest spot on earth. My daughter used to pat me - and as she got older would just squeal with delight as she nursed...Enjoy this wonderful magical time...

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hey R.! :)

my son does did this too. he's grown out of it, but i think it's a way for them to calm themselves down into nursing...it's a kind of comfort/get all the energy out to relax thing. i wouldn't worry at all, but itf she starts to hit hard or hurt herself, work on "gentle touches"...she's only 7 months so it will probably take a while to teach that one :)

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Dear R.,
I don't think you have anything to worry about. It is your baby's weird way of comforting herself.
I know someone whose little boy rubs his ear when he nurses. My own daughter sucked her thumb and rubbed her elbow with her other hand.
Talk about self soothing!
I always rubbed my son's head and ran my fingers through his hair when he nursed. He just turned 13 and still loves getting his head rubbed.
If "hitting" her head upsets you, try rubbing it instead or holding her hand and massaging her fingers.
She seems to associate patting her head with happy nursing time. I don't think it's anything to worry about.

Best of wishes! Enjoy your little baby!

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't worry about it, my 9 month daughter does the same thing. Sometimes she pats me, sometimes her own head. Usually it is her own head when she's almost asleep, weird huh. Anyway, we never figured out why she does it either, isn't it interesting what they pick up? If you ever find out what causes it, let me know. But I wouldn't worry. Good luck!


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