My 4 Month Old Shakes Her Head Side to Side....

Updated on July 26, 2008
M.A. asks from Apex, NC
27 answers

My 4 month old has started to shake her head side to side vigorously. She does this many times per day. I was just wondering if this is normal? It worries me!

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L.R.

answers from Chattanooga on

LOL, my child does all sorts of weird things like that! It is norm and just a phase. Do you live in Winchester?

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C.M.

answers from Wilmington on

I have a 3 month old girl who does the same. It looks like she is shaking her head "no" but more vigorously. She does it most often when shes on the changing table. I think this is just a normal thing since from birth they begin to get more control over there necks and now they are trying to use the control they have.

K.O.

answers from Charlotte on

My son did the same thing. The doctor said it was just something he discovered he could do. He is now 4 and 1/2 years old. He is a healthy active boy. My daughter did it some but not as much as my son. He used to do a lot to the point where he looked as if he were dizzy.

A little about me:
I am a 35-year-old STAM and work part time at home, with a 4-1/2 year old son and 2 year old daughter and one on the way.

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I.N.

answers from Raleigh on

Yes, this is normal. She's just exploring what she can do with her body.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.T.

answers from Louisville on

Does she have water in her ears??? My kids always shook their heads when they had water in their ears or an ear infection. Maybe its just a new stage and it may pass after a couple of weeks.
Hope this helps.

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S.R.

answers from Nashville on

M., I'm a pediatric Occupational therapist. Some babies or children do it because they are seeking movement (vestibular stimulation to be technical). Get her on a swing or slowly and gently spin her in a net swing (not enough to get her dizzy of course). Do gentle, playful rolling from side-to-side (using a big beach ball to lay her on works great). Rock her or bounce her gently in your arms. Carry her in a football hold (stomach and chest on your forearm and hand) and encourage her to look up (extending her neck and head) while gently rocking her. If after a few days of this you don't start to see a reduction of head shaking, see your pediatrician. I worked with one 6 month old baby, who shook her head like your daughter, who ended up having a small cyst in her brain. Now she's a beautiful 17 year old who just graduated highschool. Blessings, S.

A.D.

answers from Austin on

is she smiling and happy when she does it or does she seem upset? My son did this around that age and it was just silly stuff. In fact I can recall one plane trip that we took and i was holding him where his head was between my breasts while he did it like he was motor boating me..lol. I was so embaressed but i dont think anyone saw. Another thing that i thought of when i see my son shake his head is when he just urinated and the warm sensation gives him the webegebies. If you dont think its either of these 2 and she seems upset when she does it, I would have her checked out or at least give a call to the pediatrician.

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K.H.

answers from Memphis on

my little boy started doing the same thing several months ago and it freaked me out to! After paying close attention, i realized he was doing it when he was sleppy. i'm sur it's no big deal, but totally understand your concern. i worry about everything! :)

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A.R.

answers from Knoxville on

My child did this. It freaked me out. My husband and I thought there was something mentally wrong with her. I think it made her dizzy and she was just experimenting with different sensations. She stopped doing it when she was about 1 years old. She is four now and in no way mentally damaged. I forgot about that until I read your post. I laughed out loud because I just remember thinking what the hell is wrong with my baby?!?!

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W.B.

answers from Nashville on

Well I have a 6 month old girl and she used to do that. She would do it so much she would get mats in the back of her hair from it. I'm not sure if it's normal or not...but my daughter did, so I wouldn't worry too much. God Bless you and your family! W.

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N.A.

answers from Knoxville on

I would have her ears checked first. Ask your pediatrician. My son has hearing loss and used to shake his head. It may be nothing, but worth investigating. Especially if she does it after being in the water.

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J.L.

answers from Greensboro on

My sister use to do that; for my sister I believe it was a way of soothing herself. She continued do that for many years.

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M.T.

answers from Nashville on

I have never heard or seen that. If it looks enough abnormal for you to ask about it, I think that if it were me, I would take her to the dr and have it checked out.

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R.H.

answers from Clarksville on

Well, without watching your child do it it is hard to say. It could be an ear infection. Children do not have to cry with an ear ache to have an infection. It could be a new discovery. It also could be seizures. It wouldn't hurt to have your pediatrician take a look. Chldren don't come with instructions so it's always good to get an expert opioion when you are in question. I will say a prayer for you and your child today. God Bless.

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T.K.

answers from Louisville on

It kind of depends on the the strength, duration and level of awareness she exhibits. If she seems to be aware (no blank stares, no confusion immediately preceding or anteceding from the event) it's probably okay. If her body stiffens up while she's doing it or if she cries afterwards (it's so hard to know what's going with little ones) she could be experiencing a seizure or infantile spasm. In any of the three scenarios, I would take her to the pediatrician to express my concern...maybe even catch one of the episodes on camera. The best that could happen is the pediatrician will tell you everything's okay and put your mind at rest. The worst is that you'll get your daughter help early on. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!

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C.S.

answers from Charlotte on

My son did this around that time. He would do it when he was sleepy trying to keep himself away. It was so funny. See if she is doing it when she is sleepy.

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M.H.

answers from Memphis on

I think maybe she has just learned something new. My older child used to fall back onto the floor and bang her head when she started her tantrum stage. That didn't last long. We had to learn to not react to it, and she stopped. Thank God!

Is she having fun when she does it? Again, she may just have learned she can do it, and she's experimenting.

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S.B.

answers from Charlotte on

Have her ears checked..she might have an ear infection...good luck..
S. B

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M.H.

answers from Huntington on

Hi there! I have a almost 10-month-old baby girl (my first), and she has done the same thing with her head practically since she was born. She doesn't do it quite as much as she used to, but she still does it from time to time. From what I've read, it's harmless, and it's usually a sign that they are tired. If she's doing it a lot, maybe she's sleepy or not napping long enough. Try to notice if it's before bedtime or in between naps that she does it and then try to adjust her sleep schedule accordingly. Hope that eases your mind!

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T.C.

answers from Nashville on

Sounds normal to me! The only thing I would watch for is if she starts grabbing at her ears-could be a sign of an ear infection. But if she is happy and just shakes her head, no worries, she is just figuring out her amazing body and what she can do!

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M.E.

answers from Lexington on

my little girl did that at about the same age. she dropped her head down and kinda rolled her eyes back and started shaking her head from side to side. i flipped cause i thought she was having a siezure. well wehn she got done, she raised her head again started laughing and did it again...and again and again. i think it was just a new discovery for her and the dizzy feeling made her laugh. seh did it for about a week and once the "new" wore off she just stopped doing it and moved onto some thing new. she's almost 2 1/2 now and sometimes she'll start shaking her back and forth really fast and laugh and say " i crazy girl" it's actually pretty funny to watch. there could be other reasons...ear infection, seizures, etc. if you're really concerned call your ped, but i'm sure it's really nothing but a new skill for her.

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T.C.

answers from Lexington on

I wouldn't worry unless you see other abnormal behavior. Ask you Dr. about it. It is normal for babies to start shaking their heads "no" around that age.

K.O.

answers from Charlotte on

My son did the same thing. The doctor said it was just something he discovered he could do. He is now 4 and 1/2 years old. He is a healthy active boy. My daughter did it some but not as much as my son. He used to do a lot to the point where he looked as if he were dizzy.

A little about me:
I am a 35-year-old STAM and work part time at home, with a 4-1/2 year old son and 2 year old daughter and one on the way.

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L.E.

answers from Nashville on

I would talk to her pediatrician. I was told that this could be a sign of an ear infection or water in their ears. But I would express my concern to the dr.

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M.L.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi M.,

I can appreciate your concern, especially as a new Mom. I would say it isn't something to be overly concerned with, but if it makes you feel better most definitely bring it up to the pediatrician. I am not there to see your daughter shaking her head, and you know her best above all, so go with your gut. I believe that God instilled in each of us mothers a type of intuition to know when something is wrong or deserves concern. God made us the nurturers for a reason. That all being said, thank you for asking your question on Mamasource. Another new mom may share your same concern. Have a blessed day!

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L.R.

answers from Chattanooga on

LOL, my child does all sorts of weird things like that! It is norm and just a phase. Do you live in Winchester?

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B.T.

answers from Charlotte on

make it a game!! she'll laugh like crazy soon! we played it with my boys and they are 3 and still do it!! its the "shakey shakey" game....shake your head back and forth when she does and say shakey shakey, shakey shakey!! my kids laughed so much over it!!

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S.S.

answers from Nashville on

Hi M., I have twin girls that are 9 months old. I am also a first time mom. Ellie started doing the side to side head thing a while ago. Her sister doesn't do it. I have never been concerned about it though. She seems to do it when she is excited or eating. I think it may just be something they do to try and communicate with us. If you find out something different let me know...

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C.M.

answers from Wilmington on

I have a 3 month old girl who does the same. It looks like she is shaking her head "no" but more vigorously. She does it most often when shes on the changing table. I think this is just a normal thing since from birth they begin to get more control over there necks and now they are trying to use the control they have.

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T.K.

answers from Charlotte on

It's perfectly normal. My son did the same thing for months. There was nothing wrong with him. She's just learning new things she can do, that's all.

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