22 answers

Son Tensing Up

Hello. In the past week, my 9 1/2 month old son has started (out of no where) doing this tensing, strange thing.
The first time I noticed, he was sitting on the floor and a cartoon came on, he looked like he got super excited over it, clenched his fist, jaw, and arms (pretty much total upper body). It was only for a second or two. He was also overtired, so I thought maybe that had something to do with it.
Then in the last few days, he's done it here and there, whether excited about a toy or cartoon, or mad about getting changed, etc. etc. So it's not just when he's in a specific mood.
He is teething (has been for months now), so we thought maybe this new habit was due to the pain of teething.
I'm getting a little nervous about it, not knowing why he's doing it.
Have any of you experienced the same type thing?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so so much for all the comments. I feel so much better now, knowing that so many of you have seen/dealt with the same thing.
Two teeth just popped through on the bottom, and one seems to be on it's way on top. Since the bottom two popped through (last week), he has only done his "crazy baby" tensing up thing a couple times. So I'm wondering if dealing with the pain of teething, on top of not knowing how to show his emmotions, brought this on to some extent.
I'll still bring it up to his pediatrician, just incase she has any concerns. But I'm much more at ease with it now, compared to when it first started...
Thank you all!
Take care.
-J.

Featured Answers

Hi, J.!

My 1 year old son does this. We affectionately call this "crazy baby," as in "Duncan is doing crazy baby." Duncan does this when he gets excited and sometimes when he is mad or frustrated. He has no other way to express these emotions as he has not begun talking yet and those are really big feelings for his little body. My 2 year old nephew used to do this too but has pretty much grown out of it as he learns to verbalize what he's feeling.

In other words....really nothing to worry about.

S.

My mother-in -law always joked about how my husband tensed up when he gets excited when he was a baby/child. He STILL does it and he's 29 years old. It's a little quirk that he has and I think it's actually cute. If you notice no other strange behavior, it may just be the way he exhibits excitement, frustration etc...
goodluck

More Answers

Hi, J.!

My 1 year old son does this. We affectionately call this "crazy baby," as in "Duncan is doing crazy baby." Duncan does this when he gets excited and sometimes when he is mad or frustrated. He has no other way to express these emotions as he has not begun talking yet and those are really big feelings for his little body. My 2 year old nephew used to do this too but has pretty much grown out of it as he learns to verbalize what he's feeling.

In other words....really nothing to worry about.

S.

Wow, that sounds just like something my 21/2 year old does. He clenches his entire uper body(arms, fists, etc.,), opens his mouth and shakes. He has been doing this since he was at least 1. My daycare lady was concerned(she thought it might be a sort of siezure), but he actually did it in front of his doctor one time and he just said it is a behavorial thing(and to just ignore it) and that he will grow out of it eventually, but he couldn't tell me when. I am still waiting although he has been doing less lately, so we will see. You may want to bring it to his doctor at your next visit just to ease your mind. Good Luck!

Hi J.,
My son, (just turned 2yrs.), experienced this same thing this past summer, so he was about 18 months. I was really worried about it. Then one day I was reading some papers from the Dr. office and read that this may be a side effect from a vaccination. He had recently recieved a vaccination when I noticed this behavior. It stopped a few days later.
Hope everything works out.

My mother-in -law always joked about how my husband tensed up when he gets excited when he was a baby/child. He STILL does it and he's 29 years old. It's a little quirk that he has and I think it's actually cute. If you notice no other strange behavior, it may just be the way he exhibits excitement, frustration etc...
goodluck

Hi J.,

My daughter has been doing the same thing too. She is 8 months old. I started seeing this about 3 weeks ago (when her first tooth starting popping through). It mostly happened when she was excited. My husband and I worried about it (me a bit more than him:), but it has seemed to subside the past week or so. I have no idea what it could be. We worried it was a tick of some sort. If you get any good info, I would love yo hear it.

Jess

My daughter (15 months) does the same thing and has been doing it since about the same age as your son. I can tell you that my daughter is super hyper and very active, never stays still for a second. I think this quick little jolt gets some of her adrenaline out. Honestly, I have no clue why she does it, but for all this time it has not impacted her development or anything else, if anything she is advanced for her age. if you are worried, i would ask the doctor and never encourage him by laughing or mimicing his actions when doing this (like my boyfiend does to my daughter cause he thinks it's hysterical).

My son does it too. and has been for some time. He is now 2 yrs old. I hate it but the doc says it is normal and is a way for him to show excitment. Someday when he has a better understanding of his feelings and learns different ways to show emotion besides crying/laughing and clenching, he will stop doing this. I also think it is a boy thing. No worries though. It looks funny but is normal!

I have a stepson that does/did the same thing. He's been in my life since he was 4 and will be 10 in April and has slowly outgrew this behavior. When he gets excited about something he will bend one or both arms up almost behind his head and tense up for a second or two. Depending on how excited he is he will do this once or several times. Anything from his favorite dinner, to a bithday present, to winning at a video game, or stopping over for a visit at a favorite relative's house will trigger it. I asked my husband about it early on in our relationship and he told me its something that he has always done. At soon to be 10 yrs he now only does this when he is very excited about something and cannot put it into words. I can think of only twice in the last year that I've seen him do this. I also have a 2yr old son who on occasion I seen do this 'tensing up' but not at the extreme his brother has. So I think it may be a family trait.

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