My 8 Month Old Son Constantly Fidgets His Wrists in a Circular Motion

Updated on March 21, 2008
E.M. asks from Cleveland, TN
26 answers

I'm not sure whether this is normal or not. My son is 8 months old and whether he's sitting in his car seat, on the floor, or in his discovery zone play toy--he constantly rotates his wrists in a circular motion. Is this normal? I ask the doctor and he said babies his age fidgets like that. But, its the same motion over and over. Help??

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks so much for everyone's advice. Glad to see we are all pretty much on the same page as far as what our lil' ones are doing. This site has truly been helpful.

Beth

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi E.. I wouldn't be too concerned with this. My son did the same thing, only it was his wrists and his feet. He was always fidgeting. He is now 17 months old and stopped doing it. If I remember correctly he stopped when he was around 10-11 months old, around when he started crawling and walking. I think they just have so much energy they don't know what to do with it. Hope this is helpful!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.H.

answers from Memphis on

My daughter is 10 months old and she does the same thing with her left ankle and foot. Well, does both, but 90% of the time it's the left. Her pediatrician says the same thing. That it's just a phase and she's learning the limits of motion and how her feet work in preparation for walking. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.A.

answers from Parkersburg on

Hi
I am a grandma to a 10 month old baby boy and he has always done that,he does both wrist @ the same time.But I understand his daddy did it also till he was 3.I find him doing that I put something in his hands to distract him from doing it.But I have noticed he doesn't do that as much.I have asked Doctors about that and he saids baby do this!!!!!!So just work with the little guy.
Good luck and keep working with him
Grandma

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.

answers from Asheville on

It's funny that you mention this! My son was 9 lbs, 2 oz when he was born, so needless to say, he was pretty cramped the last few weeks. During those last few weeks ALL I could feel was him 'spinning his wrists' like that! He did it lots when he was born too. He just turned 4 and still does it occasionally, like when he stretches when he's tired or first wakes up.... stretches and does the wrists.
I think all children have a 'little thing' they do. My sister twisted her hair and still does. My niece 'smelled her arm' and STILL does it (she is 8) when she gets upset, flaps them when she gets WAY excited over something.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Parkersburg on

HI there! I have a 21 month old daughter and she has done this same motion with her wrists and ankles. She does this when she gets really excited about something, like eating in her chair, her fave cartoon, etc. I wouldn't worry, especially if the dr said so. My dr thought it was cute my daughter did it, I just think its a little thing some babies/toddlers do. Hope this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

Hello mom, try giving him a full body massage. I used this on all my children at least twice a day. Remember they are balled up for nine months. This extends their limbs and help them do it their selfs. Mother of six the oldest is going to be 26 in may and the baby is going to be 12 in july. Im 43.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.W.

answers from Clarksville on

Why is it that we mothers are always terified if something isnt "normal" what is "normal" anyway? I have a 7 month old daughter, she seems to have the same type fidgit, only she swings her arm back and forth over and over. I think it's cute... Dont worry...he's probably just amazed that he has such control over his body for a change.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.A.

answers from Charlotte on

If the doctor says it is normal then it is probably normal but just in case keep in touch with the doctor if it doesn't go away but it probably will.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.S.

answers from Huntington on

Liz, I don't think it is "normal" unless he just does it for a short time,he may be fascinated with that he can do that. Watch him and then consult with someone who is in psychiatry-these types of things medical Dr's. don't know much about.(behaviors)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.P.

answers from Memphis on

Hi, E.!

My 10 month-old daughter did the same thing from about 7.5 months to 9.5 months, off and on. I asked her pediatrician about it, and like your doctor advised, apparently it's completely "normal" for little ones that age. My daughter still does her "Abra-Cadabra" hands when she is excited about something--eating, strolling, watching our dogs playing. Hope this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.F.

answers from Greensboro on

i think that it is perfectly normal. i think that it is probably just a new movement that they learn because my 8-9 mo. old has also been doing it. i wouldn't worry to much about it.
hope this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.H.

answers from Fayetteville on

Moms know. Follow your gut. Don not let the doctor tell you different. Have him tested. The earlier you catch something the earlier you can treat it.

Good luck and God Bless,

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Hickory on

I would have you doctor look into it more does your son do this in front of his face or so it more when he is upset ? next time you go to the doctors ask for a full developmental evouluation. good luck

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.P.

answers from Chattanooga on

My daughter did the same thing only with her right foot. Everytime she was in the car seat or high chair or just sitting in general.
Perhaps it's soothing somehow, I dunno. If you notice anything else questionable make note of it all. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about it. My lil' girl is 2 1/2 and full of questions, energy and love. They're weird lil' buggers and do some of the oddest things. It's hard to decide what to worry about and what to overlook, I know! Mostly, if they're happy, alert and healthy you have little to worry about beyond what they're putting in their mouth!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from Raleigh on

Maybe you could videotape him doing this. Sometimes doctors say it is normal until they actually see the extent of it, because they think the mother is exaggerating. Maybe a 5 minute tape and then if the doctor still says it is normal, you will be able to relax.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.S.

answers from Parkersburg on

My friends little boy did the same thing, and he is fine. Remember how men do things we don't understand, well he's just learning early.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.L.

answers from Memphis on

WOW! My 8 month old does the same thing! I've never been bothered by it. I think it's a way of expressing himself when he wants something he can't reach/grasp.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.C.

answers from Memphis on

My kids all did this, all five of them. Most of them did it with their feet as well. We use to say they were riding a bike. It is very normal, so just relax and enjoy.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.H.

answers from Memphis on

My daughter is 10 months old and she does the same thing with her left ankle and foot. Well, does both, but 90% of the time it's the left. Her pediatrician says the same thing. That it's just a phase and she's learning the limits of motion and how her feet work in preparation for walking. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from Clarksville on

Babies andchildren will do seemingly odd things very often. You don't need to look too deeply and try to find "something wrong" with every little thing they do.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

V.C.

answers from Wheeling on

My oldest daughter (now 30 with 3 of her own) did this, as did one of her babies. It's probably just something that they feel they can control and watch and it fascinates them. As long as he's doing other things that a 'normal' 8-mo-old does (reaching for things, putting things in his mouth, making consonant sounds, starting to sit/crawl), I'd say it's 'normal'.
Enjoy him! It's all over before you know it and you're sending them off into the big wide world!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Jacksonville on

My son(now 5 1/2) did something very simliar when he was close to your sons age. He would clench both of his fists and release them, not really tightly, but over and over and over. (you get the picture).I was terribly worried, but he outgrew it. My father (who is English) said what they called that type of behaviour in England is "woggling". Not sure that this helps...

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.M.

answers from Nashville on

E.,

Our 18 mos old daughter did this, too. It completely freaked out both my husband and I since she started doing it around 6-8 months of age last yr right after autism awareness month and all we heard on TV were the signs of autism. Of course, twitching and repetitive motions were one of the signs. And of course it started on a weekend so I got on the internet which made me really concerned b/c there was so much on there related to neurological disorders. I took her to the pediatrician and she said it was completely normal. She had no other symptoms of autism or any other disorder and was developing normally.

Our daughter did this for probably 6 months. She seemed to do it more when she was watching you and if she got excited that really seemed to set it off. Sometimes she would do it with both hands and on occasion I would notice her doing it with her feet. Long story short, she was fine but it was just scary for me as a 1st time parent. If you are really worried go to the pediatrician but if your child has been otherwise healthy and maintains eye contact and reacts to your face then it's probably normal.

Hang in there, it will go away when they master their fine motor skills and begin walking and playing. I didn't notice it stop but it has, thinking back it was probably around 13 months after she had mastered walking.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.G.

answers from Fayetteville on

My 10 month old son has been doing the same thing for several months. He rotates his wrists and frequently studies his hands, moving his arms around. I read in one of the parenting books that this is normal, as babies are discovering how to use their hands. It take a while for them to learn that their hands belong to them and they can control them. I wouldn't worry about it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Nashville on

not to worry you, however this could be an early sign of autism...i'd hold off on his next bought of vaccines and spend a lot of time engaging your son in floor playtime with mommy and friends who love him. Repetitive movements are always concerning at this age, it may just be a phase and nothing to worry about, BUT I would be caution as autism is 1 in 6 in american boys!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.A.

answers from Parkersburg on

Hi
I am a grandma to a 10 month old baby boy and he has always done that,he does both wrist @ the same time.But I understand his daddy did it also till he was 3.I find him doing that I put something in his hands to distract him from doing it.But I have noticed he doesn't do that as much.I have asked Doctors about that and he saids baby do this!!!!!!So just work with the little guy.
Good luck and keep working with him
Grandma

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.C.

answers from Raleigh on

My daughter did this...and (in fact) when it came to MEAL times, she spun her hands AND her feet constantly. She's almost three now. She doesn't do it anymore (can't remember when it stopped)...The hand spinning stopped sometime around the time she began using a spoon well. The foot spinning at mealtime continued for a LONG time. I now have #2 and think I am seeing the beginnings of him trying to do the same thing! Trust your doctor...keep him informed of it if it continues to make you nervous, but I think it is probably very normal.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi E.. I wouldn't be too concerned with this. My son did the same thing, only it was his wrists and his feet. He was always fidgeting. He is now 17 months old and stopped doing it. If I remember correctly he stopped when he was around 10-11 months old, around when he started crawling and walking. I think they just have so much energy they don't know what to do with it. Hope this is helpful!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.P.

answers from Nashville on

Your son has realized he has hands and they fasinate him .I have an 8 month old Granddaughter that does the same thing.The doctor told that was what was wrong with her.He said as she learns about other body parts she want rotate her hands and wrist as much.Hope this helps you.

Next question: 9 Month Old Flapping Both Hands