Is Your Baby Rocking Out and Head Banging at Night?

If she is, don’t be surprised. The fact is that most babies find themselves soothed by the rhythm of back-and-forth movements. That’s why you’re able to rock your baby to sleep. Once she figures out how to rock back and forth on all fours, or while sitting up, she’s likely to do it in an effort to calm herself down and fall back asleep during the night.

For the most part, you can take a relaxed approach to your baby rocking. Rocking generally isn’t indicative of some other bigger problem. If you try to intervene and your baby thinks you’re trying to stop his rocking, he might see it as you challenging him and keep trying to do it out of persistence.

In some cases, your baby’s rocking can be loud or even vigorous. If that’s the case, you may be able to help a little bit by moving her crib slightly out from the wall. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re tightening the fasteners on her crib on a regular basis, as the rocking can make them come loose.

Head banging is another common issue with babies at night. Here again, head banging can be a way for your baby to try to self-comfort. In some cases, she may even be trying to distract herself from another pain, such as from teething or from an ear infection.

It’s estimated that about one in five babies will bang their heads on purpose. Boys are significantly more likely to do this, bu a ratio of about three to one when compared with girls.

You’ll most often encounter head banging some time after six months, and it typically will peak in intensity and frequency between 18 months and two years of age. By the time your child reaches the age of three, he’ll likely have grown out of it.

Make sure your baby’s crib is safe. Tighten the fasteners. Don’t be tempted to put pillows in to cushion the blow, as pillows increase the risk of SIDS in infants younger than 6 months of age. If you’re especially concerned about your child’s head banging, you should speak to her doctor about the issue.