What Does It Mean If Babies Are Rocking Back And Forth?

When you have a baby, every unique action they do is a mystery. You may wonder if a certain thing is a cause for alarm, or is normal. One of the biggest instances of this is when babies are rocking back and forth. Seeing a baby making an unusual movement will have you questioning why they’re doing that. You may wonder if the baby is doing something common or something unusual that you may want to see a professional about.

Is it something you need to be concerned about? Or is it nothing to worry about? Let’s look at a few reasons why this happens. 

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Your Kid Is Playful 

When babies are rocking back and forth, they may feel like playing. They may feel very energetic and are trying to get your attention. In this case, maybe you should play with them a little bit and make sure that they’re having a good time. If they stop rocking after that, there you go.

Alternatively, they may be trying to get your attention. You may need to avoid getting the attention of them if you’re busy, as if you tend to it, they can make it a habit. It’s at your discretion. This behavior should go away with time. With that said, giving your baby attention and affection whenever you can is important.

They’re Learning To Crawl 

If your child is rocking back and forth, they may be trying to build up their leg strength to crawl. A baby starts to crawl around 6-10 months, so if your baby’s age is in that ballpark, they may be training themselves to crawl. They’re learning to move into a crawling motion, and maybe playing with all their motor skills to do so. 

If you want to help your baby, put a toy near the baby, and use that as an encouragement to train your child. It can be an incentive for them to learn to crawl so they can grab that toy. By learning early, they can be more independent and ready to take on the world.

Train on, baby! If you see them doing this, you should encourage it and not try to ignore it. This can make your baby crawl and walk even earlier. 

Source: flickr.com

They’re Reacting To You Or Someone Else

If you’re there and are promoting movement, your baby may be reacting to that. If your baby is rocking, look around and see if any external factors are contributing to that. They may see something that is bothering them, and if you get help, your baby will stop rocking and be calm. Then, you may be able to eliminate the cause and calm them down.

They’re Trying To Sleep 

Sometimes, babies are rocking back and forth, particularly around seven months, in an attempt to sleep. We all know that babies like to rock a bye, and they can rock themselves to lull them to sleep. This may be something you shouldn’t care about unless they are over two. If they’re too old and doing it, this may be a sign of a disorder. In case if you’re not sure, it’s worth it to see a doctor.

Source: flickr.com


Some babies rock back and forth and do it repetitively. It’s almost like they are in a trance, and they don’t like doing it. This may be a sign of autism. Okay, it’s not a sure sign of autism, but it’s something you may want to talk to a doctor about if you want to rule it out. Repetitive movement with no goal in mind is a sign of autism, and by treating it early, your child can have a better chance of functioning as high as possible.

Banging Head On The Wall

If you see them rocking back and forth, and to add to that, they’re banging their head on the wall; this could be a sign of another developmental disorder. This especially applies if the baby is doing it during the daytime. It may be worth it to see a doctor about this situation. Too much headbanging can hurt the baby and possibly cause something worse down the line.

They May Be Upset 

Sometimes, the explanation is simple. They are upset. Instead of crying, some babies rock back and forth in an attempt to relieve their emotions. In a case like this, you may want to see what’s up. There may be something around them upsetting them, they may be hungry, or sick. If you’re unsure, talk to a doctor and see if there’s any problem. You don’t want your baby to be upset all the time, do you?

Bedtime Rocking

Sometimes, you may notice your baby rocking back and forth in their crib. If so, they may hit their head on something. Make sure the crib is not near the wall, and make sure there are no hazards that could hurt your kid. Let them rock in peace, and if they keep doing it, it may be the time to seek a doctor.

Unsure? Seek Help 

Many times, your baby rocking back and forth is nothing to be worried about, and it’s a common sign of a growing baby. However, there are some cases where you may be worried, and reasonably so. If you suspect the reason being something bigger, perhaps it’s time to talk to a doctor and see what the problem is. If it’s a problem, your doctor may be able to treat your kid and allow them to live a better life.

Source: flickr.com


In many cases, the baby rocking back and forth is nothing you should worry about, but if you are unsure, it won’t hurt to seek a doctor. 

As your baby grows, they will probably learn to express themselves in many other ways, so encourage them to do so, but also don’t discourage rocking if it’s harmless. 


Why does my baby keep rocking?

Rocking back and forth is normal for babies. Babies do this playfully and may make eye contact with you to get your attention. However, it can also be a sign of a developmental disorder. Pay attention to how they are rocking and their general behavior. If they don’t seem engaged and playful, you may take a video and consult with your pediatrician.

What does rocking back and forth mean?

Babies rocking back and forth can mean several things. They may want to seek your attention or try to learn how to crawl. Your baby may also be too tired and is trying to sleep, or they are bored, and nothing is stimulating them. It can also be a sign of a developmental disorder.

What is body rocking?

Body rocking is when an individual moves their body, rhythmically swaying back and forth. Babies may do this while they are in a sitting or quadruped position.

Is rocking back and forth a sign of autism in babies?

Rocking back and forth can be a sign of autism spectrum disorder in babies. Pay attention to your child’s behavior. Are they rocking back and forth playfully, or does it seem more mechanical or trance-like? Also, check if they don’t seem happy or engaged while they are moving. Some experts believe that this behavior tends to soothe children who have autism.

Is rocking back and forth a sign of autism?

As previously mentioned, it may be a sign of autism spectrum disorder. Look out for your child’s general behavior and how they specifically rock back and forth. You may consult with a doctor if you are unsure.

What mental illness causes rocking?

Rocking may be a sign and is common among people with an autism spectrum disorder. Rocking is a repetitive behavior that also occurs in individuals with mental retardation and pervasive developmental disorder, among others.

Is rocking a sign of ADHD?

Cot rocking in babies and toddlers may be a sign of ADHD. While rocking is normal for babies, ADHD symptoms may appear more exaggerated or trance-like. Pay close attention to how they rock their bodies and check if they seem engaged and playful.

What are the early signs of autism?

Signs of autism spectrum disorder may appear during your child’s early years. They may rock back and forth and prefer routines and order. Other symptoms are no social smiling and one-word communication around six months, no babbling and other gestures by 12 months, poor eye contact, and no interest or response to sounds, toys, and other objects.  Early assessment of your doctor is necessary for proper intervention and success.

Why do babies shake their heads back and forth?

Babies start to develop their motor skills during the first few weeks of their life. This movement signifies they may be imitating the people around them to gain control of their bodies. They may also shake their heads when trying to latch on during feeding. Likewise, it can be a sign of tiredness, and they are trying to soothe themselves. If fever or cold accompanies the shaking, or it seems trance-like, you may want to consult with your pediatrician about an ear infection or autism spectrum disorder.

Does my baby have autism?

Your child may show signs of autism spectrum disorder early on. Look out for behavioral, communication, and social differences. These may include a lack of social smiling, eye contact, response, and social babbling. Other signs include repetitive behavior like rocking, flapping of their hands, and swaying. If you are concerned, it is best to take action and consult your pediatrician.

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.

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