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Doctor insights on: Why Do Babies Turn Their Heads From Side To Side Rapidly When They Are Sleeping

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
5,051 Doctors shared insights

Sleep (Definition)

Sleep is a topic that involves concepts such as how long it takes to fall asleep, how many times one wakes up at night, how many hours one sleeps at night, sleep stages, ...Read more


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Do babies get flat spots on their heads if they sleep on their backs?

Do babies get flat spots on their heads if they sleep on their backs?

Yes: Some babies develop a flattened head (positional plagiocephaly) due to spending a lot of time on their backs. The soft bones of the scalp facilitate brain growth during the first year and can be molded during this time. Make sure to rotate sleeping positions and give your baby supervised tummy time while awake. ...Read more

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My head and face gets horribly deformed permanently like infant head every time I sleep I was born perfectly fine till puberty where it started im20.?

My head and face gets horribly deformed permanently like infant head every time I sleep I was born perfectly fine till puberty where it started im20.?

Anxiety Disorder: If your face becomes like a "baby face", there is nothing to be worried about! As a matter of fact many women spend thousands of dollars in order to get "baby face". So, look into your general wellbeing and see: "how are you? " are you happy in you life? If not; why? What is between you ; happiness? Now, "acne" is a treatable condition. I am sure when you are treated properly, you will feel fine. ...Read more

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My infant 9 m old head most of the time sweats while sleeping in night. Is it normal? What r the possible reasons

My infant 9 m old head most of the time sweats while sleeping in night. Is it normal? What r the possible reasons

Sweaty infant: Many babies are over bundled due to fear of the child getting cold. This can cause overheating and increase the risk of SIDS. Your infant should wear the same amount of clothes as you. Monitor baby carefully for blue and cold fingers and toes. Don't use too many blankets. Here's a good hand-out: http://www. Nih. Gov/news/health/nov2010/nichd-02.htm (If that doesn't solve it, see your pediatrician). ...Read more

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Recently, I am having headche in front of my forehead and above my head and its associated with teeth pain. I don't sleep well from my new infant. Help?

Recently, I am having headche in front of my forehead and above my head and its associated with teeth pain. I don't sleep well from my new infant. Help?

Stress related pain: Sometimes headaches, tooth pain, etc can all be associated with a category of pain called myofascial pain. This type of pain tends to be present more often with stress, like getting lack of sleep or other of life's pressures. An endodontist might be hepful in evaluating the teeth to rule out a source there. He might be able to provide a referral to a medical doctor, too. ...Read more

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My infant baby opens her mouth while sleeping, what is wrong?

My infant baby opens her mouth while sleeping, what is wrong?

Probably nothing: Babies usually breathe through the nose except for when crying, but if her nose is clogged up, she will breathe through her mouth. Make sure the nasal passages are clear of mucous by using the salt water nose drops and a bulb syringe. If you baby is comfortable and doesn't sound congested, no treatment is needed. ...Read more

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Is it common for the newly born babies to have milk coming out through the nose during their sleep?

Is it common for the newly born babies to have milk coming out through the nose during their sleep?

Yes: It is common for babies to spit up with feedings and/or with a change of position. Having it come out the nose is common. As long as baby is growing normally, is urinating frequently and having regular bowel movements, is content and is not having significant color change or any difficulty breathing, not to worry. Make sure to discuss it with your pediatrician at your next checkup. ...Read more

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Can babies breathe through their mouth if their nose is stopped up while asleep?

Can babies breathe through their mouth if their nose is stopped up while asleep?

Depends on age/posit: In the first 6m the neck is so short the baby must hold the head up & back to drop the jaw & mouth breathe. This is not a natural position so babies seldom sleep well. The growth of the neck by about 2-3 cm over that time allows the head to be neutral with the jaw open. In early infancy the nose must be clear to breathe without a struggle. ...Read more

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My baby now is sleeping on his side and seems to be causing his flat head to worsen. What should I do?

My baby now is sleeping on his side and seems to be causing his flat head to worsen. What should I do?

Be patient: It is difficult and sometimes dangerous to force your baby to sleep in certain positions, the best you can do is to make the crib safe, use good sleep hygiene techniques - cool bedroom, quiet area to sleep, no super late feedings, same routine before bed to quiet baby down every night, a lot of patience, and review your baby's head shape with your pediatrician regularly. Helmets are NOT good idea ...Read more

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Why is the right side of my baby's head flat? He prefers to sleep on that side. The right side of his forehead sticks out a little too.

Why is the right side of my baby's head flat? He prefers to sleep on that side. The right side of his forehead sticks out a little too.

Water balloon: If you remember, a water balloon is always flat on side it lays on. A baby's skull has "floating" bones that push away from each other as they grow larger until they are ready to knit/fuse. This makes it like a water balloon because gravity treats it the same. Your doc needs to examine the baby. Position changes and therapy can help. The issue tends to fade when babies sit up more/sleep less. ...Read more

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Is it normal my 2 month old baby prefers her left side when she's sleeping and she's awake? Knowing that I keep switching her head right and left

Is it normal my 2 month old baby prefers her left side when she's sleeping and she's awake? Knowing that I keep switching her head right and left

Not necessarily: She may have tightness of the neck muscle limiting ability to turn her head to the right. This may be accompanied by flattening of the head on the other side. Have your doctor check this and if present, make a referral to a physical therapist. ...Read more

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My baby is 9 weeks old and he tends to sleep or keeps his head on the right side, how do I make him to stay on left side as well?

My baby is 9 weeks old and he tends to sleep or keeps his head on the right side, how do I make him to stay on left side as well?

Two steps: You can often alter babies habit by setting them down to sleep is opposite positions on alternate nights. Head to the top then the next night to the bottom of the crib. Babies tend to turn away from the wall to see you come in. You can also gently turn the head to both sides while playing to make sure the neck muscles move freely. If tight moving to one side, talk with your doc about other options. ...Read more

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My husband tosses his head from side to side during sleep. I was pondering what that is called?

Sleep head rocking: This is a rhythmic movement disorder, previously known by the latin term "jactatio capitis nocturna". It is seen more frequently in children, though it sometimes persists into adulthood. An experience sleep specialist may be able to suggest possible remedies. ...Read more

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My 5 months old baby always sleep on his side with his head arch to his back almost make an alphabeth "U". But he sleeps well. Should I concern?

My 5 months old baby always sleep on his side with his head arch to his back almost make an alphabeth "U". But he sleeps well. Should I concern?

Sleep position: Sometimes just a learned position but have him checked for problems that may cause him to use this position, such as reflux or airway problems. All the best. ...Read more

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Why does my wife toss her head side to side in her sleep?

Why does my wife toss her head side to side in her sleep?

Dreaming?: She should be seen, and have a sleep study. It may be just having vivid dreams, even if she does not remember them, but a sleep study will help delineate if she has a problem. ...Read more

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4 month old baby started rolling on stomach in sleep and is sleeping more comfortably. Will he turn head to side? Sometimes he's face down in matress.

4 month old baby started rolling on stomach in sleep and is sleeping more comfortably. Will he turn head to side? Sometimes he's face down in matress.

Two issues: First, I never worry about whether a baby shifts their position at night when they have the physical ability to role. Second, since SIDS is associated with belly sleeping, I don't put them down on their belly for the first year. Yes they can turn their head, and we belly slept babies up until 1992 when the back to sleep movement began. Since then we have seen a 40% decline in SIDS ...Read more

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Neck and chest and left side of head itch no swollen or rash help please??? sleep on furry pillows and use baby lotion and wash with dove and nivea

Neck and chest and left side of head itch no swollen or rash help please??? sleep on furry pillows and use baby lotion and wash with dove and nivea

Skin irritation: Focalized itching without rash is rarely due to underlying organ disease. I suspect skin irritation (sun coming through car window, the furry pillow, etc). Try changing both the pillow and the lotion. Rec fragrance-free non-alcohol containing lotion such as Vanicream, Eucerin or CeraVe. Use 2-3 times daily and always after bathing. ...Read more

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Why do babies sling their head side to side?

Why do babies sling their head side to side?

Too heavy: The head is heavy and little babies (0-4 months) do not yet have strong enough neck muscles to control it so it sort of falls to one side. Gets better by 4 months. Older babies often do things because they figured out they can. ...Read more

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Why does my 6 month old baby drop her head down or to the side suddenly then picks it back up? It looks like when a person falls asleep sitting up

Why does my 6 month old baby drop her head down or to the side suddenly then picks it back up? It looks like when a person falls asleep sitting up

If you're not sure: If this is an involuntary movement, video an episode on your smart phone. Include your child's behavior for a few minutes after the episode. Note what she's doing prior to an event, how often it happens, & whether the movement interferes with eating, playing, etc., all useful history for her doctor, along with physical & neurological exams & developmental screening (see firstsigns. Org). ...Read more

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My 5 mnth baby has a lazy eye started after tummy sleeping 1 wk ago & more pressure on that side lead to slight swellin on that eye? Fine otherwise.

My 5 mnth baby has a lazy eye started after tummy sleeping 1 wk ago & more pressure on that side lead to slight swellin on that eye? Fine otherwise.

For safe sleep, put: Him in his crib on his back when he is drowsy, but awake after feeding, wiping his mouth out with a soft cloth & reading to him at the same time nightly. If he rolls over, there's not much you can do. Eye turning is from a problem in the nerve to an eye muscle, the junction of the nerve & muscle, or the muscle. Seek referral to a pediatric ophthalmologist to prevent true amblyopia or lazy eye. ...Read more

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I cannot sleep on the sides&i get jaw locked in the morning, cannot move it from side to side.1 year had limited open. Had 2arthroscopies same issue.?

I cannot sleep on the sides&i get jaw locked in the morning, cannot move it from side to side.1 year had limited open. Had 2arthroscopies same issue.?

Clicking: Clicking on function of the lower jaw typically results from the inter-positional joint disc being out of position. The noise relates to the disc being recaptured on opening or it slipping out of position on closing. A large percentage of individuals have this condition. When there are no accompanying symptoms or dysfunction of the jaw such as open or closed lock, then the condition is typically monitored. Another reason for a joint noise upon wide opening is that the condyle (ball portion of the joint) is translating out of the fossa (cup portion of the joint) over a bony prominence called the eminence. This is caused by hypermobility of the joint. Other than restricting your movement to prevent this extreme excursion treatment is usually only undertaken if there is a funciton disturbance or severe symptoms.

I recommend that your be examined by a general dentist or board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon for further information and determination of a need for treatment. ...Read more

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Is this serious? My baby's sleeping after bumping head on table?

Is this serious? My baby's sleeping after bumping head on table?

Maybe: Depending on the baby's age or how hard he hit he table the table. Can you arouse him easily? Vomiting? Acting normallly? Focusing with his eyes? Check with your pediatrician. ...Read more

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My 4 mos baby always sleep with his head tilted back. Is it normal?

My 4 mos baby always sleep with his head tilted back. Is it normal?

Back to sleep: Head position okay as long as you are putting baby to sleep on his back. Back to sleep is crucial to prevent sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. Also make sure you don't have any blankets, bumpers or pillows in baby's crib. All are suffocation risks. ...Read more

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My 3 month old baby gets sweat on her head when she cries and sleep. Should I be concerned?

My 3 month old baby gets sweat on her head when she cries and sleep. Should I be concerned?

Room to hot: It may be warm in her bedroom where she sleeps, or she could be overdressed. With her pajamas. Certain foods may also cause her to perspire. ...Read more

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My 2 month baby boy always puts his head to the right while sleeping. How can I make him to put his head on the leftside.?

My 2 month baby boy always puts his head to the right while sleeping. How can I make him to put his head on the leftside.?

RIGHT SIDE POSITION: Probably the sound comes from that direction or facing the door. Try putting the baby in the opposite direction or upside down. ...Read more

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Baby sweating profusely from head while sleeping?

Baby sweating profusely from head while sleeping?

Dressed too warmly?: Make sure your baby is dressed cool enough in cotton clothing. Room temp should be 23 degrees celcius. Make sure there is no fever. ...Read more

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I have numbness down right side of face and head. Did I sleep wrong or something happened to my nerve?

I have numbness down right side of face and head. Did I sleep wrong or something happened to my nerve?

Depends: If the numbness doesn't last very long then it might be caused by pressure on the nerve while sleeping. If this lasts longer than a few minutes then it could be something much more serious and it should be carefully evaluated by a specialist. ...Read more