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Rocking baby

(13 Posts)
Grannygee Mon 28-Nov-11 12:32:07

My daughter and son in law have recently returned from living in Africa with their 19 month old son. They now each work in London and have a nanny when they are both at work. They work different hours but they do get one day off together a week and my grandson is cared fro by a nanny then. I have been to stay ( I live an hour and a half away) a few times and look after him when I do. Saves them £££'s!
Anyway, this last time I was there, my grandson was doing something in his cot which I've never seen before. He was in the foetal position but on all fours, as it were, and sort of rubbing his forehead into the cot mattress and making a regular baby noise, like a gurgling noise but repetative all the time. I asked my son in law what he was doing and he said he's started doing it recently and he's asked his own mum about it and she'd said he'd done that as a child too. My worry is that it's some sort of insecure behaviour (a bit like a caged animal striding up and down). The two parents are totally loving, intelligent and concerned parents. However life at present isn't easy for them. Their son has to be left at times with a nanny and he doesn't have the continuity there. I know there will be no long term damage to him or anything like that but it's a behaviour I 've never seen before and wondered if anyone else has experienced it? I'd appreciate your input if you have any thoughts about this. He doesn't do it once he's out of his cot, but when I went to pick him up in the morning and in the middle of the night I heard him doing it too. Once he's up and about he is active and happy.

Carol Mon 28-Nov-11 12:55:30

Is it a self-soothing technique he's developed? I know my four children and a couple of my grandchildren used to do a sort of growling 'nnnnnn' chant and create a rhythm to help themselves get off to sleep, and I have seen them do this when it's early morning and they've realised they're not going to be rising and shining till mum and dad come out of their coma.

Carol Mon 28-Nov-11 16:26:22

I showed this to a friend who works in paediatrics and she says she sees lots of very young children do this in hospital, but they don't regard it as worrying. She thinks it's a way that children use to get back to sleep when they realise crying to bring attention, a drink, a cuddle etc. doesn't do the trick.

jingl Mon 28-Nov-11 17:16:45

That's a bit sad Carol. sad

jingl Mon 28-Nov-11 17:17:27

I would think he might need more cuddling/playing with.

Annobel Mon 28-Nov-11 17:19:41

Children do some inexplicable things. My senior GD used to bang her head against the wall and is now a perfectly normal adult, if such a creature exists.

jingl Mon 28-Nov-11 17:20:56


That's not good.

Butternut Mon 28-Nov-11 17:29:38

It seems to me that this little baby needs more comfort, cuddling and playing with, as jingl has mentioned.

Libradi Mon 28-Nov-11 17:44:25

Yes my DS used to do similar chanting and banging his head on the cot/bed mattress to get to sleep and apparently my DH did the same. I wouldn't worry, he's grown up to be a very happy and 'normal' young man. (It definitely wasn't through lack of attention).

Carol Mon 28-Nov-11 17:53:19

Apparently children who learn to self-soothe without resorting to crying, and get themselves to sleep without having to be cuddled, learn to be more patient and resilient as they grow up. Personally, I have always been happy to cuddle a baby when they are struggling to go back to sleep. Perhaps the nanny and parents in this case have an agreement about what level of intervention there will be when the baby is awake and not being lifted from hiss cot, and should be asked about it just to put your mind at rest grannygee?

Seventimesfive Mon 28-Nov-11 18:03:50

One of my daughters used to do this as a way of getting off to sleep. She grew out of it quite quickly and was never a thumb sucker.

Grannygee Wed 30-Nov-11 10:18:41

Thank you all so much for your advice/comments! It is really reassuring to hear other people's thoughts on something like this. He does get a lot of affection and love and especially when I'm there! He is such a darling grandson and I know I'm biased! I think Carol chimes in with my ideas on this really. I think he has learned to be patient with his parents and doesn't cry the second he's awake. We will monitor this of course and if there was any real cause for concern I know his parents will seek advice and help professionally. Things will improve as my daughter and son in law adapt to being back in the UK and they get more time at home once they've employed new staff, hopefully! thanks

Carol Wed 30-Nov-11 10:54:13

Hope your daughter gets more time with him very soon grannygee but it sounds like she's doing the best she can for him.