Talk to me about arm flapping (and calm me down) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 7 months. Lately (within the past week or so) I have noticed that when she is nursing, especially at night before bed or first thing in the morning when she's still tired, she will start flapping both arms together- so hard that she slaps herself in the leg or belly, or me in the boobs. she also has done it while being changed.

a google search on this revealed a study that looked at kids who were currently diagnosed with autism and their behaviors when they were infants. of course, arm flapping was one of the behaviors mentioned.

i'm trying to remain calm. she does not exhibit any other behaviors typically seen with autistic children. she is either ahead or on target with developmental milestones. i have had no concerns about anything.

please talk to me about how this is totally normal behavior for an infant who is either very excited, or very tired. please?

Mama to an IVF baby girl, Lennon Emelia, born 6/3/08! and the Junebug kitty... Missing the Jeddy and Ashes kitties
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#2 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 03:41 PM
 
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My DD does this. Sometimes one arm, sometimes both. It seems to be an excited thing with her. I remember a thread on this a few months back and it seems quite a lot of babes do this, so I would say totally normal.

Mama to DD Feb '08 (9lbs), DS Oct '10 (10lbs) hbac.gif, DD Jan '13 hbac.gif

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#3 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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Its normal. As you said, it is one of many behaviors that children who are later diagnosed may have. She is exploring how her body works and how it feels when she does different things. Developmentally appropriate all the way.
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#4 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 03:56 PM
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Trixie used to be an arm flapper, she did it when she was excited, now she has finer skills so she'll clap or wave or something. I think it's totally normal.

Deadra, Wife to Adam , Mama to Beatrix (02/08), Hudson (01/10), and Mazarine (12/13)
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#5 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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My ds, while nursing, will take the arm that is on the top (picture him laying on side nursing) and slap it against my breast. He seems to do this when he is sleepy to keep himself awake. I don't think you need to be concerned.

Rachel - Married to my Best friend & Mama to Quinn Patrick 7/18/08 - Mama to : Clover too
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#6 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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: thank you all so much!

Mama to an IVF baby girl, Lennon Emelia, born 6/3/08! and the Junebug kitty... Missing the Jeddy and Ashes kitties
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#7 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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Arm-flapping (and frantic leg kicking) are a wonderful way to get rid of excess energy. Taken by itself, this is a totally normal infant thing. Totally normal and useful.

Homesteading, unschooling mama of three.
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#8 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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Both my babies did this sometimes.

Also, my 14 year old, non-autistic cousin flapped her arms when she was excited until recently. She may still do it sometimes though I think she keeps it to a more subtle wrist flap rather than a full scale arm flap.

I wouldn't worry about it.
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#9 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 08:43 PM
 
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Excited young babies often flap their arms up and down. If the object that has them excited gets into range, they usually grab for it.

It's common for older babies to rhythmically move a leg when they are nursing or falling asleep. It's a comfort thing.

The "arm flapping" of autism is not a purposeful movement, it just happens ... it's hard to describe, but once you have seen it, it's hard to miss.
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#10 of 19 Old 01-09-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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Both of my children have done this. My youngest is 7 months old and does it when she is nursing, she is tired and grumpy or when she is excited about something. I never thought twice about it.

FWIW, my oldest did this as well as a babe, and he is a perfectly normal almost 3 year old.

Leah- wife to Chris : SAHM to Henry (03/06)and to Evelyn : (06/08). She is our heart attack survivor at 3.5 weeks and went on to have open heart surgery at 5 weeks for Coarctation of the Aorta.
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#11 of 19 Old 01-09-2009, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, everyone, for reassuring me!

Mama to an IVF baby girl, Lennon Emelia, born 6/3/08! and the Junebug kitty... Missing the Jeddy and Ashes kitties
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#12 of 19 Old 04-14-2009, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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an update... she is still doing it but now she is also doing it when she pulls off from nursing and starts to cry (i think she is frustrated that my supply is lessening- another topic for another day). she also gets slightly withdrawn.

please tell me that this is still normal behavior. she only does it in this situation, but she is now 10 months and the context has changed.

Mama to an IVF baby girl, Lennon Emelia, born 6/3/08! and the Junebug kitty... Missing the Jeddy and Ashes kitties
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#13 of 19 Old 04-14-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niamh View Post
Arm-flapping (and frantic leg kicking) are a wonderful way to get rid of excess energy. Taken by itself, this is a totally normal infant thing. Totally normal and useful.
My 5 month old does this when I try to rock her to sleep when she's overtired.
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#14 of 19 Old 04-14-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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I have a PhD in special education and two kiddos who arm flapped as infants. Totally normal...
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#15 of 19 Old 04-14-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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Riley does it all the time - we call her "flappy" instead of happy - she flaps her arms and leggs and wil hit me while we are nursing too.

She's started talking and is ahead on everything else, so I think it's perfectly normal. Don't girls have a lower chance for ASD in the first place?

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#16 of 19 Old 04-14-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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our 7 month old has done this for a few months. most times he does it when he's bloated and I think he's uncomfortable tummywise. nothing wrong w/ him.
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#17 of 19 Old 04-14-2009, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone. i appreciate the reassurance. i guess i'm just paranoid and overly sensitive, probably because of the decreased milk supply issue, but like i said, that's a whole other topic for another day.

Mama to an IVF baby girl, Lennon Emelia, born 6/3/08! and the Junebug kitty... Missing the Jeddy and Ashes kitties
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#18 of 19 Old 04-14-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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I think its excitement. As long as your LO is social, I would not worry.
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#19 of 19 Old 04-15-2009, 12:09 AM
 
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we joke that our dd is gonna take flight.
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