Rhythmic movements of the body can take the form of body-rocking, head-banging, head-rolling, or nodding. They are common habits during infancy and early childhood and may be seen in children who are quite healthy and normal, especially when they are tired, or at bedtime or when they are alone, bored, or tense. Many children appear to use such activities to handle their frustrations or to get themselves to sleep. These patterns are a comforting as thumb-sucking or having a “security blanket’ Very active and intense children, in particular. Seem to need such motor outlets. Beyond the usual attention to adequate care and stimulation, little treatment is ordinarily required. If they are indulged in obsessively or over prolonged periods of time, they may assume clinical .significance. The possibility of psychologic stress or deprivation should then be considered. Forceable restraints should be avoided.
Bead-banging is a rhythmical and sometimes forceful movement of the bead against mattress or pillow. It is observed in 5% of children under the age of 3 years and is most commonly found during times of fatigue or soon idler the child is placed in bed. The child rarely injures himself. The condition is self-limiting and ordinarily can be expected to subside by the age of 3 or 4 years.
Body-rocking is somewhat more common and occurs m about 20% of young children especially during times of fatigue or boredom. It usually subsides spontaneously. In extreme instances the habit may be indulged during the day and for prolonged periods of time. This suggests that the child may have need for kinesthetic activity which is not being fulfilled through the usual experiences of being held, cuddled, and rocked.
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