Infant sensory issue?

Ever since my infant became more alert while awake, he’s always needed to be in motion when held. We could never (& still can’t) just sit down with him to cuddle, read a book, or play with a toy. He squirms a bunch, stiffens up, & fusses until we get up. When we are standing, we have to sway or walk around or else he will start to squirm & complain. He’s OK if on the ground on his back.

He also has a constant need to suck/mouth his hands & objects. I know it’s very normal for babies to explore with their mouths, but if he doesn’t have his hand or toy in his mouth, it’s like he’s not human. But then it’s like he’s never satisfied when trying to suck on it. When he’s crying, shushing & picking him up helps to a small degree but what ultimately calms him is when he finds his thumb. I’ve always wondered why does he constantly need to be soothed by sucking? What is stressing him out that he can’t just be calm sometimes without it?

Or maybe this is just his personality & nothing sensory related? I don’t know if I’m just being an anxious first time parent or if there really is something a little deeper going on.

@KN110919
I do have a few thoughts, but first, how old is your son?

a week shy of 5 months

Awww, so sweet. I loved that age! Here are a couple things I would think about… The first is sleep. Many babies, when they’re overtired, have a very hard time regulating. I found that with my daughter, the more overtired she was, the more restless and unsettled she became. She also liked to be held all of the time. When I finally got her on a good sleep routine, that prevented her from becoming overtired, I noticed she was more regulated and more easy to calm. Another to thing to think about are GI issues. I would speak with your son’s pediatrician and have him/her rule out any reflux, gas, or food sensitivities from either your breast milk or his formula that may be making him uncomfortable. I hope this helps! :slight_smile:

He sleeps great actually! 11-12 hrs straight at night & about 3 naps 1 hr+ each. He’s been on a hypoallergenic formula since he was a month old. He doesn’t strain when trying to pass gas, so I don’t think thats an issue either. As far as the reflux, he never spit up large amounts & wasn’t bothered by it. Didn’t show fussing during feeds. It also didn’t affect his weight. As such, the pediatrician said to leave it alone. He did have a period of time when he rarely spit up, but since about 4m he’s been spitting up 5-7 times a day. Sometimes larger amounts than before, but usually not & he still isn’t bothered by it. So I always wondered if it was true reflux or just regular baby spit up.

It sounds like he’s on a great sleep schedule!
Does he do well in tummy time, or does he prefer to be on his back? Babies do have an innate desire to move, so maximize the tummy time as much as possible. I would say that you should always trust your mommy instincts, and if you think his behaviors are outside what you would expect, then I would reach out to your pediatrician. Also, even in the midst of this pandemic, many OT’s are doing consults via telehealth. We do have a list in our community of some OT’s that are offering these virtual services.

Another one of our community members @ontrackbaby also offers a course on normal development and how through motor movement, reflexes are integrated and the nervous and sensory systems develop and integrate. This may also put your mind at ease. Hope that helps! :slight_smile: :heart: