Why is my baby obsessed with wheels?
When our first child is born, our hearts are filled with the excitement of what this child will become. Will they be a high-level doctor or an engineer?
How about having a big family and provide me with tons of grandchildren? Will they even make it through high school? Fears can quickly overshadow all these hopes and dreams. Will my child be okay? Do they have Autism?
These fears are exacerbated when we see odd behavior out of our child. Many weird reactions can be normal toddler behavior or possibly signs of Autism or other problems.
One of these exciting things that toddlers and babies do that can be a sign of other issues is spinning wheels.
Children often see wheels and that they spin and want to explore it further. Infancy and toddlerhood are all about finding out how things work and how to live in this big world.
Wheels are fun because they spin but don’t move. You may find that your baby or toddler flips over every car they own just to turn the wheels.
This is pretty common and not necessarily a sign of Autism or other mental health issues. Think of all the places that your toddler may experience wheel spinning, from watching a car drive by watching the wheels on their favorite toy spin.
All of these environmental factors lead a child to be interested in exploring.
Mental Health Issues Versus Late Bloomer
Children grow and develop into many shapes and sizes. As many people would say ‘it takes all kinds.’ The same goes for children. Children develop at different paces even if they are from the same set of parents.
So your child’s obsession with wheels may just be a piece of development. If your child is meeting all the milestones that your pediatrician has set, but later, it is going to be okay. Baby just might be a late bloomer. Most children who are late bloomers are that way across their life span.
So you may be looking at a twenty-year-old child who just gets a start in the world. And that is okay! Every child is different. So if your alarm is that your second child is not developing as quickly as the first, that is not concerning.
Every child is different. To read more on late-blooming children and the ways that wheels obsessions play, check out this post from BabyCenter.
When it comes to a child’s development, the birth order matters.
The first child will typically be more explorative. They don’t have another sibling with them, so that they may be more hesitant. Their language may not be as strong because they do not hear as much conversation.
Where the second child might be the opposite of that because they are more exposed to language but have an older sibling helping them explore the environment.
There is a checklist for displaying Autism that you should look at before you immediately fear the worst. The CHAT system is a system of questions you ask about your child and behavior to ensure healthy development.
Because Autism is typically displayed in social behaviors, the questions on the CHAT questionnaire are typically revolved around social behavior. Such as when you point does your toddler look at what your pointing at and does your toddler make eye contact.
Consider using this system to explore further if your child’s wheel obsession is normal or part of a bigger problem.
Spinning is a form of bodily stimulation that most children enjoy. This stimulation is a sign of growth and development. Children misbehave or behave in weird ways because they are craving certain types of stimulation.
So if you notice a weird behavior in your child, don’t get concerned until the behavior persists for a long time. The spinning of wheels, spinning of themselves, and watching something spin are all different forms of stimulation that your learning baby will crave at some point in time.
Don’t Jump to Autism
Autism is in the news and in the world right now so it is the first assumption that parents make when they see slightly weird behavior. However, it isn’t necessarily the first issue that can be going on. Often sensory disorders and other mental health problems present in similar ways of Autism. So don’t just assume that your child has Autism.
Sensory disorders can give your child an obsession with wheels because their bodies are craving that stimulation. Along with that, Autism usually presents in social disorders versus sensory. Autism presents with the inability to make eye contact and social and emotional connection.
Most babies and children enjoy things that make noise. They search for the loudest toy or the noisiest situation because it provides stimulation that they are looking for. Often, wheels make noise even if they are just wheels on a hot wheels car.
So this noise is what the infant or toddler is after, not necessarily the wheel spinning. This need for sound is entirely reasonable. Some kids enjoy the stimulation, and other kids use it to fight sleep. The noise stimulation can help your child stay awake longer.
Most kids don’t like to take naps or go to bed. When they start to tire, they will look for a noisy toy to keep them awake.
There are a lot of factors that are going into your child, possibly having issues other than just wheel spinning.
Wheel spinning can be a small piece in the signs of Autism, but if it is the only issue you see, then it is likely just a way to find a specific stimulation that they are looking for. Children love noise and stimulation.
It is a way that they learn how to interact in the environment around them. So if your child is spinning wheels and craving that stimulation, then let them learn and grow in this world. Stimulation, such as wheel spinning, is one way that kids learn how to interact in their new environment.