Why Does My Child Stare At The Washing Machine?

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Have you noticed that your little one is fascinated with the washing machine? When my son started staring at the machine I started to worry. As a parent you watch your children a lot and wonder if little behaviours are normal or if it's something to be concerned about. My son loves it and if I let him I think he would happily sit there for hours watching it while it spins and I often wondered why does my child stare at the washing machine?

little boy sitting on the floor by a washing machine

The first time I really noticed it was when he was having his dinner in his high chair. He completely  moved himself around in the chair so he had the washing machine in his view. If something was in the way he would stretch so he could see it. I didn't really think about it at first but when it continued to happen I did start to wonder, why? 

Now he is able to move across the floor he takes himself into the kitchen, crawls to the washing machine, sits up and stares. When I try to move him away he can become quite grumpy and even if I pick him up and put him in another room he manages to scramble his way back to the kitchen. Most of the time the washing machine doesn't even have to be on for him to enjoy looking at it.

Like most I instantly headed to google. Should I be worried? Is this typical? I did a lot of research and the answer is yes it is a typical thing for babies and toddlers to be interested in washing machines and other household appliances and is actually very common.  Google also likes to tell us that if your child likes things that spin such as the washing machine then this could be a sign of autism or aspergers.

There is such a wide spectrum for autism and whilst watching spinning items can be one of the signs please don't read in to it this too much unless you have other concerns about your child. I don't have any concerns about little J at all so staring at the washing machine wouldn't make me think he has Autism or Aspergers. I would be looking for other signs and behaviours.

When babies become unsettled one of the ways to try and soothe them is to play white noise. Maybe they find watching the machine and hearing it spin relaxing. They did as baby, why shouldn't they as a toddler too?

Most of the time we have no idea why children they do the things they do. They are curious, they are constantly learning and exploring and I think watching the machine is just little J's way of trying to work out what it actually is. Why does it spin? Why does it make a noise?

Why not use their love of the washing machine to your advantage. I know my son would sit there for as long as he could so enjoy the peace, have a cup of coffee. It's better than giving them an iPad for 15 minutes. 

If your child does enjoy watching the washing machine and you have other concerns about the behaviours, you can always speak to your health visitor or GP for more advice or guidance.

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