How do I stop my 11month old from head butting anything when she doesnt get her own way?

Bec - posted on 03/06/2012 ( 28 moms have responded )

8

17

1

How do I prevent my 11 month old from headbutting anything when she doesnt get her own way?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Gale - posted on 03/11/2012

122

2

30

My little boy just sign hurt to me, he pointed to his socks, they look a bit small. So I got a bigger pair and he took off happy. Yes it normal for them to head butt, because they can't talk to you they are trying to communicate to you, so please stop saying it attention getting, please stop for those who say that, because it not they are frustrated and are trying to figure out how to tell you. Baby signs take time to learn , but it does help, but I know when I get down to my son level and say "I know your upset, that okay to be upset, mommy loves you" he head butts stops. Grown ups hate to be ignored when they are mad, why would your child like it?

Rebecca - posted on 03/08/2012

39

22

3

Give her another way to express herself. Don't get me wrong, she's not likely to hurt herself. But when ever she does it, kneel down so you are eye level with her, and say to her, I know you are very very upset (make an upset face) because you didn't get xyz, but this is not an appropriate way to express it. How else can you tell me you are upset? Recognize her feelings whenever they are, and however she expresses them, by getting down to her level and telling her you understand. She doesn't have the words so you need to give them to her. Baby sign language is very good for this. If she expresses it in an appropriate manner (my son started chanting I mad mad mad and repeatedly making the mad sign) then thank her for expressing herself so well. She will feel better that you know how she feels. Then divert her attention to some thing else. (can you help me pick out some really good oranges? I saw some pretty flowers over there, can you help me figure what they smell like? I am so tired, will you come tuck me in and lay down with me till I fall asleep?)

Gale - posted on 03/13/2012

122

2

30

It one thing to let your child know that you know they're upset and its okay to be upset that they can't get their way. Then to give in to the behavior (such as here the cookie if it stoop you from crying) that reinforces bad behavior. But telling your child that you still love them wen they are mad show them that you still care for them no matter what is not reinforcing bad behavior it showing that they still have a voice and is being heard. Ignoring them to stop a tantrum show the child you don't care when they are angry, how are they suppose to trust you when you ignore them when they need your help the most to teach them how to handle their frustration?

Cynthia - posted on 03/08/2012

22

19

0

When she does this she is attention seeking, so just look at her and tell her to do it again and again and again till she tells you it hurts, she can't really hurt herself , but I can almost gaurantee that it will stop quite quickly if this is your only responce everytime she tries this, both my son and his son did the same thing at about the same age, that was my reaction and before too many times they decided that it hurt too much.

Gale - posted on 03/07/2012

122

2

30

Have you got her hearing check? Head butting can be a sign of releasing frustration. I use to head butt until I was tested they didn't find out I couldn't hear till I was 3. If you had and she past the test, then what I did with my son who is hearing, when he head butt things I would pick him up and say" your okay I love you" he stop after awhile. Most kids do it because they are frustrated and don't know how to express it. They're at the age where they are just learning they can't always get what they want and it a hard concept for little to gaps.

28 Comments

View replies by

Sarahkaye - posted on 04/03/2012

49

14

1

My daughter did it until she was about 18 months old. Unfortunately they have to just out grow it. When it happens, the best you can do is try to distract her.

Bernadette - posted on 03/13/2012

623

5

8

of course she is trying to communicate that she is upset - she is upset because (as the original poster stated) she hasn't got her own way. This is called a "tantrum". Pandering to tantrums doesn't help, in the long term it makes things worse. If she was doing it for no apparent reason, then I'd be concerned too. But it's frustration for not getting what she wants, and babies do have to learn that they can't always get what they want, and be given cuddles every time they decide to throw a tantrum about it. Rushing to them and giving them lots of attention for this behaviour only reinforces that they can get away with it.

Ronda - posted on 03/12/2012

171

66

0

Also, I agree with the ladies who wrote it is because they are trying to communicate they are upset and to take them seriously. Why ignore their feelings?? It will just reinforce that you are not the one to come to when they have a problem.

Kristi - posted on 03/12/2012

9

1

1

My son did this too at around the same age. I rang tresillian, (midwives) and they said that that unless there is some sort of developmental issue ie autism that it was a self limiting behaviour, meaning that it hurts and they stop and to give it zero attention

Ruth - posted on 03/08/2012

39

7

0

My granddaughter did the same thing. Of course, her great grandparents would run, pick her up and pet her. I told them to stop it and she would quit once she discovered that she was being ignored. She did it one more time. They did not run pick her up and she never did it again.

Danielle - posted on 03/08/2012

7

9

0

my son is nearly 2 and while he doesn't headbutt things when he doesn't get his own way he does throw himself back onto the floor and has hit his head doing this. if I pick him up to put him in his highchair and he doesn't want to go in it he'll throw himself back and it's just a good job I manage to keep hold of him or he'd probably really hurt his head!

Hala - posted on 03/08/2012

2

17

0

My daughter did the same thing. She used to head butt the tile floor! I asked her pediatrician about it. He said to ignore the act, the child is doing it for attention. It was the hardest thing I had to do, however, she stopped within 2 days. Once she realized Mommy and Daddy weren't going to give that behavior attention, she stopped and went to throwing her stuffed animal (I would much rather than that slamming her head into the tile floor).



Good luck!

Bernadette - posted on 03/08/2012

623

5

8

my 11 month old son is going through a bit of this at the moment. He had a major tantrum the other day and threw himself down on the ground and started bashing his head. I laughed at him. It didn't have the desired effect, so he tried it again and I laughed again. He sat up then, looked at me defiantly and slapped himself! I laughed again, so he kept doing it, and also reached out and tried to slap me. I just kept laughing and each time, his expression got more and more confused until he almost started to smile himself. He realised what he was doing though, and threw himself down on the ground one last time to try to get the desired effect. This time though, he misjudged where to hit (he usually does it with the top of his forehead, where it's strong and doesn't really hurt) and hit his nose on the floor instead. He cried for real then, because it hurt! Anyway, he hasn't really done it since. He just slaps himself on the chest or legs now.

Bec - posted on 03/08/2012

8

17

1

Thank you all SO much for your replies. I havent had her hearing checked but I will discuss it with our doctor. I agree that she does it when frustrated, it just horrible to watch. Thanks again everyone :)

Amy - posted on 03/08/2012

11

24

1

my son used to do this really bad it went on for ages. i spoke to my h/v and she sent us to behaviour classes basically you have to ignore them its really hard bcuz u dont want to see them hurt but she said to me one day he will headbutt and hurt himself and he wont do it again. also she suggested try changing the subject when you can see its about to happen try and distract them. it did work for us he doesnt headbutt anymore. deal with it now dont let it go on it will only get harder.

Shelly - posted on 03/08/2012

61

0

0

Try giving her lots of attention when she is behaving, and ignoring the negative behaviour. I know it's hard, as we tend to ignore kids when they are behaving, and then react when they misbehave, when really we should be doing it the other way around - rewarding the positive, not the negative behaviour. You could also perhaps try a modified time-out, where you put her in a play pen (or another safe place) for a few minutes, telling her that you don't like that behaviour, and then walk away till she stops.

Monique - posted on 03/07/2012

22

0

0

My son and nephew both did this as babies. For them it was part frustrating and part wanting to look at lights on the ceilings and fans. We let them do it but if they did it while we were holding them we tried to hold them under their head/neck so they did not fall on the floor or someone sitting behind them and get hurt. We also told them it hurts and they should not hurt themselves but mainly it was a phase they had to outgrow and soon learned it hurt themselves and others.

Hope - posted on 03/07/2012

7

16

1

My son did it or a while too. It's frustration at not being able to verbally express feelings. If I was close enough I would put my hand in the way so he wouldn't hurt himself too much. He's 2 now and still does it occassionally. In some ways I prefer that he takes his frustration out on himself instead of hitting others...

Ceri - posted on 03/07/2012

58

23

3

my son did this too. He would BANG his head on the wall or floor when in time out or when he did not get his way. We asked his Dr. because we were worried he would hurt himself, but she said that they won't themself and it's common, and he would grow out of it. To wich he did for the most part. He is 4 now.

Bobbi - posted on 03/07/2012

61

20

6

I completely agree with the other Mums.. Let her and she'll soon realise it hurts and stop, most children do...



However, if it persists and she does it when she is obviously hurting herself, then take her to get looked at by your doctor, as soon as you can..

[deleted account]

My daughter did the same thing, I let her go. They won't damage themselves as they realise pretty quickly that it hurts. But if you respond to her in the way she wants you to, then it will be harder to stop the behaviour as she will try harder once she knows it works.

Bec - posted on 03/06/2012

8

17

1

Thats what I have been doing I am just worried she will hurt herself..... I have been trying really hard to ignore so she doesnt think she is getting attention..... just so unsure how to handle her temper at such a young age...thanks for your advice much appreciated

Bec - posted on 03/06/2012

8

17

1

Over the past couple of days my 11 month old daughter has decided to head butt anything she can if she doesnt get her own way...... does anyone have any ideas on how to stop her doing this????

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms