My baby keeps hitting his head

Chrystalla - posted on 05/12/2011 ( 38 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone, i just wanted to ask if anyone has experience of their child hitting their head. My son is 22 months old and has a tendency of throwing things on the floor and even when i say NO, he carries on. Also recently he has been hitting his head a few times either on the coffee table, the wall and even on the floor on purpose and then crying but doing it through anger or frustration and im not sure why. My Fiance and I have been going through some problems for a while but i try not to show it in front of the baby but i am wondering if it is in fact affecting him. Has anyone else experienced this.

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Kelley - posted on 05/14/2011

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My 18th month old is doing the same thing, but it's usually when he is frustated or in pain. He's getting is 2 year molars. Lots of tantrum. I give my tylenol for pain and ignore the tantrum. When the first 2 molars came in the tantrums pretty much stopped - then last week (3weeks later) they started again. Sure enough the top 2 molars are trying to come though. So if this is a new thing it could be something as simple as teething, if not just ignore it. If it continues after you start the ignoring process - then you might want to search for another reason. Talk tthe pediatrician at the next visit about possible other reasons. Best of Luck.

Caroline - posted on 05/13/2011

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Are you sure your son doesn't have a pain in his head or some sort of headache?

LouAnna - posted on 05/13/2011

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My granddaughter throws the best tantrums, complete with screaming, stomping of feet, banging head, falling on the floor, pulling out hair, the whole works. It's funny until you see it actually done in your kitchen. The only way I have been able to really deal, is to pick the kid up and move her to a carpeted floor, away from the audience, and sit on the steps until she's done. the first couple of times it was quite the tussle, talk about a power struggle. But as time went on, she came to realize that it's not really effective, and typically one time out and it's over.

In the case of a tantrum like that, it's important that your kid understand that he simply cannot have his own way at all times. Granted, he's two and it is the nature of all humans to want our own way, and he's probably not real verbal, and that only adds to his frustration since he can't fully communicate his wants or needs. But that being said, it's our job as parents and grandparents to civilize our children, and assist our kids with their kids. (by that I mean to support and reinforce their parenting, even when you don't particularly agree).

So, don't freak out, recognize that this is a power play, remove the audience and develop some deep breathing techniques...You're gonna need 'em.

Louise - posted on 05/13/2011

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The atmosphere at home really will not help as children pick up on stress but I think the not eatting is nothing more than him controlling you. When he does not eat do you make a fuss of him and offer him numerous things to eat in the hope he will eat something? The best thing to do is sit with him to eat and if he refuses the food put it in a place he can reach it for half an hour. Do not offer him anything else or tell him to eat his dinner ignore the issue completley. If he does eat do not give him eye contact or tell him he is a good boy. Again ignore the issue. If he does not eat the first day be strong and do not give him a snack. The next day do the same again. If he is hungry he will eat. Also make sure you offer him food before milk as milk takes up alot of room in the stomach and if he feels full he will not eat. You are not doing anything wrong children can be quite testing and controlling at times and he is of that age that he has realised that not eatting food gets you flustered. Take back control and he will be fine.

Louise - posted on 05/13/2011

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Head banging is a way of them to get instant attention from you it is quite common and not necessarily because of your problems at home. Try to defuse things as much as you can at this age his body can not do what his mind wants him to do which is causing the frustration. Try and think ahead for him and help him achieve what he is trying to do. When he does head band ignore it. Remove him to a safe area like a play pen or his bed. It is only a phase and when mind and body catch up he will stop.

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Chrystalla - posted on 05/19/2011

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thank you, i will try but sometimes the patience runs out but when i do get a kiss and cuddle from my son, it means the world to me

Tshegofatso - posted on 05/18/2011

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Hi Chrystalla, i know how you feel, my son kgato is 22 months old. He likes slapping other kids, his nanny, me. it gets very painful when he does that, i would take both his hands in mine, look him in the eye and tell him gently that its not good to hit. He would look the other way and then kiss me and give me a hug. i'd feel very sad and hurt.

Chrystalla - posted on 05/17/2011

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thank you, it certainly makes me feel better knowing im not alone on this.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/17/2011

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my son hits and punches himself everyday at least 10 to 15 times a day and dont even hit himself soft its litterly punching hard and i know its hard cause i got in the way once and plus he punched me a few times

Sarah - posted on 05/17/2011

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Yes. Do not give him any attention when he does this. Either put him in a time out in a safe place where he can not hit his head as hard, (such as a crib or a playpin) or hold him between your legs and let him cry it out. I know it's hard but this has worked for me. My pediatrician suggested it. And now, all we do when he hits his head on purpose is just laugh at him and tell him "you did it" and tell him to get up and try again and usually he laughs with us and gets up and moves on. :)

Naomi - posted on 05/17/2011

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My son used to do exactlky the same thing. rather than stamping his feet in a temper he would head butt the floor. It is really alarming but he is nearly 6 now and there doesnt seem to be any adverse efffects!!! He just stopped doing it on his own eventually. Sorry I cant give you any techniques to stop it but our family life was very happy so I dont think you and your husbands problems are necessarily contributing to it. hope that helps, Naomi x

Christy - posted on 05/17/2011

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I think it's a BOY thing!!!LOL I have a 3 year old who does that when he throws temper tantrums. He's slowed down because he figured out it hurts! My older son also did that when he was that age (he's 13 now). My tactic is to let him throw the temper tantrum and then when he's calm I talk to him on his level. (I get down on the floor with him) He has only hit his head hard enough to bruise it once and so far that has been the last episode.

Chrystalla - posted on 05/16/2011

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thank you everyone for your helpful comments, it certainly helps to know i am not alone. Yesterday my son did it again, he hit his head on the iron railings for no reason and then cried, it was hard, i would cry too if i did it, it came up in a bump and bruised. Also, i tried feeding him at a restaurant as we were invited to my uncles birthday and he put food in his moutha nd then spat it out on the floor, over his clothes, on the table, everywhere. he smacked me in the face a few times over the weekend too. when i pretended to cry and turned away from him, he got very upset and cuddled me. It breaks my heart to shout at him or smack him, all i want to do is be a good mum and show him love but maybe i am smothering him with my love. I suppose when you have problems at home with your partner, the love you show the children is stronger and maybe i am overdoing it because i feel he is neglected sometimes. Its a battle at home with the big child and the real baby.

Elfrieda - posted on 05/15/2011

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About the staring you in the face while he does something he KNOWS is not allowed:
In the parenting class I took, I learned a VERY helpful way to deal with that. You say NO, then walk away and expect him to obey. If you stand over him, you can turn it into a battle of wills. If you walk away, he has a way to obey with dignity.
1st time - Tell him No. walk away.
2nd time - tell him No, smack his hand, walk away
3rd time - tell him no, remove him from the situation

My son is 17 months old, and is not allowed in the washroom cupboard that has his dad's shaving things. He likes to test it out, though, like this morning, so I tried this method. I had to do step 1 and 2, and pretended not to notice him while I was doing my hair, and he crawled away and started playing with something else instead. Success!

Elizabeth - posted on 05/15/2011

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thankz that helps its just seems like a long process for me since my son is 8 and been doing it for 7 years so its getting frustrating now

Kathryn - posted on 05/15/2011

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My son did it for a while he was very frustrated and couldn't express himself he also did it when he was sick and in pain. It was the worst thing to watch I'd always have to run to save his head, but once he started talking he didn't do it anymore. So pleAse know your not alone and he will grow out of it.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/14/2011

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first sorry your baby is doing that, my son is 8 and does hit himself still he been doing it since he was like 8 months old the scary part it sorry to say this but it dnt get beter as baby gets older now my son literly punches himself where he makes bruises on his face,arms,and legs plus now he bits and pinches himself and now others too the only thing that would help you is go to your local schools or county place and let them know so they could get you the help you need but if i could help wait heres my local place that helps my son you could call them and they could help you with the info for where your at call 2095572117 or 2094730951 hope it helps you good luck with ur son plua=s you could email at lizh3kds@yahoo.com

Rachael - posted on 05/14/2011

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its nothing ur doing my little boy did that wen he was 2 but i ignored him and he soo grew out of it,also him not listening to u saying no hes trying to push his look.just be firm it will soon sink in u mean no,my lad is now very well behaved and always dose what hes told.good luck.x

Marie - posted on 05/14/2011

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sounds like my son he did that for a while when he was throwing a tantram and some times when he wasnt he found it funny, he also liked to throw things on the floor even when he new he shouldnt but he would look at me or daddy to see if we where watching first if we where he would give a cheaky grin and go for it to see if he would get told of i think your son at that age with the throwing he is just trying to push his boundries he know you say no but how far can he take it untill he really gets told of as for the head banging my son stiped doing it by 24 months

Bryony - posted on 05/14/2011

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My little man started in his cot mostly from about 6mths, to the point of making his mouth bleed. An attention getter when he didn't want to go to sleep. When he realized that no great fuss would be created for him and he still had to go to bed he moved on to throwing up in his bed, Which of course required cleanup and would get some attention. Solidarity on the part of my husband and I took a while but eventually he came to the conclusion that sleep was inevitable and gave up on that too. 22 months is a time of acting out and seeking attention for all little people. Hang in there and do your best not to let him overstress you as it will only make him do it more. Good luck

Murielle - posted on 05/13/2011

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hi there, my 15 month old girl does that too. She gets really dramatical if things do not go her way. Throwing her arms in the air, wailing, then banging her head on the wall...she never does it eally hard though (she must know it can hurt) It sometimes looks so comical that I can't help it and burst out laughing - that usually stops her then.

Tosca - posted on 05/13/2011

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About the eating issue:
I disagree with not giving praise for eating. As rule you should ALWAYS praise positive behavior and ignore negative behavior as long as the child is not hurting himself.

Carol - posted on 05/13/2011

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i had a problem with my now 2 year old slapping himself in the head. i asked my sister in law who has a troubled 9 year old with aggression problems, she had mentioned he did the same, she told me when i saw him do it to just simply say thats silly dont do that, and look away and not give him attention for it, it took about 2 weeks but he hasnt done it since, you could try that and see if it works. hope it helps! :) *hugs*

Tanna - posted on 05/13/2011

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It may be nothing and need to be ignored but if combined with other symptoms it could be autisim. So if he keeps doing it or does other things you feel are not quite normal it wouldn't gift to take him to his doctor and let him/her know what is going on. Might help calm your anxiety as well.

Candyce - posted on 05/13/2011

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My son used to do the head-banging and blatant defiance as well (he's nearly five now, so he outgrew all but a little defiance). Like some of the others said, it's a basic hissy-fit. Physically remove him, to keep him from hurting himself. If he's too worked up to listen, set him in a safe place and keep quiet until he calms down. Then you can let him know that his behavior isn't appropriate and give him some words to use the next time he's feeling angry or frustrated. He's still learning so many words and experiencing so many emotions, he's probably overwhelmed and it pisses him off. I taught my son to tel me when he was upset. He'd start to throw a tantrum or hit his head on the wall and scream, so I would clear out his playpen and set him in it, or hold him in my lap if we weren't near it. Not tightly, but just enough to keep him from flailing. Once he got it out of his system, I explained that what he was doing wasn't right, and asked him if he was mad or sad. After a few weeks, he started coming to me (pouting, lol) to say, Mama, Bari MAD!!!! Then we worked it out. The defiance is pure human nature. The least harmful thing you can do is to simply keep your cool, like it's not affecting you in the least (since he is looking for a reaction), and reiterate your ground rules. If he still doesn't want to "fix his face" or his attitude, he can have some solitary time to think about it. When he's ready to be obedient or talk, then he can come to you.

Blessed Be

Erin - posted on 05/13/2011

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My son threw tantrums for a while like that... he would bang his head really hard on the tile floor, which hurt and then he would repeat. lol. But, the doctor said that as long as he wasn't brusing himself, it was fine. It's pretty normal for them. My son has finally grown into a new phase of tantrums!

Kimberly - posted on 05/13/2011

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You are definitely not alone! My daughter is 4 now and I remember a time when she would bang her head on things or even slap herself in the head when she was mad but the only thing I could do was to pick her up place her in her crib close her door and leave her alone until she got over it. I truly believe it's an attention thing. But still once in awhile now she tries to get away with it only now she has switched more to scratching herself :(...but again I just ignore it, I have faith it will pass too.

Buli - posted on 05/13/2011

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tantrums,nothing more...or as other people call it 'the terrible twos'...unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it. Just stand your ground,so he knows No means No. You'll survive it.

Tabby - posted on 05/13/2011

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my twins did that all the time especially when they were angry but they are now 2and a half and have grown out of it. i wouldnt worry to much itll pass, just tell him no and then ignore him he'll realise that its not working and that he's not getting the attention he wants and should stop! good luck

Lynn - posted on 05/13/2011

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Years ago, my best friend had a 2 1/2-year old boy in her home preschool who would just sit for hours, holding his teddy and banging his head on the floor. He also didn't talk yet. She thought he might have been autistic. His parents are a pediatrician and a opthomologist, and one day he stopped and literally started speaking in full sentences at 3 years old. I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself. If it continues, or you're really concerned, you should ask your pediatrician for advice or testing, but your child is probably just acting out his frustrations at being told no. Hopefully, just ignoring the behavior will work, even putting him in his crib so he's not getting your attention might help.

Kristina - posted on 05/13/2011

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my son who will be two in june does this to. especially after u tell him no. i have talked to some experts and they say its normal and that he will grow out of it

Susan - posted on 05/13/2011

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My little boy did this for awhile at about this age too. He didn't do it in anger, though, it just seemed to be sort of out of curiosity or something. We tried to tell him it wasn't good to do it but not make too big a deal of it, and eventually he stopped. He did it more in front of one of his babysitters who would get really upset about it, so I think it was just trying to see how it felt to him and affected others!

Tshegofatso - posted on 05/13/2011

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i really hope he outgrows it soon, he also likes hitting people, which i hope he outgrows as well. Gosh, its tough.

Annie - posted on 05/13/2011

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You certainly aren't alone. My son bangs his head on the wall/cupboard too when Itell him NO, or he doesn't get his way. I do ignor it & know he'll just grow out of it eventually. He's also started hittiong me which I'm not appreciating, but I think that's cos my husband & step son have been amking a game of it (grrrr!). Hopefully that'll stop soon too!

Good luck :o)

Chrystalla - posted on 05/13/2011

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sounds like your son is trying to get attention just like mine. im going to take the advice which louise gave and ignore him when he does it and see what happens. You try it too and i bet we both get good results. Best of luck

Tshegofatso - posted on 05/13/2011

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My son is 22month old, he has a bad temper. When he gets angry he would go to the fridge and beat it, then throw himself on the floor and cry kicking in the air, now lately he has started sometihng thart hurts me, he slaps himself on the face. he would do it, at the same time crying. i have never seen anything like this. Im so scared.

Chrystalla - posted on 05/13/2011

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thank you again. Usually we sit him down to eat when we eat and when i leave the plate of food on his tray, he gets annoyed and throws it on the floor. we tend to send him to the naughty corner if he is naughty because a smack on the hand or bottom i find is not working as he just hits me back. my main concern is to be a good mother and not make mistakes and also to stay calm and happy for him. i try desperately not to show him when i am down. he also has this habbit lately of sitting on the path and refusing to let me put him in the car, i dont know why he does all this as i show him so much love.

Chrystalla - posted on 05/13/2011

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Thank you so very much for your input. Why does he also look me straight in the eye and do the things i say not to?? we also have a problem with him eating at home, apparently at nursery he does not have a problem but at home he refuses to eat most of the time and just survives on milk. i do worry and because we his parents have problems, i am so worried that i am doing something wrong and the cold atmosphere at home is causing this.

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