Banging of head on wall

Rita - posted on 12/10/2008 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Is anyone else dealing with a toddler boy who constantly bangs their head against the wall even though they have come to realize that it hurts? If so, how do you get them to stop, how long will this last for, etc...???

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User - posted on 12/10/2008

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Head banging is surprisingly common. Up to 20% of babies and toddlers bang their head on purpose, although boys are 3X's more likely to do it than girls.

Head banging often starts in the 2nd half of the 1st year and peaks between 18- 24 mos of age.

Possible reasons he may bang his head: • Self-comfort. As strange as it may sound, most toddlers who indulge in this behavior do it to relax. They bang their head rhythmically as they're falling asleep, when they wake up in the middle of the night, or even while they're sleeping. Some rock on all fours as well.

• Pain relief- from teething or an ear infection, for example.

• Frustration. If your toddler bangs his head during temper tantrums, he's probably trying to vent some strong emotions.

• A need for attention. Ongoing head banging may also be a way for your toddler to get your or other people's attention.

• A developmental problem. Head banging can be associated with autism and other developmental disorders, this is normally an early "red flag" behavior.



Give your toddler your attention — but not when he's banging his head.

Make sure he gets plenty of positive attention from you when he's not banging his head. If he still bangs his head to get your attention try not to make a big deal about it, or you may reinforce the behavior. Don't scold or punish him for it. He's more than likley too young to understand your disapproval which may make matters worse.



Sorry it is so long, but thought it would help!

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Chantel - posted on 12/15/2008

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My baby is only 8 months old so doesn't do this but my mom has told me that I used to bang my head against the floor when I was little and she was told to bang it a little harder (that sounds horrible, I realize) but it worked. She said I never did it again. Obviously she didn't hurt me or anything. Just enough for me to not want to do it again. But if your son already knows it hurts that probably won't work. Good luck;)

Marta - posted on 12/13/2008

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Hmmm, I've never really seen a child do this. My boys did'nt bang their heads on hard object they just seem(ed) to think it(s) fun to come and headbutt my husband or I. They've learned that it's innappropriate to do it to mommy but they still do it to my husband. I'd try to divert the headbutting to a soft surface like your partners stomache or a cushion or teddy bear. It's a way for them to express their frustration and to test their limits. It'll stop eventually just try to divert them to something soft. If it persists for too much longer I'd suggest talking to your family physician.

[deleted account]

You hold a surprising amount of stress in your forehead (next time you have a headache, try lightly knocking on your forehead with your knuckles, this sometimes helps me, lol) so they may be trying to release some of that tension.

Jenny - posted on 12/12/2008

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My son is 15 months and has been banging his head for nearly 3 weeks now. He started with the couch or my leg or other soft stuff, but now has moved on to walls or grocery carts or harder objects. He doesn't bang as hard on them though. He only seems to do this when he doesn't get his way. I have been ignoring him...he just did it more and harder at first, but now over the past week he has been doing it less and less. I think it bothers me more than it bothers him! I hope this phase doesn't last long!

Jessica - posted on 12/12/2008

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Rita- My son is 2 years and 3 months... he still bangs his head. You really cant stop them. My son has banged his head so much that he now knows what areas of the house hurts less than others. And he's more cautious on how hard he bangs it. But they only learn the hard way and thats by hurting themselves doing it. I have even asked the doctor about it and basically you just have to wait until there ready to stop. Although, I have realized that if I ignore him during this process he usually stops!

Rita - posted on 12/12/2008

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Ladies, Thanks for all the advice. My son has his 2 year check up next wed., so I will be speaking with his pedi. about this matter. I've noticed that he usually does the head banging when he's throwing his tantrum, I try to ignore it, but it's so hard to do.

Thank you all for your advice! It really helps to know that I am not alone in this matter.

Krista - posted on 12/11/2008

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my son is 3 years old, for about 6 months he started banging his head against the wall when things didnt go his way... i first was worried he was going to hurt himself and told him to stop and made a big deal of it, that only made it worse and made him do it more often my mother told me to ignore it that he wouldnt bang his head hard enough to actually do serious damage. Once i started ignoring it about a month later he just stopped doing it. Toddlers are so difficult and i feel for ya... good luck!

Lindsey - posted on 12/11/2008

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Obviously your child is not alone in this:) My nephew did it, he is 5 now, and is perfectly normal! My son also did it for a little while, and we ignored it. It is very normal. He should grow out of it:)

Casandra - posted on 12/11/2008

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I have the same advise as others, I'm currently pregnant so i have not had a child that did this. But i remember both my younger step brothers doing this Kristopher the old of the two started doing it when he was 1, my step mother and father tried to stop it and give him trouble but it just made the problem increase. Finally after doctors saying that nothing was wrong with him he stopped after a they started to ignore it. Then When Jeremy hit about 1.5 and Kristopher was 3. . .Jeremy started the same thing after about a week Kristopher started to copy him and they both did it for only a couple of months on and off once they found they didnt get attention from it they stopped and found other way of getting mom and dads attention. Good luck with that, i hope it stops soon for you and i hope he doesnt get in to anyother odd traits that my step brother did for attention!

Ashley - posted on 12/10/2008

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Dear god I hope my child does not do this! My brother went through the same phase. They put a helmet on him, because he is a severe hemophiliac(bleeding disorder where the blood won't clot). They did it for fear that he would get a bleed in his brain. (Again.) My child may or may not have the same disorder, and I just don't want to have to see my kid running around in a helmet.



Hopefully this clears up soon for you.

[deleted account]

I have a friend who's kids did it and she just ignored it till they finally stopped.
My kids like to hit their head on other people's heads. That's right, they love to head butt. It's my fault. I taught it to them. They do it and just laugh! Until someone does it too hard and then we have tears! lol

Michelle - posted on 12/10/2008

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my boy is 13 mnths n every now n then goes through the stage of banging his head on stuff. it usually happens round the time he gets n other tooth. i never found anything to stop it and dnt really mind because it only lasts a few weeks then stops but just thought it might b the reason ur child dose it as well.

Amanda - posted on 12/10/2008

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My son, who is now 14months, went through that fase about a month ago and it only lasted a few weeks. I tried not to draw attention to it because I found the more I tried to stop it, the more he would do it. After ignoring the behavior for a while it stopped. Good luck!

Marissa - posted on 12/10/2008

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My cousin used to bang her head against the concrete. And now her son does it. It's pretty common. I'm not sure if your reacting to it. But if you are try to ignore it. And see what happens. Sometimes it just an attention grabber.

Chantelle - posted on 12/10/2008

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My daughter is almost a year and does the banging the head thing to. It doesn't seem to faze her in anyway. I don't know why they do it, but they do and it worries me too.

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