21 answers

15 Month Old - Banging Head on Floor

The past several months when my 15 month old gets upset or doesn't get his way he starts hitting his head on the ground- doesn't matter if its carpet, tile, etc. I've started swatting him and making him sit down on the couch or somewhere by himself which helps for that tantrum but the next time he does it all over again. I was wondering if anyone has went through this with their young child- if I should just walk away and leave him or what steps should I take to keep him from doing this.
Thank you all so much!

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My brother (who is now 34 years old) used to do this when he was little. He had a bad temper when he was a little guy which is odd because he's so laid back now lol. My mom said she got tired of picking him up and re-directing him so she just started walking off and ignoring him. When he realized it wasn't working, he stopped.

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You have received excellent advice. One other DIFFERENT SUGGESTION. My daughter liked to throw them in public. Finallly, we where at my work and she started in kicking and screaming (my co-worker suggested it so they weren't totally shocked) I laid down beside her and started doing the exact same thing only louder. She sat up, looked at me and actually had "real tears!" She begged mommy please stop and hugged me. She never through a tantrum again!!!! If I had it to do all over, I think I would do it in the middle of Walmart if I had too!! IT STOPPED HER IN HER TRACKS!! Just don't hit your head harder to prove a point! LOL. We then later talked about other ways of trying to communicate and get rid of frustrations.

My doctor said to ignore it. It's not always that they're dong it for attention, but they won't keep doing it if they're not getting any reaction. Seemed to work well for my daughter who did the same thing. Now she'll just lay down on the floor, but not too often. I was grateful to get past the head banging. But if she changes it to hitting walls or banging her head on you, try just putting her down and walking away, because she's just trying a different method of the same thing to try and get a reaction. The best reaction is no reaction for this behavior at this age, or a diversion, but you have to make sure they don't connect the diversion to the tantrum having a positive affect. Read about tantrums on webmd.com for more info, too.

I also like Cheryl W's advice - I may have to try that with our next tantrum. :)

Isn't this just the craziest thing and it's hard to believe they even think about doing this!! Our daughter did it a few times and my niece did too. My sister and I were concerned but couldn't help but laugh at it a little. We would both just look at them while scatting down in front of them and say NO NO firmly and walk away. They didn't do it much and may keep screaming for a minute but it was truly just to get our immediate attention. It ended for us pretty quickly. Hope it does for you too.

You should restrain him until the tantrum is over. Sit on the floor, hold him with his back to your chest, Your weak arm across his chest and arms. If he is kicking put your leg over his and if he is still banging his head use your strong arm to hold his head back against your chest with your hand across his forehead like you are checking for a fever.
He may fight you for an hour the first time but it will not keep escalating. Stay calm at all times and speak softly to him. when you feel the tantrum subsiding you can release your grip one area at a time, until just your weak arm is left across his chest. then turn him around for a hug and a kiss.
I know how extreme this sounds but I have lived this before when I was nany in my 20's. The pediatrian showed mom how to hold him, she showed me and Dad. Dad thought it was crazy and refused. The little boy ended up with stiches in his forehead because he through a tantrum when he was home alone with dad and he just walked away.
The tantrum comes a frustration with being unable to communicate what he wants or how he feels. You should begin with correcting that immediatly and no swatting ever. You are teaching him this lesson when you do that "if some does something you don't like ,hit them."
He is not likely to hug in anger or frustration, but hitting in anger or frustration is a instinct that we should be teaching him not to follow.

My daughter did the exact same thing. Our pediatrician said that toddlers do this because they are frustrated because their language skills are limited and they can't express themselves. I asked what we should do about it and he said absolutely nothing, his words were "if it hurts she'll stop". He also suggested ignoring them when they do it because it reenforces the negative behavior if you provide attention during an episode (whether it be positive or negative). Your son will grow out of this, my daughter did within 6 months. Stay positive, this too shall pass.

This is just a stage. It is actually pretty common for boys to do this and even some girls.Right now they are starting to know what they want, but unfortunately they still don't have the capability to communicate it to you. As their fine motor skills dramatically improve over the next several months and as their vocabulary improves the head banging will start to tapper of. This was the case with my son. Once he started picking up new words everyday and he could "use his words" to tell us what he was wanted and understood our responses he head banging practically stopped.
I also wouldn't worry too much because they won't hit their head so hard they hurt themself. Or if they do, they won't hit as hard in the same place again. When my little sister was small she was a head banger. One day she decided to throw and tantrum and do this on the concrete and discovered it was hard and hurt. The next time she got down to hit her head on the sidewalk she stopped short and just barely tapped it. So I agree with most everyone else and ignore it. It worked for us.

You are certainly facing a lot of challenges and I will pray for your success. As far as the head banging,
or tantrum, when my children were young I kept a spray bottle of water in the refrigerator. I would spray the one having the tantrum and it always shocked them (didn't hurt)into stopping. My children say they remember that and couldn't believe mummy would make them wet but it worked haha. Good luck with school and life my dear. I will be praying for you.

My brother (who is now 34 years old) used to do this when he was little. He had a bad temper when he was a little guy which is odd because he's so laid back now lol. My mom said she got tired of picking him up and re-directing him so she just started walking off and ignoring him. When he realized it wasn't working, he stopped.

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