February 22, 2007,
R.F. asks from Minneapolis, MN on February 20, 2007
The past few days my 17 month old son has developed a new habit. When he does not get his way he headbutts me! I have always tried to get down on his level, look him in the eyes and explain to him why he can't do something when he is doing something inappropriate, dangerous, etc. Until now this approach has worked very well. He is a very well behaved baby and actually talks A LOT for his age (on Sunday he had a 5 word sentance!) I want to correct this before it becomes a bigger issue. Do things like this happen to everyone and what do you do to solve the problem?
M.S. answers from St. Cloud on February 21, 2007
Its a phase. Its thier way of controling trying to control you or the situation. At that age they get so fustrated becaues they can't explain, or understand why they are not getting thier way.
My daughter did this as well. It scared me. I would just move her to a area that was padded and let her throw her tantrum. I have pictures of her with bruises on her forehead, even in her professional ones...
She grew out of it, about the time she was able to start talking more.
K.C. answers from Milwaukee on February 22, 2007
I have the same trouble with my son and he's 20 months old. At first it was hard to talk to him about it but now He knows it hurts when he does it so he doesn't do it any more. Mine though did it when he was standing and then would fall to the ground and start head butting. He also would do it in my arms. All I can say is that It takes some time but I think eventualy they will relaize that it hurts and it will let up and eventualy go away. Hope everything works out.
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K. answers from Madison on February 21, 2007
My son is only 6 months, so I'm not there yet, but I have worked in many child care centers and found that sometimes giving a quick, stern "No headbutting" and then moving on may take care of the problem. He may be enjoying the response of you getting down on your knees to communicate with him even though in your eyes it is not a positive interaction. Sometimes no response is the best response. He may become bored with the action if it doesn't get him any attention. Good luck!
R.S. answers from Sheboygan on February 22, 2007
Our daughter did this. It hurt us both physically and emotionally to go through it!! HANG IN THERE!!
We would put our hand up when we saw she was about to head butt and then walk away without saying anything about it. We found this to be the best for us because the more we said something about the headbutting the more she did it and then branched out to hitting her head on everything else (our front cement steps).
Stick with something though for a few days, don't expect results over night. Also, just to let you know, we were told by SEVERAL doctors that babies typically will not hurt themselves by headbutting. So if he does and it hurts one time, point that out to him, "hitting your head hurts, and makes mommy sad".
Good luck!! This was just our way... hope you find yours soon.
B.W. answers from Minneapolis on February 20, 2007
Its just a frustration. Some kids bite, some hit, some headbutt.
As long as you keep explaining that its not ok. STop him in the act, and say 'no!' and tell him its not nice.
Didn't havea problem with my oldest, but my youngest was a biter. It took a good 3 months of catching him before the bite and telling him 'No bite!' to get the point across.
M. answers from Duluth on February 20, 2007
Hugs. We just went through this with our youngest. My other two kids didn't do this. She kept doing it mostly with her brother. But after many times letting her know it was not ok to do that and signing hurt she has stopped doing it. I know it has helped a lot more now that she is signing what she wants and we haven't seen her do headbutts the last two weeks.
She is 18 months old.
What I did was first move her away from her brother. Sat her down on the floor and talked to her. Sometimes she would go right back to it and I would sit her on the floor in front of me and tell her again it was not ok to do that and used the sign for hurt to let her know that it will hurt her head. Also used it to let her know it hurt her brother, and she would stop. Not sure if this will help you. It has worked for us so far. Good luck.
M. mom to 3 kids