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My 1 Year Old Son Hits His Head on the Floor. Anyone Else Had a Child Do This?

Help! My 17 month old son has developed a lot of personality now and is starting to have temper tantrums. Since he was old enough to crawl he would hit the front of his head on the floor. At first he didn't do it very hard, but as he has gotten older he has hit his head harder and harder. I have seen him do it out of frustration or because he was in pain (teething). Now he also does it when he is mad. My friends have told me he will grow out of it, but I am getting concerned. Has anyone had a child do this and dealt with it successfully? I have no idea what to do!! Thank you so much for your help.

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My 18 month old has done that, he used to do it more frequently, that and the wall. It was always when he was throwing a tantrum, but he seems to be growing out of it now. I really don't see it very often, and usually when he throws a tantrum, we put him somewhere quiet by himself, like his crib, or his room since how he climbs out of his crib. Then we go in and tell him, if he's done he can come out, that usually works. Anyways, I don't think it is a problem, not at that age. Hope that helps.

This isn't uncommon. I wouldn't worry too much that he's doing it unless it's obsessive for long periods of time and often throughout a day. If you think this is the case then I'd talk to his care provider.

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I don't mean to alarm, and this is NOT true of all. I just have two kids on the autism spectrum and know that my kids did this. I think all kids do this and most grow out of it and IT IS ALL NORMAL. But autistic kids to this A LOT. Much more often and for longer periods of time then kids on a normal developmental curve. Please do not think this means anything, almost all the the time this is NORMAL. I just want everyone to keeps a heads up. :) I am not even sure I should post this.

My pediatrician (who has six kids of his own!) also said it's completely normal and they grow out of it. He went on to point out that he and his colleagues have never treated a child for a self-inflicted concussion. :) Best of luck, and congratulations on the new one on the way--having boys is so awesome!

I'm sure lots of others have already responded, but I thought I'd respond anyway. My son did this from a slightly earlier age, about 13 months through about 16 months for all the same reasons as your son. It was mild at first, and then got more violent and urgent. At first we were completely shocked and scared! But, what worked for us, was to see the head banging coming, and to pick up our boy and hold him tight and tell him "ouch, stop, you'll hurt yourself" and gently calm him. It would sometimes take a while for him to calm down, but after about four or five times approaching his hysteria this way, he slowly stopped doing it. Since I have depression myself, I am always concerned if my son exhibits unusual actions. I spoke with my psychiatrist about this, and he said it is perfectly normal (although possibly injurous) and that our approach was a good one. He said that LOTS of children will act out frustration, anger, and even sadness this way. Just love you son, keep him from hurting himself when he is frustrated, and he will learn that he is safe, and his desires are being met. You will build his self-confidence every time you show him that his feeling count and that you acknowledge he is angry, frustrated, sad. Our boy ourgrew it pretty quick. Best of luck.

Just ignore him when he does this! I know it sounds mean but all he is doing is getting your attention and we you give it to him you are rewarding bad behavior

I don't haven't had personal experience with this but I had a cousin who would do the exact same thing. He would do it when he got frustrated or mad but couldn't cry. So he'd bang his head on the floor in order to help him cry. Anyway he is now 25 years old and going to Medical school. He grew out of it and never had any mental or physical problems. Except for a bruise every once in a while.

My 1 year old daughter does this too. I asked my doctor about it and he said that it is very common and normal. He said that they beleive that it actually triggers a pleasure center in their brain!In any case, I have followed his suggestion which was to just put her in a safe place, like her crib, if she does it, and walk away. I feel like my daughter is doing it for attention, she does it when she isnt getting what she wants, so walking away seems like the best solution. I am told they should grow out of it.

I have gone through this with two of my three boys. They do grow out of it. Also, when going through an episode, as hard as it is to ignore, that is the best thing you can do. When I ignored the fact they were banging their heads the tantrum would stop sooner. I would leave the room and act as if nothing was wrong, then wait for them to come to me for any emotional consolation they needed. I would never console them for a hurt head if it was hurt because of their banging, I would just tell them I was sorry to hear that their head hurt, but that was their fault. When my first son started doing this it was hard to follow through with ignoring him, but with our second it was easier because we knew it worked. Our second son grew out of the behavior much sooner than our first. Good luck, and don't worry too much.

HI! I have heard that sometimes behavior related to hitting the head can have something to do with how the child was born (in one case a child said "I kept hitting my head on the baby door". If you suspect that there could be a correlation between this behavior and his birth, there are specialists (you can find them through a local doula group) psychologists who have a way of re-birthing- through a physical journey through a tunnel that can undo the patterning, also sometimes just talking about it can shift the behavior.

This isn't uncommon. I wouldn't worry too much that he's doing it unless it's obsessive for long periods of time and often throughout a day. If you think this is the case then I'd talk to his care provider.

Just adding to it. all four of my kids did it. We would laugh at them and then walk away. Yes, they end up with major bruises on their forehead, but they have all stopped once they realize they don't get the attention they want. Sometimes upwards to a month...for my more stubborn kids. With a few regressions in hopes it works again.

You're not the only one going through this. My son hits his head for fun, when hes upset, just for the heck of it. I hope that someone has an idea on how to fix this. When he was younger i would always try to stop him from hitting his head and I think he liked the rise it got from me. I started ignoring him and that helped for a little bit, but that no logner works. Good luck, I hope that you get some good answers.

my son did that too. He would bang his head on doors, walls or the floor. I too was very concerned about it and talked to my doctor about it. He told me that it was ok and that he would grow out of it, but to watch to make sure he wasn't going to injure himself. He stopped around 20-22 months of age

My son did something similar. From the time he could sit, he would throw himself backwards and hit his head. The doctor said it's normal behavior, just to make sure he's someplace safe (not on concrete for example) and then ignore the behavior. (And to be glad he didn't hold his breath till he passed out or make himself throw up!)

He's now 8. He still struggles with expressing frustration, etc, in a constructive way, but he is getting better. We have a long road ahead of us, and he needs more patience from me than my other kids. We've never bothered with an official diagnosis but he probably has ADHD at least; we just work with the doctor on dealing with the behavior and if more intervention is needed.
This wasn't something caused by hitting his head - more likely that was a symptom of his challenges. I just remind myself that he has some special needs, and to work with him on his level. He's also very bright and creative, which is good but can add extra challenges.
My experience is also probably an extreme. Many kids are head bangers and end up very normal. I would suggest to do what you can to prevent the banging (watch for what causes him to have tantrums and avoid those situations, pick your battles), make sure he's in a safe place when it happens, and then ignore it as much as possible, and deal with other challenges if they come. Don't waste time worrying about what will be next - spend the time with your little one building your relationship and nurturing his development.

My 18 month old has done that, he used to do it more frequently, that and the wall. It was always when he was throwing a tantrum, but he seems to be growing out of it now. I really don't see it very often, and usually when he throws a tantrum, we put him somewhere quiet by himself, like his crib, or his room since how he climbs out of his crib. Then we go in and tell him, if he's done he can come out, that usually works. Anyways, I don't think it is a problem, not at that age. Hope that helps.

Hi! My 15 month old loves to do this when he's mad too, headbutting the floor or the wall. It's completely ridiculous! I just pick him and comfort him or ignore it because he'll come to me when he's done.

He would do it when his dad would leave for work, but now we wave good bye and I take him to the window so he can see him drive away, so I try to help him deal w/ specific frustration but I can't make him stop completely.

Don't worry, be happy. A lot of kids have really tough foreheads, like my dad and my brother. they headbutt each other so hard for fun and it doesn't hurt them but me and my mom are completely different story. Obviously there's some male bonding going on there but in general some kids are tougher.

Well, my toddler did this this year. He always did it when he wasn't getting his way. We ignored it (although hiding our smiles- seems so extreme). It went away in a matter of a month or two and he's never tried it since.

Don't worry about it. If it really hurts, he won't want to do it anymore. Definitely don't give him attention for it.

Mine did it too. Isn't it horrible? We thought he would learn when he hurt himself, but he did it outside on the sidewalk one day. It gave him a huge goose egg, which turned into a giant black bruise. He screamed his head off. But he kept doing it for a little longer.
I was concerned and asked the doctor. He told me to ignore it. It was hard to do, but instead of making a fuss, telling him not to do that, or trying to get my hand between his forehead and the floor before he banged his head, I tried to ignore him entirely. Well, I should say that I ignored it when he was on carpet. If he was outside, I wasn't about to let him bang it on the sidewalk again!

I don't know if he was at the end of the phase or if it really helped to not give him a reaction, but the head-banging faded soon after that.

Good luck!

Yep my boy who was about the same age did it. I would say stop that and not give him much attention. Actually walk out of the room when he did it. He is now two and he hasn't done it at all. Hill grow out of it. Don't worry. Just don't make a big deal out of it.

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