8 answers

My 18-Month-old Bangs Her Head at Night

Every night, my 18-month-old daughter bangs her head in her sleep. She's in a sitting position and bangs her head rhythmically between her legs on the mattress. This goes on for up to an hour each time she starts and it usually begins between 1-6 a.m. She actually began this behavior only when she was staying somewhere other than home and she did this with such force that she would actually move her pack-in-play about six feet every night with just this motion. For the past few months it's been happening at home as well, but never during naptime. We've gone in her room and she's sound alseep as she's banging her head - it's really scary. Has anyone else experienced this?

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have you taken the child to the doctor this could be some kind of sizuer i dont know if that is spelled right but i would check in to that

Hi, My name is R. from Zanesville and I wanted to tell you that her behavior is quite normal and I see u have gotten a few responses. I agree with others that if she does bang her head when she goes else where, it probably is a soothing technique, but you DID say she does this at home too so I got to thinking... it probably isnt just a soothing technique. You see the reason i say this is because I am 36 yrs old now and have banged my head, while on my stomach, since i was 1 yr old and continue to do so even to this day! (Only while I am asleep) Drs said I would outgrow it but i never did. FInally I found someone who would listen to me, after many yrs of sleepless nights and tired mornings, a dr told me i needed to be put on an anti-seizure medicine called neurontin or also called gabapentin. Now mind u i am not having seizures when i bang my head, they just found this med would work. To this day, I have never banged my head since! (they first tried me on depakote, but was allergic to it) Now i know your daughter is young but get a few opinions and if u have to, print out what i have written and take it to the drs with you. Like others said though, she may outgrow the banging of her head...I don't know. I would definitely speak it over with her dr though for I am not a dr. I sure hope my information helps you somewhat. I'd be interested in knowing how things go for you. Keep me posted will you? Hugs and take care.

I would definitely mention it to your Peds. It may be normal, or it may be a sign of something else. Are there any other activities she does that worry you, such as screaming? My brother and sister would head bang when they were bored, my sister has a son on the autism spectrum who head banged, but had other things he did. Talk to your ped, and you'll feel better.

My 7 yr old has done this since she was abe to hold up her own head, and she still does it. She does it to fall asleep and she does it in her sleep. Some kids just do it. I haven't read all the responses but I did see a glimpe of one, and I can certainly tell you that there is nothing wrong with your child.

My twin boys (now 10)did the rocking on their hands and knees hitting their head against the crib for as long as they have been old enough to get up on their hands and knees. The first night they did this while they were at my mother's (I forgot to tell her about it!) their cribs were banging against the wall from the force of the rocking and my poor mom thought someone was trying to break in the house! LOL! This rocking eventually evolved to their heads being on the floor and the rocking going side to side, kind of in a fetal position... but face down with the forehead on the floor and knees tucked under them. They acutally did this for years! One of my twins stopped at around age 4 maybe.... the other one just could not go to sleep without rocking under his blanket up until just a couple of years ago.

p.s. nothing's wrong with them! LOL! They both are A-B students! =)

If it helps any, my niece used to bang her head to fall asleep. Never did figure out why she did it. For a few years she could only fall asleep if she laid on her stomach on her bed and banged her head, face first, into the pillow. No matter what we did she wouldn't quit. Eventually she grew out of it. My son rocks in his crib on his hands and knees just as he's falling asleep. Sometimes into his teddy bear, sometimes into the rails. But he's healthy and happy and the doctor said it's normal. So I'm not worried. Eventually he'll outgrow it. If you're worried she will hurt herself, try putting a pillow down when she starts so she'll have a soft place to bang her head. Other than that talk to her doctor and see if they have any suggestions.

My little boy Colin, now 21months, used to do that. He started around 15 months and would hit his head against the side of his crib. I asked the doctor, who said it was perfectly normal and just another way for him to comfort himself, and that he would just eventually stop. Colin only did this for a month or two and then just stopped on his own, though now he will often hit (softly and rythmically) his leg against his mattress when he's falling asleep.

Hi J.,
My 19-month-old son bangs his head during his sleep as well. He will actually be on his hands and knees, rocking back-n-forth hitting his head on the bumper pad. Not hitting it hard, but we can definitely hear it. I left the bumper pad in his crib for this very reason and so he did not hurt his head. I spoke to the Ped about this and he said it is very common and it's a way for them to self-soothe. Weird!! :) Best wishes!!

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