14 answers

My Baby Scratches Her Head

My 7 month old scratches her head and gently hits her head with an open hand while she's eating and/or playing. I've heard of self-stimulation but I don't know if this falls into that category. I try to distract her by moving her hand away or making a silly noise to grab her attention. Did I neglect to fulfill a need? Is there a way to break this habit; she always has scratches on her head :(

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

At 7 months, it would be hard to tell, but maybe her head itches! I know if I have poison ivy or something, sometimes I hit it rather than scratch.

Try some olive oil on the scalp and see if it changes. Olive oil for the skin and scalp go back to Biblical times and DO make a difference.

More Answers

If she's leaviong scratches start keeping her nails short, otherwise it's just a normal infant behavior. her motor skills are still developing and she's just exploring her body, her head probally feels neat to her, with the different textures compared to other parts of her body, but just like children discover their feet and do things like chew on them, she's found out she has a head and it's pretty neat too. she will outgrow this, as for right now, she probally isn't meaning to hit herself and keeping her nails short should help with the scratches.

My sister when little would twirl her hair while drinking, she did this for years. She grew out of it though

Dear L.,

My almost 7 month old son does the same thing. He had cradle cap pretty bad so I think that is why he scratches his head. He will also get a toy in his hand and start banging it on the table and hits himself in the head. I think its just because he can't control his hands very good yet. I wouldn' worry about it to much. It may be just a phase. If she continues you might want to mention it to you doctor at her next visit.

My son is almost a year old. He has been scratching his head since he was really small. It is a sign that he is tired. I know it isn't his ears because he already has tubes in his ears. He also likes to bang his head some when he is tired. He doesn't do that very often, but the head scratching is always before nap and bed. I hope this helps.

My baby scratches his head, plays with his ear, scratches his daddy and I, anything in reach when he's tired. We keep his nails clipped as short as possible(we usually notice he has a sharp corner when we find a scratch on his face!!:) He's never been sick or had any ear infections it's just his sleepy routine. I don't know if it's anything to worry too much about. If it seems excessive, that she's in pain or to the point that she might really hurt herself you might want to talk to her pediatrician. My Dr. told us to call the office any time we had any questions or concerns, I would think her's would feel the same. Good Luck!

My little one was doing the same thing. It ended up being something much less complicated then you think! He had an itchy dry scalp! I know it sounds silly, but our doctor caught it. I started to put some Eucerin lotion on his scalp after his bath. It helped alot. My son does not have much hair so it was easy to do. If she has alot of hair my doctor said to use a little bit of dandruff shampoo. It will work. I promise!

My 6 month old does too. She scratches her head all the time. I just make sure her nails are trimmed so she's not gouging the top of her scalp and we're good. They are just learning what their hands are for and just learning that the fingers & hands can touch things and then they can feel the other end of it too (rather than grabbing a toy where they don't feel the other end). When they touch their heads or whatever part they feel the touching with the hand and the receiving on the head. I think they think it's cool. LOL! I'm no doctor, obviously. But that's what I came up with. Good luck L..

Sounds like she may have a type of turrets. Not to scare you or anything but I worked at a Nursing home and volunteered at a childrens home and one of the little boys there did the same thing while he was eating or listening to music.

this could be something altogether different, but my son did some of these things when he was little and found a lot of relief from eliminating food allergens. my naturopath helped us to figure out what the culprit foods were. just a thought.

The daughter of a friend of mine did this and my friend just thought was going through another development stage. A few months later, she took her to the pediatrician for her regular check-up and her daughter ended up having a really bad ear infection. She had absolutely no other symptoms just scratching and hitting her head! This probably isn't the case with your daughter but I thought I would share this situation in case you want to rule it out.

At 7 months, it would be hard to tell, but maybe her head itches! I know if I have poison ivy or something, sometimes I hit it rather than scratch.

Try some olive oil on the scalp and see if it changes. Olive oil for the skin and scalp go back to Biblical times and DO make a difference.

dry head scalp!!! lol my lil one does the same thing, but he has a dry scalp and forehead, we started using head and shoulders dry scalp shampoo in the shower and putting aquaphor on his scalp and forehead at night it got much better!

Has she had any problems with her ears ? Is she fussy at a certain time of day ?My son started that when he was about that age and we finally found out his ears were bothering him .We atarted with lots of ear infections and finally had to get tubes put in (since then he has not done it) ,but right before he would get an ear infection , he would start scratching and hitting his head . They didn't start until about that age , and progressively got worse . (hope this helps )

My now 9 month old used to do that a lot too and she's grown out of it. Even though she does tap some of her toys against her head. I think the open hand hitting is a way to explore something new.

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