Why Is My 11 Month Old Son Headbutting EVERYTHING

Updated on October 14, 2011
M.J. asks from Minneapolis, MN
13 answers

I swear you would think the kid was half billy goat. He was never shown as a play thing, he just started it. You pick him up, HEADBUTT to the face, arms, chest. He gets mad... Headbutts the floor and the toys. He gets tired, headbutts the crib and what ever he is near. He does it to the dog, to the wall, to his knees. HE does it purposely. Does anyone elses son do this, what do I do to stop it and can he wear a helmet I fear brain damage soon.

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So What Happened?

tried re direction it helps some, he is now doing more walking and less headbutting

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answers from Austin on

He is using his head to explore.. It is like when he would kick his feet, bend his legs.. then the hands, then his arms.. Right now he is using it to see how hard things are, to see reactions and to use as communication..

Ignore it and he will realize it is not a helpful tool to butt his head..

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5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Redding on

It's a phase. Try to ignore it, he'll stop eventually.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Hi M.,

My daughter did that....I had more headaches when she was small than I had before or since, lol. She eventually outgrew it.

God bless,

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Just a phase!
One of many more to come!

Get the book "What To Expect The First Year" and, "What To Expect, The Toddler Years."

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

My son did that for few weeks because it was new. Everything new he does is an obsession for awhile and passed. We just didn't pay any attention to it unles it was aimed at us when he was angry and it was handled the same way as hitting ("no hitting" and walk away.) When he would heatbutt other things for other reasons, we ignored it after realizing that telling him not to do it (worried he would hurt himself among other things) only made him do it more.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

my son does this. His doctor says kids have hard head and he won't hurt himself. the other day he head butted my and made my mouth bleed.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

The little boy I took care of did the same thing. He mostly did it when he was really mad about something. The best thing to do is just ignore the behavior! His parents really have a hard time ignoring it... it just freaks them out too much. He's still doing it 9 months later! Ignore it but if you can't set up a playpen and put him in it and walk away!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Kids explore all kinds of interactions with the world during their first couple of years. And they keep doing what seems to "work." Many, like hitting (self, head, or others), kicking, are disturbing to parents and tend to get strong reactions.

Kids crave attention and notice, even if it's negative, though they prefer positive and happy attention. So, other than a calm statement like "No hitting, please," and perhaps putting him in his playpen or just walking away, do your best to ignore the behavior. Also, make a point of noticing things you like or appreciate or find amusing, and make sure he knows you've noticed. An approving word, a touch, a smile or giggle. He'll like that attention and start focusing more on the behaviors you like.

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answers from Provo on

Because he is an 11 month old boy. lol. He'll stop eventually. My daughter used to smash her face on the floor when she was mad. I just picked her up and put her in her crib because it was softer than the floor. When your son is really mad, try holding him gently on your bed. It's big and soft and the hard objects are a little more out of his reach. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

It IS a phase... just try to stay out of harm's way (my Kiddo busted my nose that way). He'll grow out of it; and don't worry - mine used to wake me by headbutting the plaster wall, harder and harder - and he's "fine". ;)



answers from Minneapolis on

I second the answer of Peg from Canby.

Redirect. Give positive attention when he does something good. This takes practice on your part--you have to watch for good actions.

When my boy (who turned out perfectly normal) went through his head-butting phase, I stuck a pillow between his head and the hard object, and then showed him how to pat the pillow with his hand. Then we laughed like crazy.

Point is- I gave him attention for the positive action (silly is fun!), protected his head, and let him grow out of this phase. Head-butting is pretty self-limiting--it hurts!


answers from Minneapolis on

Let me know if you find something that works. Just this morning I was awoken to my soon to be 1 year old son headbutting my nose... Co sleeping is great... Unless he wakes up before me. Lol