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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: wi
Posts: 7
whitesocks HB User
14-month baby bangs her head all day long!


I was wondering what I can do to prevent my baby who's 14 month old, from banging her head SO much.
Basically, she does this all day long... literally! If you just put her down, she reacts by banging her head on the sofa or pillow.
She is always rocking back and forth when she is not being held. Basically she can't remain motionless, she is always rocking herself or banging her head.

She also makes this humming noise when she does these rhythmic movements.

It is very disturbing to us. I think I can see a blackish spot on her forehead where she usually bangs.

Does anyone know what can be done to stop this disturbing habit?


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Old 11-14-2007, 10:12 AM   #2
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Heyknack HB User
Re: 14-month baby bangs her head all day long!

Is she getting enough or long enough naps? I read that kids are more likely to do this when tired or upset, so maybe try more naptime? Either way, I'd ask your pediatrician.

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Old 11-14-2007, 11:48 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2005
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sem627 HB User
Re: 14-month baby bangs her head all day long!

My 18 month old son is a head banger. He's been doing it for a while...don't even really remember when it started. He mostly does it when he's tired or bored. He'll do it in the carseat and the highchair more than anything. He'll also do it when I lay him down in his crib for a nap or for nighttime. He'll put himself to sleep that way. He doesn't bang it on anything, it mostly a back and forth rocking thing. I can go into his room after he's asleep and if he's on his back, he'll do it in his sleep. I guess he hears me and doesn't really wake up, but enough to need to do it to get back in that deep sleep. If he's mad or upset, he might fall to the floor and do it there. It's how he self-soothes himself.

It does still bother me sometimes, but not nearly like it did before. It's an autism trait and that's why we were so worried about it. But I did some research and found that 20% of very normal children do it...especially when they are tired. It can last up to 4 years old. In my research I found that if the child is a head-banger and does one of these three things by 18 months, then the head-banging is more than likely a normal baby thing and not linked to autism.

1. points to an object
2. follows an adult's gaze
3. uses an object in imagination play (for instance, my son will open up the toenail clippers and put it to his ear and talk like he just opened a cell phone)

As my son started doing more things, particulary pointing and talking more, we worried less about autism. Again, the head banging thing can be annoying (and yes, sometimes it is accompanied with a noise), but I have learned to ignore it most of the time.

Keep your daughter engaged. My son won't do it if he's playing or active. I've also read possibly they do it to imitate being rocked. So maybe she does need more cuddles and rocking. Point to things and see if she can follow you. Does she point? Will she stop rocking when you talk to her? Even when it first started, my son would stop and look at me when I called his name.

I would definitely do some research on it and absolutely talk to your ped.

Last edited by sem627; 11-14-2007 at 06:50 PM.

Old 11-14-2007, 06:50 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 323
sem627 HB User
Re: 14-month baby bangs her head all day long!

One more thing....I also read head banging could be from an inner ear infection. I would have her ears checked out.

Old 11-15-2007, 07:38 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: wi
Posts: 7
whitesocks HB User
Re: 14-month baby bangs her head all day long!

thanks so much!

i will definitely take what u have said, into consideration. I appreciate the suggestions.

I knew that they grow out of it naturally by 3 years of age, but somewhere on these forums I read that a couple of elderly people (50's) were still head-bangers from infancy.

well u can just imagine my fright!


but i guess that's not the norm. still, u want to actively help the situation in any way.

take care.

Old 11-15-2007, 08:37 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 323
sem627 HB User
Re: 14-month baby bangs her head all day long!

I would definitely still watch for those three things I mentioned...pointing, imaginative play, and following your gaze. If she isn't doing those things now or by 18 months, then I would absolutely have her evaluated by your ped.

I never heard of normal adults doing it....ahhhh, I hope my son stops it waaay before then. Even now I have to move his crib away from the wall so we don't hear it when he starts rocking himself to sleep. Can't imagine a full-size adult doing it!!!!!

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