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Old 11-15-2006, 10:07 AM   #1
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18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

I have an 18 month old. About a month or two ago he started banging his head on the wood floor lightly and then fake crying and looking at us waiting for us to respond. After a few times of him getting us with this we realized it was an attention thing and that we better ignore it or he would keep doing it. It got a lot better and he did it a lot less. Just lately he now seems to be doing it out of frustration, anger, or to get attention and he is doing it a lot harder. This week he has really done it alot. He also has been getting teeth in. A lot of teeth in at once actually. But he is really hitting it hard now. It is really hard for me to watch him do. He has bruises on his forehead from it. If I tell him no or redirect him or he just decided he wants our attention he will go to the nearest hard surface and hit his head and then cry cuz it hurts. What do I do? I want to ignore it and hope it passes because I don't think feeding into it is good but he is hurting himself and it is embarresing if he does it in front of other people. He mostly does it at home. My husband and I read online about others with this problem so I know it is not that uncommon but it is hard for me to ignore him because he is hurting himself. I don't know what to do.

 
Old 11-15-2006, 10:20 AM   #2
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

Is your 18 month old talking yet? I find that my 18 month old will pull her hair or pinch her face when she gets frustrated that she cannot communicate. She is talking a little but not a ton. I am not sure how to stop the head banging but maybe it also has something to do with trying to communicate with you..

 
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

He says a lot of words but not enough to comunicate. It really bothers me. He has bruises on his fore head. I don't know if I should ignore it or give him a time out or sooth him when he does it. I don't know what he wants. He has been getting a lot of teeth in this last week. It is really bugging me. should I just ignore him? Or should I tell him no when he does it?

 
Old 11-15-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

It isn't an uncommon behavior, especially in a baby who is experiencing discomfort (like teething or earaches, for instance).

Personally, I would try to distract him. I understand that you don't want to reinforce the behavior, but on the other hand, I don't think you can stand by and let him hurt himself. You don't have to molly-coddle him, but as soon as he looks like he is going to start this, suddenly find something very interesting: "OOOOH, LOOK AT THIS! Isn't this neat, fun, cool? Come here. Let's play with /watch/do this!"

If he continues, I'd walk over and put my hand in between his head and the floor. That way, he can continue to express his frustration but at least there is a little cushion there.

Did you know that it's been shown that kids who do "headers" while playing soccer actually lose IQ points? They do. Why is that relevant? Because you don't want your son damaging himself in the name of not reinforcing undesirable behavior.

That's my humble opinion.

 
Old 11-15-2006, 12:24 PM   #5
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

Thanks. That is sort of what I have been trying to do today. I have just been trying to keep him busy and distracted and trying to catch him before he does it.

 
Old 11-16-2006, 05:32 AM   #6
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

have you had him tested for autism? how is his deveopment in other areas, oes the dr say he is on track?

 
Old 11-16-2006, 06:10 AM   #7
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

He is completely on track. I have friends with kids that have autism. I don't think that is it. I did some research last night and apparently I am not the only one with this problem. It still bothers me a lot.

 
Old 11-16-2006, 07:01 AM   #8
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

well my son is not this old, but i think that he's either trying to get attention, or has a mental problem.
if he cant talk yet, why not try sign language?? it is a great way to communicate when they can't speek.
have you taken him to the doctor to get checked? is he retarded? is that why his is doing this? if he is not you should still get him checked cause he's hitting himself and that could cause head injuries or mental problems. also withi this teeth, they could come in chipped if he hits them, even when they are still under the gums. are you taking him off the wall? or just letting him hit himself.

i know an awesome book. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. or you can get the dvd, maybe at chapters or even at the library, or the book. it is how to raise you toddler. BELIEVE ME it is worth the read.
its called "THE HAPPEST TODDLER ON THE BLOCK". this i recommend. it teaches you how to raise them, and why they do the things they do. and how to help them.
if you dont get this book you are limiting yourself from some of the best possibilies for your child.
i bought the happest baby on the block, and my son truly is! he was colicky, and that book made him instantly quiet. THESE BOOKS ARE DEFINATELY WORTH THE READ!!!!
Good luck and best wishes!!!

 
Old 11-16-2006, 07:03 AM   #9
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

sry,
the author is Dr. Harvey Karp
he has also made many baby items, like walkers for example.

 
Old 11-16-2006, 07:41 AM   #10
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

Jessy, I think it's far to early to worry about something serious, expecially if he is on track developmentally.

This is common behavior. No, not all toddlers do it, but many do.

Try not to worry!

 
Old 11-16-2006, 04:09 PM   #11
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

I disagree with Index the sooner you get a child evaluated ,the sooner you get them help, the better the outcome. There are other things to look out for aside from Autism but autism has such a broad range of degrees I wouldn't wait especially since the waiting list for evaluation is longer than it should be. I have a relative who also did that as an infant and he sufferers from some form of undiagnosed mental illness all because his parents were unwilling to see it. I don't want to be a voice of doom just a voice of caution.

 
Old 11-17-2006, 06:38 AM   #12
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

My 3 year old son used to roack forwards and backwards against a chair or even doors sometimes hitting the back of his head.I got different opinion's from a few doctor's "oh alot of them do that and he will probably outgrow it he isn't really being hurt if it hurt him hed stop" and another told me to get him every time he bangs his head and try to distract him with something else.My son would do this against a door when he did'nt get his way and in a soft living room chair to rock himself to sleep.Anyway, he still rocks himself to sleep now and then but he no longer bangs his head on doors or anything.By the way when hed do this I used both approaches if he was'nt hittin his head hard id let it go for a bit if he was hitting it hard id lift him up and distract him if possible.He is great today very smart little boy.I would at least ask the doctor about this if I were you and then go from there....good luck!

Last edited by tnmomofive; 11-17-2006 at 06:43 AM.

 
Old 11-22-2006, 09:03 AM   #13
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

I did ask the ped. He is completely on track devopmentally and a very normal if not a little bit ahead for his age. He just gets frustrated or mad and hits his head. He has done it less this week. I have been getting him before he does it and distracting him with something else. I read a lot online about it and apparently I am not the only one and about 20% of all normal babies go through a phase of this. That or hitting themselves. Thanks guys.

 
Old 11-22-2006, 09:33 AM   #14
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

Yep it is pretty common especially in boys I believe.Sounds like your little one will be alright and outgrow this eventually.You are doing all you can.Did you know Einstein banged his head as a little boy too? So there ya go your little boy is a genius! lol

 
Old 11-22-2006, 10:11 AM   #15
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Re: 18 mth old banging his head on wall or floor on purpose! help?

Lol. Thanks momofive. It is normal. I am not worried anymore. I am just a little embaressed because he has bruises on his head. He has been a lot better this week. I don't think his teeth are bothering him so much anymore. Poor kid. He had like seven come in with in the last two weeks.

 
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