Head Banging - please help me!

Hi Ladies

My son is 15 months old today. A couple of weeks ago he started to deliberately bang his head, usually on the floor, but also when he's sitting in his high chair or on my lap. We have worked out that he tends to do this when he's really tired or frustrated at something (like we've taken something away from him that he shouldn't have). My husband joked to begin with that he had behavioural problems, but I just laughed that off, thinking Ethan (my son) would grow out of it quickly and it really wasn't anything to worry about. However, in the past couple of days, he's been doing this even more including yesterday in the carseat on the way home. I've become really concerned about it and started to do some research. All the research says that 1 in 5 children to this and that it usually coincides with them taking their first steps - this adds up because it did begin around the same time that Ethan began to walk confidently. The research also said that it's far more common in boys, it is often a sign of intelligence in the child (Ethan is clever) and that they won't do it hard enough to hurt themselves. Apparantly the best way to deal with it is to ignore the behaviour and/or distract them onto something else. I've tried the ignoring bit, but Ethan often bangs his head really hard unless I stop him. I'm finding it really distressing and desperately need some advice or suggestions from you all. Has anyone else gone through something similar??? Please help me!

Floopy & Ethan


  • Hi Floopy and baby Ethan

    I have the exact same thing with my little boy Lochlan, he's 9 months old and is just starting to walk, he is really clever and requires alot of attention, I first started noticing it when i put him in his cot i was sitting in the lviing room and i could hear what sounded like a chapping on the wall so i peeked my head around the bedroom door and there he was standing up banging gis head on the wall, i took him out the cot and distracted him because it turned my stomach thinking he was intentionally trying to bang his head. Ther next time i noticed it was in the living room he was playing with his toys when he bent forward and started lightly banging his head on the wall and it wasn't onced it was a few times until i moved him, your info above has helped me understand a bit more! Thank you for that but I know what your going through and all iv'e been told is to distract him! Please Just know that your not alone! and if you need to chat im here!

    Lyns and Lochlan xx
  • Thanks for replying. It's really difficult to know what to do isn't it??!!! I find it hard to distract Ethan because he seems so fixated on this whole head banging moment - almost like he needs snapping out of it. I'm just really hoping that he gets out of it sooner rather than later because I get so upset when he does it (although I don't let him see that). Glad I helped you out in the process.

    Floopy & Ethan
  • both my sons did this.....it will remedy itself in time, but one thing that i did was to buy a bean bag.....my sons usually assumed a position just before doing it and it gave me just enough time to kick the beanbag underneath them, it didn't stop them headbutting but it stopped them hurting themselves!!! hth hun xxx
  • My goddaughter is 14 months old and has been doing this for a while, although usually in her highchair or buggy. Interesting what you say about it being linked to starting to walk though - she's been after getting on the move for a while and is now starting to walk holding onto your hands (my poor back yesterday lol. I got it easy with cole walking so early!) so i wonder if she'll stop.

    I don't think ignoring her helps, I know her mum tries telling her off for doing it and the one time i saw her do that she did stop - but it could ahve been the lunch distracting her.

    anyway - her mum says that her other 2 kids did it (although not as much) and her eldest is 5 and very very bright so no harm done. Also their dad used to do it too apparently and he's ok from it too

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