Toddler Banging His Head On The Ground - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 11-26-2006, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, so... DS is 15 months old. He understands almost everything that I say (Connor, go put away your toys. Connor, please take that out of your mouth. etc) and he is generally a very sweet baby.

But lately he's begun this habit of SEEKING OUT hard places (the mexican tile in our kitchen or the solid oak coffee table) to BANG HIS HEAD ON when he gets frustrated. He literally goes from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds flat. When I try to pull him away his contines to bang his head... and he really bruised my cheekbone the other day.

Our N.P wants me to get him a helmet because he does this with such force he could knock himself out... or give himself a concussion that I wouldn't know about, and then I would go to put him down for a nap... and I don't even want to THINK about what could happen then.

Has anyone had any experience with this? Is it a phase? Will he grow out of it? What can I do to protect his little head?
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#2 of 5 Old 11-26-2006, 04:48 PM
 
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hi there!
my daughter does this occasionally, always out of frustration. generally though, we ignore it. she may do it hard, but it seems to be one of the few things she can control at 21 months of age. My opinion is one of ignore it. i have seen my daughter do it pretty hard sometimes, and when it really hurts her, she gets a frown on her face, and touches the spot that hurts, and stops doing it. i would think in a normal, healthy toddler, this behavior will take care of itself. and if he does it hard enough to hurt himself, he may refrain from doing that behavior again, and find another way to express his frustration.
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#3 of 5 Old 11-26-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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The more attention you pay to this the more likely he is to continue it imo. What I would do if it is a very hard surface is move him to a place where he can't actually injure himself. Of course, this is just my thoughts. I do have a kiddo who tends toward this too though like the pp said, he doesn't really intend to hurt himself. If he hits too hard he will stop. I think if a child is really hitting hard enough to knock himself out I would be seeking other evaluation--that is more serious than head banging.
This comes from this site http://www.drgreene.com/21_1104.html Most children will outgrow the habit on their own. You can speed up this process by reacting to it in a matter-of-fact way. Pretend not to notice. And if it is part of a tantrum, do not give her whatever she threw the tantrum to get. When you notice her head banging, you might be able to get her to stop for the moment by distracting her or engaging her in a different activity. By decreasing the amount of time she spends in this habitual activity, she will outgrow it more quickly.


How do you prevent head injury?

Typically, healthy toddlers don't seriously injure themselves with this habit. Pain prevents them from banging too hard, but even if it didn't, children under 3 don't generate enough force to cause brain damage or neurologic problems. The front or front/side of the head is the most frequently struck. A toddler’s head is built to take all of the minor head trauma that is a normal part of learning to walk and climb.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

My Blog-free homeschooling finds and my lesson plans and link to the new User Agreement

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#4 of 5 Old 11-26-2006, 09:14 PM
 
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DS is just about out of this phase. I try to move him to a soft spot when he starts banging. He starts off gentle and then works his way to banging hard. Of course then he just looks for a hard spot but sometimes it distracts him. I tell him to be gentle to himself and then ignore him. Once he is crying I kiss the owie better and send him on his way. I don't want him to think that the crying will get attention and further feed the problem but I also don't want him to not be comforted. Not that just a little kiss offers much comfort but it's not brushing the owie off all together. But now that we are just about near the end, DH started totally freaking out when DS does this. Going on about how the tissue is so delicate on his head and that he's going to slice he's head open and bleed all over the place and need stitches. I try explaining to him that DS will stop before it gets to that, which is so true. But sometimes I wish I could just knock DH in the head Of course I never would though!
We've managed to survive with some good bumps and bruises but that is the worst of it. Good Luck! Oh and we do have a helmet (for bike riding) but DS refuses to wear it. So I don't think that would work very well if your DS is anything like mine. We have to make a big production about how we all wear our helmet. Picture 3-5 grown men and me going look I have my helemt on you should wear yours too! And then talking about how we each have our helmets on.

Megan ~ mama to the Mountain Man (05.30.05) and married to the Rad Man
If I'm not riding my bike I'm reading. Still trying to put the best of both world together.
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#5 of 5 Old 11-26-2006, 11:31 PM
 
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DS (also 15 months) doesn't hit his head off the table, but he likes to hit his head with his hands. I think he's hitting pretty hard (so much so that I involuntarily say "ouch"!) but he's laughing and smiling. I'm trying to ignore it as best I can and am hoping it's just a phase.

Kimberly: blogging wife to Todd and work-at-home-struggling-with-work/life-balance adoptive mama to Adam (2005) and Leah (2008)
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