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I've had enough of my Toddler banging his back and head aganist hard/soft surfaces!!!!

He just turned two. He's been doing this for over a year now. He started doing this when he was about 10-11 months. I posted a question here when he started doing this and I got answers like he could be autistic, ignore him he'll grow out of it, he's bored that why he does it, put soft bumpers around his crib so he doesn't hurt himself etc. I asked his pediatrician multiple times and she would give me same answers except for him having the possibility of autism. She said she could tell he was not autistic although according to my guesses he was. Now at 2 we can tell he's not.

He started with head banging. But now I have noticed he uses his back for the banging part instead of his head. And he does it with such force (especially in his crib) that the sound is almost scary. We have bumpers around his crib but they slide off no matter how tight we re-tie them. And he loves doing it. I can hear him blabbing, counting, humming, or even giggling when he does it. When we go in this room to make him stop (he knows his father and I disapprove this behaviour), he laughs and springs to his pillow and hides under his blanket. We scold him, talk to him, tell him lovingly, sing to him, read to him, but as soon as we walk out of the room, he starts doing it again.
He does it in other parts of the house as well, his highchair, on the couch while watching his favorite show etc

It's been going on for over a year now! I seriously think he must have had a nerve damage by now. What should I do? I'm so frustrated!
Example for last night, somehow he woke up at 3am, we heard him on the monitor giggling and his banging sounds, DH made 4 trips and I made 6. We would put him down, read to him or firmly tell him no. But after 5 mins he would be up and doing it again. This went on till 6am when I gave up and took him out of the crib. Now he's sitting aganist my bedroom wall and banging his back there.
What in the would should I do????


Asked by Anonymous at 9:01 AM on Aug. 11, 2012 in Toddlers (1-2)

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • Move him to a toddler bed where he can crawl out of his crib and keep himself busy by playing with his toys

    Answer by Sun.shine at 3:17 PM on Sep. 14, 2012

  • mine used to head bang
    her doctor at two yrs old said "kids are quirky"
    yes, kids are, but is that your dx doctor ????

    she is five got dx of autism at 3, and of course lots of SPD issues too

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:14 PM on Aug. 11, 2012

  • I disagree that this is "normal". My daughter did this for a bit, but after a week or so, she realized that it hurt and that there were other ways to show her frustration. Now she will throw her toy or slap the coffee table, instead of banging her head the chair or table, or floor. I would look into other things as a cause.

    Answer by AF4life at 8:14 PM on Aug. 11, 2012

  • You could take him to a developmental specialist and get a second opinion. I've noticed many pediatricians are not that aware of some things kids can get. They know the basics, measles, coxacki, strep throat, etc. but not the newer developmental issues some kids have.

    Answer by robinkane at 11:15 AM on Aug. 11, 2012

  • Mine used to do that. I seriously figured he would eventually knock himself out. I was very luck in that he did it in front of the nurse and doctor one day and I asked them to document it (I had always been scared that I would get accused of child abuse). He also would do it at school. He eventually learned to use his words. Also we had pictures of kids being happy, sad and mad. We would have him point to them to help express his feelings. He was developmentally delayed and so it just took longer to learn to communicate.

    Answer by kc932 at 10:49 AM on Aug. 11, 2012

  • She said she could tell he was not autistic although according to my guesses he was. Now at 2 we can tell he's not.

    ...why have you rules this out?
    ...could be SPD
    i would talk to doctor again (imo)

    "would not do if it hurt him"- not true imo, sometimes drowning out other things with pain is only way to deal with other isses (imo)

    Answer by fiatpax at 10:46 AM on Aug. 11, 2012

  • Getting into a power struggle around something tends to reinforce it "unnaturally," or can prolong a situation far past what would have happened.
    At times I've noticed this sort of dynamic (automatic struggle or resistance) around any issue with one of my kids, I have responded by taking the struggle out of it. It gives the child the space/room to adjust his behavior (he no longer has to do it "on principle"; there is nothing to resist.) This change has to come from my end.
    "Ignoring" is still a form of trying to control or stop something (albeit more passive than a stern, negative response) and if a child is highly sensitized to pressure/attempts to control from a parent, then "ignoring the behavior" will feel like resistance, to him.
    I've returned power to the child (acknowledging this explicitly), & brought acceptance to the situation (acceptance doesn't equal liking it or feeling happy about it.) And backed it up.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:52 AM on Aug. 11, 2012

  • If you decide to ignore and are concerned about him hurting himself in the crib you could-
    purchase some foam and fabric and build larger bumpers to put your mind at ease. just be sure to design/ sew them in such a was that he is not able to use them as a ladder to get out of the crib. you would do this by making them taller than he can lift his leg even by pulling on the upper rail.

    But remember, "And he loves doing it. I can hear him blabbing, counting, humming, or even giggling". He is probably not in pain or causing damage. "I" wouldn't even go tell him to stop at night. This may just be how he self soothes or has learned that the action gets mom and dad to come say hi.

    Answer by feralxat at 9:36 AM on Aug. 11, 2012

  • If it hurt, he wouldn't be doing it.

    Answer by layh41407 at 9:24 AM on Aug. 11, 2012

  • I was just wondering if I should take him to a chiropractor and get his back checked out. Don't you think he could have caused a nerve damage or something ?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:24 AM on Aug. 11, 2012