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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)
  • 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

  • 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