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Does your toddler headbutt or otherwise hit himself in the head for no apparent reason? I'm freaking out a little here....

My 13th month old has recently started smacking himself in the head for a laugh. He will randomly hit himself on the forehead and then just start cracking up. If that's as far as it went I wouldn't be in a panic, I would just assume he was doing it as a cause and effect type of thing as we've all made the mistake of laughing at him for doing it at one time or another. What bothers me is that instead of just using his hands he's starting to use objects to hit himself, and rather hard, too. Today he began headbutting his Grandma. He doesn't do it out of frustration, as in he's never done it after or before getting upset. It just seems totally random. I'm not sure how I should respond to it. Do I tell him "no?" Or do I just ingore it and hopefully if he gets no attention in response whatsoever he'll quit? He is sociable, communicates well, and doesn't display any signs of delayed development. Cont'd....


Asked by WindyTheWidow at 7:49 PM on Nov. 8, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (5)
  • I'd ignore it as long as he's safe (obviously if he grabs something super hard/heavy to use you have to step in and stop him).

    One of my boys used to bang his head on the floor for effect/to get attention. Once we started ignoring him, he stopped.
    He will still occasionally head butt my leg or the couch but again we ignore him and that stops it.

    Answer by twinclubmom at 9:08 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Caleb use to do that. . .he thought it was so funny.. i also noticed he did it when he was starting to get tired. I think its a phase.. .i've heard a lot of moms bring up this concern & their kids went through it

    Answer by ColtsFan1912 at 7:51 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • One thing that may be related, and I'm not sure on this one, is that he seems to have a very high tolerance for pain. He has to bump his head really hard or draw blood before he really cries. (The circumstances I'm speaking of are all accidental.) And then he gets over it really quickly. There are times when I'll notice a little scratch or cut on him and he will have given no indication throughout the day that he's hurt himself. He responds to other stimuli very well. Everyone always comments on how "tough" he is. Does anyone else's otherwise perfectly normal behaving toddler do this? I did a google search and it totally FREAKED me out!!!!!

    Answer by WindyTheWidow at 7:52 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • He does seem to smack himself more when he's tired......His grandma noticed that, too, but he's never fussy about it.....

    Answer by WindyTheWidow at 7:53 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • my son used to do that a lot, still does sometimes. But we ignore him and he has mostly quit.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 7:54 PM on Nov. 8, 2009