Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

3 Bumps

Head banging, whats going on? Help!

My son is soon to be 3 (next month) and when he gets upset or angry he bangs his head. Originally I thought it was just a stage and that he would grow out of it. Lots of small toddlers do this from time to time right? Except he isn't growing out of it and its only getting worse. The other night while he was fighting bedtime he banged his head on his bed frame(its a wooden toddler bed) and it wasn't a light tap.

Why is he doing this? Any suggestion on how to curb this behavior? Is it a develomental problem or just a behavioral one?

Any Ideas greatly appreciated!


Asked by tntmom1027 at 12:16 PM on Sep. 25, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 27 (31,955 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • My son used to bang his head, mostly on the walls, and even the hard wood floor. I asked his doctor about it and she said it's very common behavior for toddlers, and is usually for attention. Her advice was to ignore it, and he would eventually stop. I will agree that it's easier said then done to just ignore it when you're worried they will knock themselves out! However, it did work, and he stopped doing it.

    Head banging can be associated with autism and other developmental disorders — but in most of these cases, it's just one of many behavioral red flags. Rarely does head banging alone signal a serious problem.

    Answer by PartyInMyTummy at 11:03 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • Although head-banging can be indicative of autism, there are usually other issues going on as well. Often head-banging is a way to self-soothe, or it could be a way to take their mind off other pain (like an ear infection). You mention he did it the other night while fighting bedtime so possibly it's just his way of expressing frustration. Needless to say, you should talk to your pediatrician.

    Answer by Jazzdoll at 12:39 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • It could be nothing, but you should talk to your pediatrician about it.

    Answer by Scuba at 12:29 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • Well he could be doing it for attention, but I agree with jazzdoll that it could be a sign of autism. I would talk to your pedi as soon as you can and see what they say. Best wishes!!!

    Answer by Namaste17 at 12:53 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • He is advanced in every other way, speech, motor skills and such. He does have a bit of an obsession with cleanliness and organization.

    but he has been complaining of pain in his legs and feet that the pediatrician investigated and said to wait a bit as it could just be growing pains.

    We are going back to discuss it further since it is getting more prominant, so perhaps the pain is contributing to the recent uptake in the behavior. I have psoriatic arthritis so his pain definately concerns me. We are going back to discuss that and will also discuss the developmental aspect.

    Thanks everyone

    Comment by tntmom1027 (original poster) at 1:15 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • lol I did this ALOT when I was little. Scared the sh*t out of my mom. I turned out fine.... =] lol

    Answer by XdollskinX at 2:54 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • I would look into sensory processing disorder. (SPD). My son has it. does your son walk on his tippy toes? Thats one of the first sighns.

    Answer by mcqueenmom2 at 6:16 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • My son did this for a while too, and he is now 7 and not autistic...just a little being with a whole lot of thoughts and wants and emotions.

    If I were you, I would cradle the child and hold them, to prevent the head banging.

    Answer by Radarma at 6:56 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • My daughter did this, and my nephew. so hard i thought they would have bumps.
    They do this as a soothing technique and when they are upset. As long as he is not showing any sign of developmental delays I would take my pediatricians advice 'If it hurts bad enough, they will stop'.

    Answer by pat7879 at 10:39 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • talk to pedi

    Answer by FreeSpriT4eva at 11:55 PM on Sep. 25, 2010