How to stop a child from head butting?

I’m a FTM to a 13-month-old who loves to slap and headbutt; however, if we tell him no, he’ll start hurting himself like slapping his own face headbutting the house; I get scared he might actually hurt himself if I try to get him to stop he’ll have a full-on screaming, crying fit where he’ll hit me, dad or whoever is around any advice on how I can handle these situations is greatly appreciated as I feel like I might lose my mind

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to stop a child from head butting?

My son did that alot an at 2 he split his head open on the edge of the wall.one the scariest times of my life

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My pediatrician said it’s normal at that age. My 18 month old started doing this around 10 months old and still does it now. It’s not as bad now but he still does it. He said they grow out of it but it’s completely normal…

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That’s a tough one for sure.If he’s doing it for attention try to ignore him if possible or even telling him no and try time outs kids that age don’t understand how to show their emotions well so it can be tricky mines 5 and he now gets mad and throws things and I’m trying to work with him on it

Can he communicate some? Follow simple tasks? Give him a pillow to head but so he doesn’t hurt himself. If not. Tell him " I have to hold your hands till you’re all done. We are easy with our hands," while rubbing his back.

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Talk to your pediatrician. Some head butting is normal but seems like he has gone way past that.

I was a behavior consultant for child with autism. I had a client who would do this frequently. Not to just people but items as well (dressers, beds,etc). We realized the function of the behavior was attention. Even if it’s bad attention is still attention. We decided to implement planned ignoring. This means any time the behavior occurred we would turn away and not give it attention, including the parents. The child was non verbal so this was their way of getting what they wanted. If the child then calmed or did an appropriate behavior attention was given along with praise. If the child then started again with the behaviors we would again remove attention. By giving attention to the behavior you’re positively reinforcing it. It’s teaching the child that the behavior will get them what they want. Ignoring it and giving attention for appropriate behavior teaches them how to “ask” or show what they want and reinforces those non maladaptive behaviors.

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My Dr said they aren’t hurting their self or they wouldn’t do it!

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Well my brother’s entire childhood he would bang his head against the wall in order to fall asleep and he’s now 40 and has 4 kids so :woman_shrugging:

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Its gonna sound wild, but let him get hurt, he wont do it again i promise. I went through the same withy oldest. Dont lay attention to his tantrums. Thats why he does it.

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Give him a special pillow. Go let him picked one out at Wal-mart and that’s what he uses. This way he’s getting frustration out but not hurting himself.

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I get it been there done that it’s normal don’t let anybody tell you different

My son is the exact same way!

He won’t hurt himself. But you need to explain to him that it’s not nice and you aren’t going to play with him when he is being mean to you.

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My daughter loves to be scared i boo she backs off

If he watches Cocomelon that may be why he acts that way

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They just want to be a kid just she ouch loudly it hurts or stop being mean show me some love :heart:

My daughter did it for about 6-8 months, and then all of a sudden she just stopped doing it. she started about 10-11 months old; she just turned 2 and hadn’t done for about 6 months…? I think

You ignore the behavior walk away from him sit calmly and act like your doing something else once he’s done crying and throwing his tantrum then you explain to him that no means no and that his behavior is not okay it takes time and a lot of patience but it works my son was like that me and my husband where firm and we mean it no means no we are tough but we also show them a lot of love it’s a balance trust me sometimes you just have to stand your ground even if it breaks your heart praise him and love him every time he’s behaving himself but when he’s acting up ignore him if he try’s to hit walk away say nothing to him he will learn that he only gets what he wants and your attention when he behavior is good it’s hard but you got this

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My goddaughter was about 2 when her dad left and she started banging her head and ripping her hair out by the handfulls.

I can’t understand why someone would laugh react to this - there is nothing humorous about it. I’ve been there with my oldest (now 8yrs) when he was that age and truly, not did it only break my heart when he got that way but it’s a very scary and worrisome situation.

Does ADHD, ADD, etc run in your family? Is there a communication barrier?

When he gets to the point that he’s trying to hurt himself or try to hurt you when you are trying to stop him, put him in what I like to call the “hug” position to restrain him. Think of it like the straight jacket - cross his arms into an X over his chest and hold him to you with your chest to his back or wrap his arms around himself while holding his hands to his sides. What I found helps a lot better is grabbing a small blanket, fold it long ways, then wrap the babe up with arms in an X and holding the ends of the blanket behind his back tightly.

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Maybe get a portacot when he acts like it so he just headbutts the soft sides. An then ignore. (Not like a time out but cool off area for him if he starts hitting an head butting etc).

It’s a hard one sometimes u get told to ignore I always have. Like I used to walk off from a tantrum cos no attention my kids have always stopped an followed… Then got some advice try and comfort them an rub there back an say it’s ok. Although that’s hard when they are swinging around screaming an stressing out…

Watch out for other signs of autism. This was my sons first noticable sign. He might not be understanding cause and effect. Your child sounds just like mine. He hits himself when he gets fustrated. Please dont ignore the behavior!!! You habe to make him stop immediately. Use calm reinforcement to shift his focus to something more positive. It doesnt matter what it is. A color, a book, a movie, bring him outside for some fresh air…Something. He sounds overstimulated. Please dont fuss or yell. It will only make it worse. Be as calm as you can. Trust me! You can message me if you would like.

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My son has autism and started doing that around 18-24 months old. He is now 7 and he still does it when he gets mad. We just have to let him go until he calms down. The therapists and Dr’s and whatever other specialist said it’s extremely common in kids like my son. Some kids you can hold them and rock them until they calm down, some you have to let them do it until they stop. I’d definitely talk to your child’s Dr about it.

Get him a helmet for when he headbutt the wall. Also turn your back when he’s hitting you. Walk away. Put him in a chair in the corner facing the corner. I no it’s going to suck but you gotta follow through and keep putting him in time out. Or what I’ve found recently is tickling your kiddo. My daughter hates it. But idk what else to do. Whatever you choose to do you gotta be consistent in it. Or he’ll be 8yrs old half your size and run you like your the child.

Well mom. Don’t let him grow in2 a bully. Don’t allow TV or movie that has this kind of activity. He may be watching this type of program n thinks it’s normal. Also do activities with him 2take away the super energy he has. Also get in touch with a Dr or sycoligist. Get him in2 a play group as well

My almost 3 year old does this to the wall, like full blown running into the wall atleast 3 times a day. His doctor seen him do that and combined with not talking and other things, has now been diagnosed with suspected autism.

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Grab his hand and tell him no hitting. Tell him to use soft touch or nice touch. If he does it again tell him you’ll put him down. “Mommy can’t hold you if your mean, hitting hurts. We have to be kind to people we use nice touches”. Then give him a hug or rub his hand and tell him “nice touch.”

My niece did this. I made a referral for a pediatric neurologist, and she was later diagnosed with ADHD and autism. She has a great tutor and many resources to help her. Use many positive reinforcements. Don’t be scared, early intervention is the best! :purple_heart:

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It might be a way for him to stimulate himself. Does he have any special needs?

Have you talked to your pediatrician about this? Some tantrum behavior is normal. But, when it becomes full on melt downs and impulsive behaviors, the I would discuss a behavioral assessment from a psychologist. This can also be early signs of spectrum disorder. Not necessarily Asperger’s or Autism, but possibly even ADHD, ADD, etc. Knowing what you are up against can help you understand the issue better and how to address it. BTW, I am a mom of children on the spectrum. My youngest is a level 3 autistic with sensory disorder and ADHD. A lot of his stemming and melt downs is due to not being able to communicate his needs, or being overwhelmed with stimuli. A full melt down can result from needing a snack, a routine change, new noise, being sleepy, etc.

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This is normal for his age. He’s learning his sensory skills. I have 4 children and worried about all of the above. My boy is 2 with sisters aged 4, 6 and 8 and none of them have autism, add, or adhd issues. This is a normal part of development. Don’t feed into it, ignore it and try not to give it attention or he’ll find it as a way to get attention. He’ll be fine and it’ll stop within 6 months

Let him hurt himself :woman_shrugging:
There’s only so much he can do to himself and he’ll learn his lesson

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ummm… that is actually an early sign of Autism, sweetie. You need to start getting the ball rolling to get him assessed. (Yes, i know that they usually do not start testing until 18-24 months of age, BUT it can take MONTHS for everything including getting the appointment in the first place and in fact, the appointments a lot of the time are booked out MONTHS and in some cases a good couple of YEARS in advance. Trust me: you’ll wanna get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.) And I am speaking as a single mom of two ASD/ ADHD boys who was a late diagnosed ASD/ADHD person myself. Get him assessed sooner rather than later if you can. Because stuff like that is sensory seeking behavior or stimming and you NEED to start interventions as soon as possible if you can.

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He’s barely one. I saw comments saying “discipline” and take away tv, things he likes, etc… I don’t think that will make a difference. Because he may not understand why- he’s one. He’s having big emotions and doesn’t know how to handle them. I also saw a lot of comments talking about autism. I’d definitely have a talk with pediatrician if you haven’t yet. Good luck mama. :heart:

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Behavior is communication. It sounds like a sensory need! You might have an autistic little on your hands. Create a safe space for headbutting. Hang a gym mat on a wall and let them use that. It’s not safe to take away a stem because they NEED that particular input. Redirect them to headbutt something that’s not going to hurt you or them.

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My mom said my sister was this way and seriously the doctor told my mom just to ignore her and she will eventually stop…

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My youngest daughter is on the spectrum, have you spoken to the pcp? I know for a lot of parents they don’t want to think about those kinds of things and will say no not my child but the sooner your child gets a diagnosis the better it will be for them. I not only have a special needs child but worked in special Ed for 7 yrs. I absolutely loved it! Hang in there and just breathe through the melt downs, you need to be able to deescalate the situation calmly. I would also start documenting and I was even told videos worked to show what was going on. As I have 3 other kids and helped raise others there is a boundary line if this is considered to be normal behavior or not.

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Have a very sturdy pillow (one that won’t turn into a feather mess) and if your lo is mad let them scream head butt slap the pillow. And let them know you know they are upset and that you hear them and the pillow is there for them to hit (also helps you not get it) if they keep trying to get to you just keep the pillow inbetween. Also let them know that you are ready to help when they are ready to listen. Normally I would send mine to time out. But if yours is actively hurting themselves pillows and padding work wonders if anything make a corner in their room for them to hit head butt what ever and send them there until they wear themselves out and teach em before they get that mad how to help them tell you. Sometimes they don’t know how to communicate

Redirect him. Ask him for hugs. All about distracting him from what he’s doing. I have 4 boys.

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I gave my Grandson a stuffed animal and told him that he could only headbutt and slap the stuffed animal, and If he headbutts or slaps himself or anything else I would take away another toy. He has to be able to have a way to vent without causing harm to himself or others. While you may want to speak to his Dr. Please don’t jump to believe that it’s Autism or ADHD. So many children are to quickly being diagnosed with these disorders at such young ages. My ex husband and all 3 of my kids have ADD and I would not blame this behavior on anything but growing up.

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I’m in the same situation right now!!!

dont ignore it. talke to jour doctor.

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It’s hard with a child that little they don’t understand communication. It is true that kids will copy what they see and if it’s not something he is seeing that can be an early sign if autism. I’d talk to his pediatrician and if the pediatrician says no to autism ask for his opinion of how you should handle the problem.

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I think you should talk to your pediatrician.

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My friends baby was doing this and it turned out he was autistic. Please have bubs checked

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My son does this still and his 8 he is autistic though, you have try distract them with something

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Have you tried rubbing his hands or head gently to calm him down?

Have him tested for autism

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I would get him tested for scenery disorder go to your doctor and you can read up on it through google and you tube has videos good luck momma

Instead of telling him NO give him options. Something that is less desirable. Maybe set a timer.

That is definitely a sensory need! My daughter Is autistic and she has done the same and more , the past few years. A peadiatrician told me to ignore it cus she won’t hurt her self :roll_eyes: just gotta try and deter from doing it, distraction is only way forward and that’s hard in its self . Take care :white_heart:

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my youngest did this, we put a helmet on her & eventually she stopped…

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My daughter did this. I would take her hand and tell her that she was hurting momma and it was not nice. Sometimes she threw a fit the same way. She grew out of it. Same thing happened with pinching.

Tell him no and hold him firmly til he stops every time he does this.

If you are at all worried then I would seek medical advice. It could just be a phase. When my daughter was a toddler, she went went through a stage of headbutting, and that was on brick walls. It takes a lot to keep an eye on then to make sure that they do not hurt themselves, but it was just a phase that she went through and grew out of it.

I don’t understand why so many people think it’s acceptable to laugh at posts like this. I find it absolutely heartbreaking that people come to this site to ask her help/advice cos of their situation and people thinks it’s ok to laugh. I mean, would you all be laughing if it was you in the situation that some of these women/men are in. If you got nothing nice to say then just skip past, don’t just sit there and laugh at a post when someone is actually stressed/worried/concerned or what ever emotion they are going through. It does not help the situation and if anything, your are more than likely making the poster feel so much worse than that they already so. Just be kind and if you can’t skip on by and let others help and advise in ways that they can.

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Y’all always trying to label these kids!
Ain’t nothing wrong with him.

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Make him wear gloves and a helmet until this behavior is under control because he can actually hurt himself. Have him tested for autism as well. When he acts out like that put him in his room close the door and walk away. If he is wearing gloves and a helmet he won’t hurt himself and if he is not getting attention he may just stop.

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My son does the same thing hes 3 I went to the doctors and the doctor told me he was self harming (wtf) I went and saw a child nurse and he’s getting assessed! Xx

My son did this. His dr called him a head banger and said he would outgrow it. We always tried to stop him and then we didn’t. The last time he did it, he did it for a good 5 minutes. Idk what happened but after that he never did it again. He’s a perfectly happy, healthy little monster now :joy:

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Try getting evaluation my son is 4 he dose this he’s autistic & bi polar.
I divert him to something less harmful to himself.

It’s a very normal thing to do. Just keep trying to redirect her behavior

My son used to bang his head. I was so worried about him hurting himself. I tried everything to stop him. I missed stopping him one time and his head hit the wall hard. You could tell he was stunned. Never did it again. I’m not saying this is the way but it’s very common for children who can’t Express themselves to do this. My pediatrician recommended a helmet which was our next step

Ignoring them head butting the floor always worked for me. It’s an attention tactic for most kids. I would not ignore them hitting other people tho

My 15 year old did that when he was 2. I ignored it and made sure he didn’t hurt himself. He is perfectly fine and didn’t need assessed. It’s just the way they let their anger out because they don’t know how to express themselves. It will pass like every other phase.

My son did this starting at 4 months up till he was almost 10. He was diagnosed with Autism. Make sure you document this with the doctor for sure. It’s a sensory issue and anything can trigger it. Its also pretty normal at this age as well when they are frustrated and can’t communicate what they want. A helmet would help but getting them to wear it is just as frustrating unfortunately. Best wishes.

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Welcome to toddlerhood

You can’t do anything, trust me :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: , just wear a helmet haha . I guess all kids go through this phase and then they stop you have to tell him no everytime but it will pass .love for you and baby :heart:

He could be looking for the negative attention. Maybe if you ignore and redirect him to something else. Most kids do outgrow it.

My mom took a child in from a family member, he had been left in a cradle and neverfooled with, she said he would do the same thing. She said she would talk to him. And sometimes he would not do it , then he would cray, because he hit his head. So she said she made him a spot and put a couple of big pillows and told him , if he go so mad that he felt he needed to hit his head to go to the pillows and just let them have it. She said it became lesser and lesser, but he never did stop, even when he was grown. He turned out to be special from the abuse he had suffered, he is in his 70’s now.

I’m so confused :thinking:. May ask is this group for GENTLE parenting only ?? My son is 8 my daughter is 19 months . All it takes is a LOOK :eyes: , or start to counting :joy: let me get to 3 & actions haven’t changed POP POP . Mom said xyz , u didnt do as you were asked & this the consequence -:joy::joy: I don’t negotiate with Terrorist :joy::woozy_face: my daughter had a biting problem :grimacing::grimacing::purple_heart: until i gobble gobbled tgat ass back :joy::joy: good luck

Mine used to drop himself straight onto his head on the floor throwing a tantrum when he didn’t get his way. I was concerned he was going to give himself brain damage since he had done it on concrete twice so one day at home he dropped himself to the floor and I whaled his little ass. Never happened again. Told him I’d rather him have a sore ass versus a concussion

My daughter did this. I ignored her one day and let it go for 30 minutes before I stopped her by holding her in my lap completely still. I read online that holding them still, they will eventually stop fighting and can’t hurt themselves in your arms

My som used to do this all the time. I tried stopping it. Then he did it one good time, and never did it again.

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Ignore him. Let him Bonk his head once or twice real good and he’ll probably stop. Maybe he’s more of a Hands-On learner

Grow a set of balls and stop it happening

Let him slap himself he’s not gonna hurt himself And ignore him

Sorry to say but to an extent… it’s normal. My daughter did bc she thought it was funny and I’d give her a big reaction. When I stopped the reaction, she grew out of it and doesn’t anymore

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The top of my head is harder so when my son would try to headbutt me I would move and he would send up headbutting the harder part and then he realized it would hurt him so after a couple times of him doing it he stopped

Inner frustration. There could be a problem.i agree with Heather Nicole Mitchell .

My 2 year old still does it. It’s completely normal. :joy:

My son banged his head off of cement or anythimg, always had bruises on cuts…he stopped on his own, I would hold him tightly on my lap sometimes

I’d ignòre the behavior for a líttle bit. Chíldren act out but they wònt actually hürt themselves. They lóok for your reaction

Might be something he’s eating or drinking. Example: red food dyes can cause some children to have iratic behavior.

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My son does this, split his head open once… seems pretty normal. try re direction
my guy seems to do it less and less

My son is 3 he’s growing out of it. It use to be worse. Once in a while he will barely hit his head on the wall and say ow and look for my attention. Just ignore it.

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My ex husband, used to take his fists to his head. He did it to get a reaction. Once I stopped being shocked he stopped. But he also had alot of mental issues including being abusive.

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Send him to the lions, that’ll stop the headbutting

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Just let him do it. When we warn our kids and they do it anyway we always say “I bet you won’t do that again” and they don’t, it’s hard for a FTM but he will head butt something hard enough to hurt himself and he will stop, now as for slapping you and dad, tear that butt up, spankings do work sometimes and when they hit you pop his hand/butt, I say butt because he has a diaper and it takes the force, and really it just hurts their feelings…

Keep a spray bottle in the fridge when they do whatever behavior that is not good then spritz them in the face the shock works.

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Our pediatrician said he’ll just stop … And he did… He will still do it randomly but for r most part it’s stopped

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Sweetie you need to a professional- this behavior he is demonstrating can be a sign of a disability or a chemical imbalance - better safe than sorry - if it is a disability or imbalance he’s young enough to start addressing it now , before he hurts himself bad.

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My mom said I used to bang my head on the ground when I was little and got mad. Her dr told her to leave the room, that as long as I had a audience I would do it. When my middle son was a baby he did the same thing. I left the room. It worked. Neither of us remember being like that

Seek the professional help of a child neurologist….run don’t walk. :woman_shrugging:t3:

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Just remove yourself or him to a room by himself and close door, tell him when he is finished he may come out! Worked! After a few times and he realizes that it’s not gonna work he’ll get! No attention not worth doing it!

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I did same think. Called time out!

Dont stop him. If he doesnt do it past the point of injury…IGNORE. No reaction. No gasps, no looking no nothing.

2/3 kids did this. One stopped on her own when she hit something hard and the second has Down Syndrome and it is super common for kids with special needs to get stress out this way.

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I seem to remember a cousin doing this. My Mom was holding him and trying to hurt her. She grabbed his hands in hers and kissed each hand and told him she loved him. When she let go he didn’t hurt her anymore. Every time he tried to hurt someone she did this. He stopped by the end of the visit. I never heard he started again from my aunt. She started doing the same. It’s like he needs a hug or affection. Babies don’t understand emotions. It’s up to you to teach them.

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My son did the same thing for a while at this age. More for the reaction. We just removed him from the area and would distract him with a snack or a toy or anything else, he’d forget about it till bedtime he’d try to do it then but i usually put my hand in between his head and the wall (he flipped out too, and he laughed when he did it idk why) but he outgrew it. He’s a mentally and physically healthy and now he’s 2.5. I wouldn’t take advice from internet people for this situation. If you’re concerned take him to see his pediatrician. But don’t worry until you are given an answer to be worried about. Sometimes it’s weird kid behavior, sometimes it’s diet, and sometimes it’s a worse reason. But for us it was a really weird child stage. He’s 13 months old they do some weird stuff even at such a young age, I honestly would not leave your 13 month old in a room with the door closed, I seen someone say that and I’m not knocking it but yall gotta realize he’s 13 months old he’s still developing and learning. Sure ignore it but don’t leave your 13 month old in a room all by himself with the door closed. I don’t see doing that. It’s easier to pull them away and distract them every time you see them doing it. But again at the end of the day if it’s causing you concern take him to be checked out.

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