Why does my toddler hurt himself?

Asking for advice. My son is 18 months old. When he gets frustrated or told no he will purposefully hit his head on the floor of the walls multiple times. He hits it so hard he gets bruises. My pediatrician told me to just ignore him and let him do it. I cannot watch my son hurt himself like that. Looking for any other suggestions. Thanks in advance!!


Frankly, I think your pediatrician is right. He’s learned that if he does it, he gets attention and/or what he wants. The only way to break that is to teach him he doesn’t get the reward (attention). Maybe put him in a playpen where he can’t hurt himself and then walk away until he’s calmed down. Kids are smart, he will stop soon enough.


Sound like my son Jayden when he was that age he’s fine

I would keep a straight face, no reaction. and put him in the crib or playpen.


My son does the same thing. My Dr told me alot of kids do this but they won’t do it to the point where they hurt themselves. He does it I just ignore him and it he cries I don’t cuddle him no matter how hard it is to watch him cry. He does it less the more I continue to ignore him


My son did the same tho g and I disco eted he had sensory problems and delayed speech.

Same… It’s just the age. I was stopping him but now I ignore him .they just showing there aggravation lol

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My son (20 months) does it too, he seems fine
Kids are resilient lil buggers and if he actually hurts himself youll know

My children have been doing this since 6 months old.

Honestly your dr is right, my son would make himself puke, it got to the point that I’d sit him on the hardwood so it was easier to clean up and when he realizes he wasn’t getting attention anymore from it, it stopped.

I’m with your doctor.

I was told by behaviour specialists to pick them up put them somewhere they can not hurt themselves and walk away until they have calmed down do not give attention to the behaviour just don’t say anything or give a reaction to it plain face pick up and put down safely then say when you come down you can come out or come to mom till then you can stay here


Get a pillow for him to hit his head on. Or a bean bag. And just let him go did. It could be an attention thing

My son done the same exact thing, and my sons pedi and therapist say the same thing that it commonly Normal at that age, whenever mine would do it I’d act like I did and “cry” and that helps

My grandson did that at about that age. Only for a short time tho

Hi, my son started doing stuff like that as well. He is 2 years old. His ped said to ignore it as well, but I just knew something was going on. I started him in speech therapy due to him not speaking a whole lot and they said he actually has sensory processing disorder, it started very young and in our case is genetic. Looking back at everything it totally makes sense. Worth looking into or at least googling for ideas on how to help younger ones with it. We started and noticed a difference in one night. Hope this helps!

I use to do this as a kid. I did on concrete once and never did it again.

Do like the peds said just walk away. he’ll quit if he hurts himself, that’s the child’s control tactics.

My daughter did the same thing… you really do have to ignore it they realize you will give them attention or even coddle them when they do it and after getting in trouble or getting told no they want you to give in so that’s what they do. If it really hurt then they would stop.

I went thru the same thing…for about a year and a half. He has given himself black eyes, bloody noses ect. He did this when he was two. Many people say when he hurts himself bad enough hr will stop…that isn’t always the case. My son had highly self destructive behavior. He would scream oooowww…while continuing to do so. After that i would either hold him and or use a method of distraction. This was also linked to his speech delay…hes now 4 and doesn’t even throw fits anymore.

Pick him up and hold him and while saying “no, dont do that, booboo!” Distract him.

my son did that from 8 months- 2.5 years … he’s still alive with no brain damage… my ped always said he would always subconsciously keep himself from doing it too hard to really do anything serious but she also told me the signs of a baby with a concussion just in case…
I honestly wouldn’t be too worried especially at the age he is… if he’s still doing it at around 4 is when they get concerned

I personally remember myself doing this, I use to do it on the floors at Walmart f told no, I put my head through drywall over a cup, I was a horrible child for this exact situation! My mother honestly ignored it for the most part, or she would “copy” me and throw a tantrum herself (without the head banging) and I eventually stopped because I HATED her copying me :joy: i guess it all depends on the child as to what will help them stop.

My son started doing this when his hearing cut out.

He was 18 months when he lost his hearing.

A year later, at 36 months he had bilateral myringotomy surgery (tubes put in his ears) so he could be able to hear again.

The doctors wanted us to wait to make sure that his lack of communication wasn’t due to toddler regression because he was talking at an early age.

Lo and behold it was because he no longer could hear us & was frustrated that he could no longer communicate to us what his wants and needs were.

When he was sent to a specialist, the audiologist realized he was half deaf in both ears because the ear canals did not develop properly.

Having the surgery improved his hearing, speech therapy to work on getting him caught back up to speed, has improved his self-inflicting head banging.

Can’t give much advice when it comes to banging the walls, but I used to do this when I was a kid and my mum just used to put me on the carpet so I wouldn’t hurt myself then I’d carry on.

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You need to stop reacting to it or else he’ll keep doing it.

Your pediatrician is a TRAINED PROFFESIONAL. Why are you trying to go against what someone who has a degree in this tells you?


My son did this to , I was told the same thing …he grew out of it

If you make a big show of it he won’t stop and it’ll get worse. Ignore him and he will stop.

My son did this, I was told that it was his temper tantrum.

As others have said, you have to ignore it. The more you react to something they do, the more they do it. Mainly for your reaction after a certain point.

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He does the actions and gets a response from you, so he will continue to do so until it no longer has the affect hes looking for.

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Samantha Ford DeSimone

So let me get this straight…you’re ignoring your pediatrician who went to medical school, but soliciting medical advice from a bunch of strangers, half of whom can’t even spell college. I’d pound my head on the floor too!


Get a helmet but he should outgrow it.my friends son did he did it

My granddaughter used to do this at the same age she threw herself back on my ceramic floor and hit her head real hard I think she realized she was doing it to her self she stopped .

My son is 13 months and he did this for the first time today… I feel better knowing that it’s common. He never acts out and communicates great!! It threw me off a little seeing him act that way. Thanks.

Ignore. Mine did the same. He quit doing it once he was able to talk.

My son used to smash his teeth in the side of benches coffee tables out if frustration as a toddler. The paediatrician said he will stop it in his own. He used to hit himself in the head. The paed was right. One time he hit his teeth and it bled a little bit. Never ever did it again after that

My kid did this to while frustrated or trying to sleep. Shes now 3 and rarely does it anymore, only time i see it is when she wakes in the middle of the night and is half asleep, then she will head bang to get back to sleep again.
Just do your best to ignore it, maybe make sure they have something softer to do it on ( sometimes they might flip and that will make matters worse tho)

My sons tantrum were speech delayed and sensory processing disorder. He started throwing a fit at the peds office at his 18 month check up. I was asked how often does this happen. Which it was almost never ending. My mom had already questioned the tantrums as well in the month leading up to his check up. It was not something normal and that needed to be ignored. First you need to realize why your son is doing it. Is it simply because you said no? What are you saying no to? Is there a need that isn’t being met that he can’t communicate and the tantrum to your no is just because he’s actually hungry or thirsty or tired and can’t tell you that so he’s getting overly upset at what you are saying no to? Both my kids 1 with spd and 1 without throw worse tantrums over silly things when there is a need that isn’t being met. Like my daughter today cried sooo much over a toy not working right or me saying no I can’t hold you right now. It wasn’t that the toy was really upsetting her or the fact that I couldn’t hold her. It was that she was hungry and didn’t know how to say that and was irritable and wanted comfort in all ways.

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Take something away Everytime he does that. That’s not safe

I understand the feeling. But you literally have to ignore it and show him that it isn’t going to help him get his way. If he realizes that’s what gets your attention then he is never going to stop. I know that sounds harsh but its true. Ignore it and more than likely he will quit within a week or two once he realizes he doesn’t get a reaction out of your from it

I believe it’s a sensory thing. My son spent his first 2 years in an orphanage and when he stimmed(rocking) he’d beat his head on his crib or the floor.We constantly were correcting this behavior or redirecting him. I agree with putting him in a safe place like a padded crib or playpen

For the people are saying that he needs more love or more attention soo not true… really just do not understand that is completely normal. Every child will do something like this and they do it because they know it hurts you. My three-year-old sometimes will look at me dead in the face after she has gotten in trouble for something she is been told multiple times not to do in a row and then as she’s laying on the floor crying having her tantrum licking the floor. It’s kind of like look I’m doing this to get at you. You can basically just ignore it and walk away there’s nothing you can do they will stop at one point. Now if he is bashing his head and causing Serious injury more than bruises then yes you need to have him evaluated by a doctor. But this is all completely normal they little tiny human beings that are learning to deal with emotions and what emotions are.


I put mine in the crib because it was the only safe spot. I would allow him to finish the meltdown and then go back in there and talk to him.


I completely understand not wanting to watch your child hurt himself so if ignoring it isn’t what you want to do I’d recommend when he starts hitting his head with out saying a word to him pick him up and go set him in his crib (its a safe zone where he can throw his tantrum) and soon he will realize that by throwing the fit it dosnt get him the attention he wants but instead removed from everything intel hes calm again.

My nephew did the same thing when he was little. His parents eventually found out he needed his tonsils and adenoids removed. Helped him tremendously. He is a college junior now and on the deans list

Training for when he is arrested later in life


Foam alphabet mats. Give him a designated spot to do it. He is most likely doing it to get more attention. If you give him something to hit his head on that wont hurt him he will soon realize that you arent going to give him the attention he is seeking because he isnt hurting himself.

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Ignore it. He’s doing it to see what kind of reaction he’ll get to see if he can get his way. It’s pretty common for the age group


My daughter used to do this. Shed throw herself to the floor and wack her head in anger or to make herself cry. From then on id yeet her little ass up to stand and told her if shes gonna cry shes gonna cry standing. I think once i just grabbed her up and put her in her room and shut the door. No audience no scene

My daughter has spd(sensory processing disorder) and she would throw herself on the concrete and bang her head to the point of light headedness and I thought she would knock herself out. A helmet might help

I have worked daycare for 10 years. In all my training we’ve learned move the child to an are where they can’t hurt themselves and then ignore them. It’s extremely hard, but it does help.


Put him in a safe place, soft. Hold him. Tell him you know he wants more juice. You know it’s yummy. Show him he’s understood. That he’s heard. Give him lots of love and understanding for his feelings.

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There are special helmets for children who have seizures. Check with a physio program and/or children with needs. Even these children don’t like to wear it. Maybe wearing it will help with these moments so he may get the idea he prefers no tantrums as opposed to wearing it. I would check with other dr’s though specializing in child behaviour. To rule out something else. And love is the best way. As it is may be more than a tantrum.

My son did the same thing when he was little and yes the more your react the more he will continue to do it…my son will be 19 soon and has absolutely nothing wrong with him…children learn really quick how to work us…

Splash cold water in his face

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My daughter was the same way i would move her on her bed or put a pillow under her sometimes even put my hand there and not react more then that and one day she just stopped doing it now she kicks the floor but id rather have that then her head

It’s hard to do what is necessary but your dr is right. Let him do it. He will learn not to do it because he’s not getting a reaction out of you

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My son does the same and then some … so far as he bangs his head on the toilet and even concrete … I took him to a specialist and he was diagnosed with slight autism and has learning disabilities

Helmet, quickly redirect into new activity. Yes ignore, he has to be given something else to do. Is it out of frustration because you said no or because you two are not communicating in a way to meet his needs. It is not wrong to say NO. Just make sure you are not always says no if he is trying to communicate a need. Come up with a common way for you to communicate. Sign, pictures, gestures, body language, something that works for you. Ignore his self abusive behavior, redirect him into a position replacement behavior. Don’t talk about the negative behavior.

get down and do it with him.he will think it funny

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Ignore it. It’s for attention.
When kids are young, they aren’t able to differentiate between good attention and bad attention. You have to ignore their bad actions and praise the good ones.
That way, they know throwing a fit doesn’t get them anything at all.

all of above but go to another doctor I don’t think that’s right

Ignore it adventally he will catch on that he will not get what he wants or attention that way
Put him in time out like the corner or make him sit in a chair until he stops

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My son does this too. But he stands up and throws himself down on his bum or his belly over and over while he whines :tired_face: I hate it

My son just turned 3 years old and done the same thing when he was that age his pediatrician said the same thing just to ignore him… Children will do anything and everything to get a rise out of you and the more you let on the more they will do… They do little test to see what they can and can’t get away with and once they realize what they are doing isn’t getting the reaction they were looking for they’ll move onto something else… I’ve come to realize that when mine won’t settle down for the night I catch him looking at me out of the corner of his eyes to see what I’ll do and I just ignore him and it aggravates him and he’ll stop and finally doze off… It’s hard to ignore them when you think they are hurting themselves but they are resilient just make sure there isn’t anything he can get hurt on

My son was doing this often. His doctor suggested I redirect him. It also comes from not having the full capability to communicate clearly.

Omg my son does this exact same thing or throws himself back and he ends up hitting his head really hard and screaming

just ignore. he wants your response so you cave in. just keep saying no and talk to him like a person.

If it hurts him bad enough, he’ll stop. He needs to learn somehow :woman_shrugging:t2:

Put a baby helmet on him until he outgrows it. It’ll protect his head, and maybe he’ll stop sooner.

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Walk out the room. He’ll soon stop when he realises your not watching. Xxc

Buy a helmt and ignor

I’m in the same boat :sob:

He is soothing himself

Ignore it I babysit a almost 3 year old boy and he’s been doing it for months always when he’s in trouble the best thing to do Is turn your back and show him no means no and he won’t get any attention for what he’s doing in time he will stop

Have him tested for Autism spectrum disorder


Sounds like he is a Democrat

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Mine done this i would put his lil butt in his baby baby and walk out a fewvmins later he would stop but i would hid outside room and watch i thought something was WRONG with him he HATE THE WORD NO

Lol! As long as he’s not doing it that hard, it’s pretty normal. My sister’s son throws himself backwards or onto the floor and cries for the same reasons. He’s 16 mo. It’s the fit throwing stage. Haha! If it hurts him, he will stop. If it’s a huge concern, talk to your kid’s doc.

Both my sons have autism. This is something my youngest did when he was younger and will sometimes do now if he is in the middle of a meltdown (something he can’t control). I’ve been told to block his head with my hands if it’s sever hitting. If it’s not, then to ignore it. But if I were you I would look up the most common signs of autism and see if he lines up with them. Be honest with yourself. Early intervention is the best help you can give your baby. If you think he may be autistic, go to your doctor and see what they think.
And please remember, autism isn’t a death sentence. Both my boys are extremely intelligent, caring, fun, social little boys. My oldest talks, my youngest is learning sign language. We’ve got them in therapy and all is going very well. Don’t take this lightly. Be proactive.

If he wants to act ridiculous make him look ridiculous. Put a helmet on him!


It’s normal. My older daughter did this as a toddler until I made her wear a helmet. . . She stopped after about 2 weeks.

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My experience with this type of behavior is different than yours. My oldest son did that and wasn’t from being told No or throwing a fit. It was because he couldn’t completely hear. After found out he was almost deaf he had Tubes put in his ears and once they started draining and Jordon Owsley could hear, he then stopped hitting his head on the floor. Yet, again this was our experience with this behavior, just adding another suggestion is all. Good luck hope you find out reason why and this stops soon.

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My 2 yr old still does this

I would have him looked at by a therapist. My son started doing that very young and he’s autistic.

Hell, I plopped my son down in his playpen and walked away when he used to throw fits like that. I walked off, gave him no attention as long as he was acting like that. It’s the fit throwing phase, testing how to get what they want. Just ignore him, he will soon learn he can’t get what he wants by acting like a brat. Now if only adults in stores would learn the same…


Put him in a safe place. Pack and play or crib. But yes the more you “entertain” (acknowledge) his tantrum he will keep doing it. My oldest did this. Also, try not right now, maybe later, or something other than no. That HELPS a lot. It definitely fades fast when he isn’t getting the attention.

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Apparently my grandfather used to smack his head on the concrete when he didn’t get his way. My son inherited that trait, I ignored it and he grew out of it. Your pediatrician is right, ignore it enough and he’ll stop doing it. Hell continue to do it if it’s getting a reaction out of you because that’s what he wants.

He doesn’t need to be tested for Autism. That’s not a fucking sign of Autism. I swear some one could say their kids likes purple and y’all would suggest Autism.

All babies do this. It’s just a “you said no” response. Babies can’t talk or express themselves like we can. Literally all three of my kids have gone through this phase. It’s JUST a phase. Unless he does this throught the day without being told “no” you’re fine

This brings back a memory I kind of forgot all about. When my daughter was probably 2 years old she like to throw herself down on the floor bang her head kick pound her fist in Scream. And at one point I thought I’m going to try something so I waited till one time she started putting on her little show and I had company luckily it was my best friend in her children and what happened my daughter threw herself down and started her tantrum so we all did the same thing we all got down on the floor STARTED screaming and kicking and carrying on. Well she setup looked at us shut her mouth and never had another tantrum again. The end

Put a helmet on him to avoid injury

We ignored it unless it was causing them to get bumps. If I see them going to try to do it I snatch them up and put them in a pack n play or crib until they quit. Our son hated it because he yells at me that he isn’t a baby. So I would calmly tell him if he doesn’t want to be treated like a baby then he shouldn’t act like one and that he needs to talk to us. He is now 3 almost 4 and is finally stopping but he still lays on the floor and kicks

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My son did it too, was frustrated as you are, I was told to get spray bottle and spray water in his face to get him to stop…ok so that didn’t work…
It’s very hard to ignore. Good luck.

My son still does this. He always holds back some. Its just a tactic to either get what they want or show frustration. Just ignore it lol

My son does this, he also throws himself around or to the floor. Best of luck in finding something that works on keeping him safe while you work it out.

Buy a peanut ball when he gets upset lightly bounce him on it

Wayne Sammy Mullineaux Chapman

I am in the same boat and if you want you are more than welcome to PM me