Repetitive movements like head banging are quite common in infants; an estimated 59% of nine-month-olds 6 engage in head banging, body rocking, head rolling, or a similar movement. For babies who head-bang prior to sleep – make sure their bed or cradle has no loose screws or sharp edges they might accidentally hit. Such habits include thumb-sucking, body-rocking and head-banging. Babies and toddlers will often head bang as a way of getting attention from parents or caregivers. Once underlying pathology has been excluded (emphasis mine), parents should be reassured about the benign nature of the activity. In the upright position, the upper body may be rocked. Also, the baby isn’t hurting itself beyond regulation as they control the action themselves. Evidence-based information on head banging from hundreds of trustworthy sources for health and social care. Give the baby more attention when they are not headbanging. For some toddlers, it seems to make the pain better. Headbanging and/or rhythmic motion without other symptoms is not concerning. Playing pretend – A big part of infants playing with toys involves them substituting the toy to represent something else. The prominent theory on headbanging in babies posits that it is a manifestation of the child’s kinaesthetic drive. All rights reserved. Food Poisoning and Breastfeeding – Can You Still Nurse Your Baby? This is one of the situations where baby–proofing the living area pays off. Padding the sides of the cradle is recommendable. Head-banging often starts in the second half of the first year and peaks between 18 and 24 months of age. The human craving for attention is a natural part of being a social animal, and in infants, it could sometimes express itself as toddler headbanging tantrums. Body rocking is typically done with the entire body while on the hands and knees. Head banging in children can also be a way to calm down at the end of the day. And although it may look alarming, it's usually nothing to worry about. In this case, you can foster your child's love of rhythm in other ways. Two-year-old with broken nose and dent in his forehead from … These are normal ways toddler-aged children fall asleep. Also, if you do panic and worry, your toddler will pick up on that and it could actually make the behavior worse. Evidence-based medicine information on this topic can be found at SearchingPediatrics.com and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Frustration: Toddlers may also start to bang their heads if they are angry, frustrated or throwing a tantrum. Banging head against the mattress when lying face down. What to do When Your Child Bangs Its Head, Baby Frequently Waking Up – Reasons and Remedies. The child shows signs of being unsteady with improper coordination. Is Head Banging Common in Babies and Toddlers? Choosing the Right Size Breast Pump Flange. It can, however, still be a way to communicate their distress to you. As baffling as this behavior can be to parents, even more surprising are the reasons behind the behavior. Why it happens: Like hair twirling, rocking, and other self-comforting activities, head banging is a way for your toddler to release pent-up energy and tension at the end of the day. © 2010-2020 Parenting.FirstCry.com. Typically, healthy toddlers don’t seriously injure themselves with this habit. Protect your child’s head by making sure no sharp, pointy objects or other grating hard surfaces, such as granite, are present. Here are some things to keep in mind: The behaviour fades away as the baby grows older and disappears by age 4. As an example, the medication clonazepam, which is often used to treat anxiety, has been used. The most important thing to remember is that toddlers are likely to hit their heads on purpose. 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