Why does my toddler bang his head?
- 9 Months ago
Head banging among children is quite common. About 20% of babies and toddlers bang their head on purpose. Head banging is thought to be a self-soothing process that children like, similar to how they like thumb sucking or an attachment to a blanket or a toy. Head banging starts usually in the second half of the first year and found to increase between 18 and 24 months of age. This can last for several months or even years, but most children get rid of this habit by the age of three.
Some children tend to bang their heads in an attempt to stimulate themselves, and at some point find that rocking rhythmic sensations calming and an aid to fall asleep. Children who are under stimulated (those who are bored, blind, deaf or lonely) tend to head bang for stimulation.
Possible reasons that your toddler engages in head banging include:
• Self comfort
• Pain relief
• A need for attention
• A developmental problem
What can you do about head banging?
• Protect your child from injury
• Give your toddler ample amount of attention
• Try not to worry because head banging is usually a "self-regulating" behaviour
• Help foster your child's love of rhythm in other outlets such as dancing,drumming,clapping to music together
• Star a soothing bedtime routine
Consult your doctor if you feel your child is head banging even though he's hurting himself. Though it's uncommon, head banging can be associated with autism and developmental disorders which may sometimes become apparent during preschool years. It is important for you to try and stop the behaviour as quickly and painlessly as possible.