Toddler Hitting Head With Hand: Reasons & Solutions

Toddler hitting head with hand is a common behavior that toddlers often engage in. While it can be frustrating for parents, there is usually a reason behind this behavior.

It’s no surprise that by the age of three, infants undergo a variety of developmental, emotional, and physical changes. At first sight, a toddler hitting his or her head with a hand may appear to be odd behavior.

Toddlers have a wide range of complicated communication techniques, making It more difficult to pinpoint the reasons behind most actions.

In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons and ways to deal with this problem.

Toddler Hitting Head With Hand

Why Does My Baby Hit His Head With His Hand?

Head banging is a repeated movement that occurs during waking and sleeping. The appearance may be different depending upon the child’s posture. The head bangings continue in an alternating rhythm. They last from 1 minute to 1 second. This is possible over an extended interval of time but usually takes about 15 to 20 seconds.

In dozens of cases, heads bang, and voice movements are heard, such as the steady hum. A child will sometimes stop the behavior but generally starts hitting his head soon thereafter. Most head bumps in infants and children happen before sleep and can sometimes occur during the night. This may occur during morning sleep.

Toddlers use both verbal and non-verbal expressions to express themselves.

When your toddler wants to communicate with you they will find a variety of ways to do it.

Unfortunately, these sayings are frequently misunderstood.

The distressing quality of attachment difficulties is enhanced by modifications in developmental conduct and the inability to express emotions effectively.

When moms attempt to make their children “do things,” these youngsters may be more prone to anxiety and tantrums, as well as biting and striking.

Toddlers who hit their heads with their hands are attempting to communicate big feelings and internal tensions.

Many cues may give you insight into the reasons why toddlers might hit themselves.

This may result in temper tantrums, being excessively over- and under-stimulated, or feeling exhausted and hungry.

Once you’ve seen a pattern, you may take action to minimize the impact on both yourself and your child.

But what can you do to avoid your toddler striking his or her head against a hand?

There are a few things you can do:

  • Validate your toddler’s feelings.
  • Encourage your toddler to use words to express their emotions.
  • Teach your toddler how to handle frustration healthily.
  • Provide outlets for physical activity and energy release.
  • Model appropriate emotional responses.

Hopefully, these tips will help you prevent your toddler from hitting their head with their hand!

Avoiding A Toddler Hitting Head With Hand – 4 Ways

1. Create Safe Environment

To begin with, providing a secure environment will assist.

Keep anything hazardous out of sight and keep your toddler-proof areas to a minimum.

Install as many child-friendly devices as possible to keep your kids’ area secure.

2. Getting In The Way

If a child begins to act aggressively, immediately move on and remove him. If you are blocking your baby from hitting themselves, they will not be able to do so.

You may also provide your toddler with another thing to do or request that they express their displeasure constructively.

Typically, a soft toy or a cushion to whack instead of oneself is an excellent method to express rage.

3. Do They Experience Pain?

Your kid might be striking themselves in some situations to demonstrate that they are in pain.

This is especially frequent among toddlers, who all experience similar aches and pains. Ear or tooth discomfort are two examples.

This form of misbehavior is generally more obvious.

Keep an eye out for your infant striking themselves on the same side and in the same area of the face repeatedly.

4. Autism

In some exceptional situations, autism and self-injury in children may be linked.

When a toddler’s hitting isn’t connected to tantrums, annoyance, or any sort of pain.

Self-harm is sometimes used by toddlers with developmental issues to comfort themselves or engage in a repetitive action.

You may need to see a pediatrician for a professional evaluation.

It’s critical to learn your toddler’s self-expression methods in depth so you can rule out any compelling cause for self-harm and self-hitting.

Toddlers Hitting Head With Hand : 3 Natural Reasons

Toddlers hitting themselves may be extremely distressing, especially if you have previously experienced it.

Most parents are shocked and don’t know what to do.

Every day, toddlers are discovering the globe differently.

The majority of this research is typical, and it contributes to a healthy and active intellect.

In some cases, however, toddlers can be frustrated when confronted with developmental delays.

They are learning the laws of the world on one hand, and on the other, they have been limited in their freedom to explore it.

Most toddlers encounter overwhelming frustration within this learning framework.

They desire independence but have difficulty expressing themselves properly because of a limited vocabulary.

Around the age of two years, children begin to throw tantrums when their intellect outmatches their ability to express themselves, and it’s at this age that the most typical reason for toddlers hitting themselves occurs.

The most typical cause of developmental issues and emotional difficulties is the use of words that do not match.

1. Attention

Some toddlers will self-harm to get attention.

As your child is still learning how to distinguish between various forms of attention, they will pick the simplest one.

Unfortunately, parental criticism is far simpler for your youngster to obtain, resulting in more tantrums, mini-meltdowns, and abusive conduct as a result of an immediate response.

2. Self Discipline

Toddlers may harm themselves to punish themselves for misbehavior or a mistake.

When a toddler is startled and his or her attention wanders, he could be frightened and begin squealing. This may happen frequently in younger youngsters, who are accustomed to being scolded for doing something wrong.

This is a common form of toddler defiance in which they can express their displeasure with their conduct and serve as a deterrent to any more severe penalties you may impose on them.

3. Rhythmic & Calming

Self-soothing is when a youngster, in the middle of an upset, intentionally hits himself to calm himself down. This may be what’s going on here.

This is frequently observed in younger children, who mimic the soothing sensation of being in the womb by rhythmic knocking or banging of bodily parts.

Because isolated events aren’t much to worry about, long-term behavior may be linked with autism; as a result, it’s always a good idea to get an expert diagnosis from a board-certified pediatrician.

Why Do Babies Hit Themselves In The Head?

Part Of Growth And Exploration

There are several crucial developmental stages in a baby’s life. Normal, continuous behavior, as a method for the baby to engage with the world around them, is regarded by scientists as an infant hitting their head on a crib.

Babies who hit their heads on the floor are discovering how big space is. Other maturation phases and repetitive actions, such as thumb sucking or humping objects, aren’t as frightening as hitting the head, but they all have similar reasons.

Toddler Hitting The Head When Angry

Why does my child smack his head on the floor when enraged? When angry, a youngster often banged his noggin. It’s an indication that you might have triggered your kid’s displeasure.

For example, you may have served broccoli instead of carrots and the youngster doesn’t have the communication skills to explain why he or she is dissatisfied. Temper tantrums or violent emotional outbursts may now erupt at this age, and toddlers might communicate their emotions in a variety of ways.

As the kid’s linguistic abilities improve, his or her head banging will naturally decrease. You may also divert your infant with Montessori toys that enhance social and emotional development.

The Baby Slaps His Head As A Sign Of Pain Relief

If your baby continually slaps the same spot, he or she may be hurting. The emergence of the new tooth might be painful for youngsters. Ear infections and sore throats are other examples where this holds.

When babies are feeling unpleasant, some may not always strike their heads. Some may rub or scratch the area and refuse to let you touch the painful place.

It’s also possible that your child is attempting to reduce pain by banging their head or hand.

They Hit Their Head When Excited

Some parents worry that their toddlers may hurt themselves when they get too excited and run around. It is common for toddlers to hit their head, but most of the time they are not seriously injured. It is important to watch for signs of a concussion or other serious injury. Most of the time, however, toddlers will be fine after hitting their head.

Allow several moments for your child to play with a toy to divert his attention away from waiting for your affection.

Types Of Head Banging In Children

The headbanging can be seen in numerous ways in babies and toddlers. A baby may strike the back of the head with his or her hand or other items at times.

At this age, several children will bang their heads against the wall, crib, mattress, or another item near them when they are angry.

Rhythmic Head Hitting

This is when a child hits their head in a consistent, repetitive motion. It often looks like they are trying to keep time with music or another rhythm. This type of headbanging typically starts around 18 months old and can continue into the toddler years. It is usually not caused for concern unless the child is hitting their head so hard that they are causing injury. If you are concerned about your child’s headbanging, talk to their doctor.

Stereotypic Head Banging

This type of headbanging is more severe and can be seen in children with autism or other developmental disorders. It is characterized by more forceful and less rhythmic head hitting. Stereotypic head banging can cause injuries and can be a sign of underlying emotional issues. If you are concerned about your child’s headbanging, talk to their doctor.

Head Banging In Infants

Head banging in infants is not as common and is typically not a cause for concern. It can be a normal part of development or a way for an infant to express frustration or displeasure. If you are concerned about your infant’s headbanging, talk to their doctor.

Head Banging In Toddlers

Toddlers may engage in head banging when they are tired, frustrated, or angry. It can also be a way for them to explore their environment and test their limits. Head banging usually does not cause harm unless the toddler is hitting their head very hard or against a hard surface. If you are concerned about your toddler’s headbanging, talk to their doctor.

When a tiny one is in an upright position, he or she may have a rhythmical movement disorder or recurrent head pounding before going to sleep, so you’ll notice the baby banging on the crib railing.

Some infants who seek their parent’s attention may strike themselves on both hands or use toys to hit themselves.

How to Avoid Your Toddler Hitting Head With Hand?

Start A Nap Schedule

Establish a regular nap pattern if your child gets tired in the morning.

If your toddler isn’t sleeping well, it can lead to some pretty frustrating behaviors- like hitting their head with their hand. A regular nap schedule will help ensure that your child is getting the rest they need, and hopefully prevent any outbursts.

Limit Screen Time

We all know how addicting screens can be for adults and toddlers alike. But too much screen time has been linked to increased tantrums and aggressive behavior in toddlers. If you’re looking to limit your child’s screen time, try setting a timer for when they’re allowed to use it each day.

Encourage Positive Behavior

Hitting oneself is often a sign of frustration or feeling overwhelmed. Try to encourage positive behavior by rewarding your child when they do something good. This will help them to associate positive actions with rewards, and hopefully reduce the amount of hitting that goes on.

Offer Nutritious Snacks

If your toddler is asking to eat before a large dinner, give them some healthy snacks first. This will ease their anxiety about being hungry, and help them to focus on other things.

Try Soothing Activities

If your youngster is overly activated by overactive play, try to relax or soothe them down with calm activities before they have a tantrum.

If a toddler is frustrated and cannot express these feelings in a way you can comprehend, he or she will bang his or her head with his or her hand.

If he or she does not get enough supervision, your child may strike others or themselves.

It’s a highly rational method for them to communicate their discomfort while also obtaining relief.

You can also use the ‘Time-Out’ Technique. It’s not to be shamed or punished, but instead to diffuse an emotional issue and help your child learn to manage frustrations and regulate his behavior. Using a time off is also a clear way of telling a person that certain behavior is unacceptable.

Some parents have tried time-outs previously in various ways. The timeout should always follow definite directions to achieve the best results. This is an important list of guidelines that should be followed when learning about utilizing the time out. Make a warning: Children should know which behaviors are associated with a particular outcome.

Other methods may involve –

  • Teach kids that aggression is wrong – When he/she is angry he/she talks about this in silence. Give the child a steady voice explaining why their aggression is wrong. Keep the rules simple in the case of the young ones aged 18-23 years old. Take them back and tell them that no punching is bad. Remember that this rule can be repeated many times with the same phrases, so your child will understand. Always keep your kids calm when they become aggressive. Have a plan to deal with the consequences when aggression occurs. It can be a place for a child to sit out of a quiet place and leave his or her room until he calms down.
  • Lower your voice—Don’t raise it.
  • Tell your child to use your words.

How To Address Toddler Self-Harm When It’s A Family Affair?

If a youngster’s rhythmic actions do not affect their sleep or cause harm, parents usually do not need to take any action. These behaviors generally go away on their own over time. Parents should consult with their child’s doctor if there are indications of injury or sleep disruption, but this is uncommon.

In general, since most head banging is non-harmful, there’s no need for parents to intervene in an attempt to stop them. This might hurt a kid’s sleep and provide parents with frustration because many children will quickly return to their regular patterns.

If the sounds of head or body banging or rocking are disturbing to parents or other family members, the crib may be relocated away from the wall to reduce echoes. A white noise machine in the room with the baby might assist soothe them and block out sound disturbances that could wake them up. A baby monitor is an excellent technique to keep track of nighttime activities without having to go into their bedroom.

However, if you notice persistent head hitting, you should take your child to see a doctor. This is especially important if the head banging is accompanied by other concerning behaviors, such as self-injury, aggression, or difficulty sleeping. A doctor can rule out any underlying medical conditions and provide guidance on how to best support your child.

Once you’ve figured out why someone is self-harming, there are a few effective methods to deal with it effectively.

Remember that each toddler is unique, and he or she will respond to various tactics that you follow.

Whether you choose to address it more constructively or allow it to take care of itself, we recommend you follow these steps to keep your toddler safe.

  • Once you feel an episode is approaching, try to keep all sharp things out of their reach.
  • To prevent any long-term damage, get in the path of the headbanging or head striking.
  • Soft toys or gentle activities might help you distract your youngster back to safety.
  • To educate your toddler about the harm of hitting others, use a civil tone to remind them that striking anybody, especially themselves, is harmful.
  • Keep a diary of your daily routines, and any stimuli that might boost the likelihood of self-harm, to modify them. Thirsty, hungry, tired, overstimulated, and understimulated infants tend to hit themselves more frequently. Keep track of the times this behavior occurs and make sure it isn’t linked to any of these principles.

Toddlers who are hitting themselves may be struggling with a variety of issues. Knowing why they have decided to hit themselves can help you address the problem.

If you’re proactive, you’ll find out why someone is harming themselves.

Then you may take steps to prevent it or entirely remove it.

When Is Toddler Head Hitting A Problem?

This is especially true when it comes to babies who are teething. As previously stated, the vast majority of them head bang as a natural and normal development stage in their attitude toward the world – their parents, emotions, and objects around them. You typically have nothing to be concerned about.

However, there are a few uncommon occasions when you should visit your pediatrician.

Self-Inflicted Head Hitting

If your child’s head struck hard on firm items such as the chair, table, or a crib and resulted in visible wounds, swelling, bulges, and dents, seek medical attention right away. Moderate injuries are uncommon during this stage of head banging. However, if they occur by mistake, be sure you respond promptly.

Frequent Head Banging

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if your youngster frequently bangs his head and creates bumps and bruises as a result. An underlying condition sometimes causes discomfort in babies, so they try to divert their attention away from the pain and suffering they’re experiencing.

Sometimes, the reflux in infants causes them to strike their heads frequently. You can have your child’s throat infections, reflux, ear problems, and other issues checked.

Head Banging With Delayed Development

If your baby has delayed speech, gross or fine motor skills development, and/or head banging, see your pediatrician. Also, if the child has bad socializing abilities before head bashing, see your doctor to rule out any health issues.

Banging one’s head can lead to more severe injuries in infants with impairments or developmental delays. In most situations, most doctors will want closer monitoring. The pediatrician may thus rule out certain diseases in this manner.

Before visiting your pediatrician, make a diary in which you’ll record brief notes on the frequency and form of head banging in your kid. It’s also beneficial if the doctor can view a video of your child banging his head. So rather than gasping when your baby begins pounding its skull, take out your phone and shoot a video instead.

Signs That Indicate A Concussion Or Head Injury By Toddler Hitting Their Head

A baby’s head hitting can cause serious health problems. Most children are unaware that rhythmic motions cause problems in sleeping. If your toddler hits their head, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of a concussion or other head injury. Here are some things to watch for:

Change In Behavior Or Mood

If your toddler seems more irritable or cranky than usual, this could be a sign that they’re not feeling well.


If your toddler is unusually tired or sleeps more than usual, this could be a sign of a concussion.

Change In Appetite

A sudden decrease in appetite or interest in food could be a sign that something is wrong.


A headache is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion.

Nausea Or Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are other common symptoms of a concussion that happens after a head injury.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your toddler after they hit their head, it’s important to call your doctor right away.

Dizziness Or Balance Problems

If your toddler seems unsteady on their feet or has trouble walking, this could be a sign of a head injury.

Loss Of Interest In Favorite Activities

If your child suddenly loses interest in their favorite activities, this could be a sign that they’re not feeling well.

If your child is displaying any of these symptoms after hitting their head, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Head injuries can be serious, and prompt treatment is essential.

When To Seek A Doctor If A Toddler Is Hitting His Or Her Head?

While parents may be concerned that this behavior indicates a developmental problem or another issue, this is rarely the case. Head banging is typically harmless and short-term for most kids.

There’s no evidence that there’s a link between sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder (SRRMD) and anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in kids with a diagnosis. There is currently no clear relationship, and only some rather than all, children with a sleep movement disorder exhibit symptoms of mental illness.

If your toddler is hitting their head, it’s important to know when to seek medical attention. Watch for these signs that indicate a trip to the doctor is needed:

  • Your child hits their head and then vomits or has a seizure.
  • Your child hits their head and develops a headache, dizziness, confusion, or double vision.
  • Your child has repeated episodes of hitting their head.
  • You notice any changes in your child’s behavior after they hit their head, such as increased irritability or sleepiness.

In most situations, a pediatrician will want parents to keep a sleep diary, which should include the occurrence of head banging episodes. This may be enough to determine if a kid has Sleep-Related Rhythmic Movement Disorder, but if necessary, other tests can be used to rule out the presence of additional sleep problems and arrive at a firm conclusion.

Your child’s doctor may also refer you to a sleep specialist for an overnight sleep study. This can help rule out other potential causes of your child’s head banging, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.

If your toddler is hitting their head and you’re concerned about it, talk to their doctor. They can help you determine if there’s cause for concern and offer guidance on how to best manage the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1:  What can I do to stop my toddler from hitting his head with his hand?

Ans: If you’re concerned about this behavior, the best thing to do is to consult with your child’s pediatrician. They will be able to rule out any medical causes and offer guidance on how to address the behavior. In some cases, simply providing more attention and love can be enough to help your toddler feel better and stop the behavior.

Q2: When should I be concerned about my young one hitting his head?

Ans: If the behavior is severe or persistent, it’s always best to be cautious and consult with your child’s pediatrician. They will be able to determine if there is a cause for concern and provide guidance on how to address the behavior.

They will be able to determine if there is a cause for concern and provide guidance on how to address the behavior.


Raising a child is difficult, especially since many milestones may go unnoticed and be misinterpreted as harmful. Is a toddler hitting head with hand normal? Toddler striking himself occasionally isn’t always due to a developmental issue. It’s more probable that it’s a self-soothing technique that numerous children utilize.

Hitting the head is a common behavior that happens in infancy. It’s part of early childhood rhythmic movement disorder or a technique for infants to communicate their strong feelings!

Some kids behave badly because they can’t control their feelings. It is common for young kids who lack the capacity and confidence necessary to deal with huge emotions. As a child grows older, the difficulty becomes more apparent.

Parents may find their children extremely sensitive to emotions compared to their peers. It’s nice for parents to learn how to manage their emotions as much as they do and they are also important in their child’s education. 

My name is Mark Joseph, and I’m on a mission to help new parents navigate the world of parenting. With over 5 years of experience as a parenting coach, I’m here to provide you with insight into all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising your newborn baby. Instagram Linkedln Facebook

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