My 13 month old daughter headbuts the ground after I catch her doing something wrong. I tell her it’s naughty but this has no effect on her and I’m worried she could do serious injury to herself.


Posted by Kylie, 25th February 2015


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  • lots of helpful tips for you here!



  • I had a friend whose son used to do that, he was diagnosed with ADHD (not saying your daughter has that) but my friend asked a doctor about it and he said ignore them, children do it for attention and they know how hard to bang their heads without hurting themselves. You never said what you do when she starts banging her head, this may be her way that she knows can distract you from the fact that she has been caught out doing something wrong. But if you are that worried then put a helmet on her.



  • My Bub has done this once or twice. I calmly tell her don’t do that and then I pick her up gently and try and distract her.



  • try to stay calm and not get angry,say things like Mummy does not want you to have sore head and also she might break the floor. A joke and not getting negative attention usually can help more
    all the best



  • My youngest granddaughter (18months old) is doing the same thing ATM if she can’t get what she wants & we have slate floors in our kitchen/familyroom! I find the best thing is to pick her up & distract her is the best way to deal with it. If she repeats it I try to ignore her & walk away if she isn’t harming herself. She normally follows me which is funny how she can just turn off her tantrum in a second.



  • wow yeah i agree, distract her or instead of scolding her, try to teach her what she should be doing. instead of “don’t pull the cat’s tail” how about “this is how we pet the kitty” and show her.



  • Put the helmet on. 13 month may not know much yet.



  • tell her thats its not nice what she is doing than pick her up straight away so she cant hurt her self.



  • Head Banging in toddlers is normal. I would pick her up and redirect the situation. et her off the floor. I use these couple of distractions… “It’s time fora bubble bath” or “We should go look in the letter box”, “Lets feed the birds”. Yes it’s important to teach them right from wrong but pick your arguments she is just over 12 months. It’s her being frustrated help her have a fun day and you too!



  • I think somebody is missing the point here. The baby was naughty before spoken too.
    A baby of that age needs to be taught right from wrong. In this case it is a mini tantrum. it is not a case of what she wants. If there is a first time that she hurts herself it could be serious. Not just that she won’t do it again if she does. I know a Mum who missed seeing her 2 year old pull a dresser drawer out a 2nd time. It jammed and she pulled the whole dresser down on top of herself, and knocked herself unconscious. Fortunately she didn’t sustain concussion but it did cause other head trauma. Had she fallen at a different angle and a fraction nearer the wall she could have fractured her skull or neck. It would have been too late to simply think she wouldn’t do it again. Yes, you may need to divert their attention, but if you don’t stop them from doing something wrong early they will persist after you do decide to stop them as they have developed a pattern of doing it. In their minds they know that they have been allowed to do it. Some store far more in their memories than we give them credit for. You have to be consistent.



  • Firstly your little one is not being naughty. She is 13 months old. She has bumped her head, she got an excited response so keeps doing it because she is getting your attention.
    You need to change what you are doing if you want to redirect her to get your attention, that is positive attention. Remember negative attention for a little one is better than none at all. So she is not going to hurt herself, she will stop if she did hurt. Pay attention as to what proceeds her doing this and she gets your negative attention, then what?
    When it occurs, remove yourself and do not react, instead you respond, you just walk out of her sight. Ignore whatever else she is doing as long as she is safe.Then once she is calm, come back into her space and do something positive with her. Play peek a boo or something. She will soon learn that head banging is not getting a reaction. Babies respond to stimuli. Give her plenty of balance in this. Have quiet times together, reading to her, holding her, singing to her, interacting with her. At this age they do not understand the concepts of waiting or what is naughty, naughty in itself is an awful tag for a child, let alone a baby. If baby is tired and frustrated she may bang her head as a signal she needs a need to be met. She can’t tell you what it is she needs, If she is teething, her little head might be hurting or if she has an ear ache, the head bumping may be how she is trying to communicate to you. At her age all her needs are to be met by you. If you are struggling, reach out for some assistance. Make an appointment with a doctor, have her checked over and ask for help. You will get guided in the right direction. If you are at home with her without any support, it can be rather overwhelming, this parenting business. Learn to relax and enjoy this special time. You wrote because you care and want what is best for her, you are being a good mother.


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