70 Answers

“I was wondering if you could ask a question, for me, to all your mums out there. I have tried almost everything, and my son is only getting worse, so I was hoping someone in your community could help me out. If you could ask, I would be so grateful. Thank you for your time…. here is my son’s problem – My 14mth old son has been head butting for the past month. At first it was only softly on the couch, the bed, or a pillow, but recently he has been head butting everything, and he is getting harder. The wooden floor, tiles, walls, tables, the dogs, etc, but the worst is when you pick him up, he will head butt you in the face or chest. It was occasionally, but now it’s every time someone picks him up, even when he wants to be picked up. He has caused a black eye, fat lip and blood nose on just myself. I hate to think what he could do to others. And if you tell him no, he will bite you and chuck a tantrum. He will even walk around throwing his head back and forth, in a head butting motion, and no matter how hard he hits a surface, he won’t cry, even if it has left a mark. He just keeps doing it. I’ve tried ignoring him, saying no sternly, putting him down and walking away, tried to distract him, I’ve even smacked his hand/bum, and so many other responses, but he is just getting worse. I’m at a dead end and I don’t know what to do. Im worried he will really hurt himself, or worse- others. Most of the time he is a happy, social, talkative, typical little boy, but this head butting thing is starting to get more frequent, and out of control. Please help and thank you for your time.” How do you stop your child head-butting?

Posted by anon, 11/05/13

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  • My youngest has done it as well.
    It may seem alarming, but head butting — like biting or tantrums — is usually just another way toddlers show frustration or anger.
    Kids tend to stop butting once they start speaking and can get your attention with their words instead of by force.
    Until then, you could help your child by:
    * don’t laugh or encourage your child, but say “no” in a firm way, then give attention to the one who’s hurt,
    *distract / redirect your childs attention to something else,
    *help your child to communicate in a different way, you could consider baby signing
    * banish bad influences like tv, computer, etc.

  • I would get a check up. it’s possible he is doing it because of teething, ear ache, head ache.

  • could it possible be teething or an ear ache i had this problem when my son had a headache and he just did it as a response to the pain

  • Get him checked by your GP first.

  • That’s a tough one! I’d start with a firm “no” and putting him down when he does it to a person….

  • how did you go with this?

  • thankfully mine quickly grew out of this habit but now has started kicking when trying to change her – over one thing and into another

  • Has any advice below helped?

  • I hope he is no longer doing it.

  • I hope he hasnt done himself any serious injuries.

  • Any luck with stopping it?

  • How is it going now?

  • i hope its a phase for you too. poor bub

  • First rule out any medical problem so go to the GP My son did this but not to people until one day we were outside and i took the cat of him and he headbutted the cement path as hard as he could he never headbutted again.I immediatley took him to the hospital but he didn’t have any major damage.I don’t like smacking but 1 hard smack on his leg and a very loud NO may shock him into stopping this habit as he could seriously hurt you.Get professional advice.

  • hi Thanks heaps ! Wondering this myself.

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