Baby Hitting Head With Hands (Reasons & How to Deal With It)


Kids are unpredictable and unique in every aspect. They have their own way to express their feelings. But for parents it’s not always easy to understand their ways of doing things. 

Kids hitting their own heads with their hands, might not be the rarest behavior in children. But it is definitely not a pleasant sight for the parents either. Such unpredictable behavior upsets the parents and leaves in question why they hit their own heads.

Usually toddlers do it to express their anger and frustration. If this is the case, then only focusing on disciplining your toddler will help you out.

But, before reaching to any conclusion, you must know that there are many other underlying reasons like the toddler tantrums. And to come up with an effective solution, you must know them all.

Is It Normal for Babies to Hit Their Own Head?

It seems quite awkward when an adult starts to hit his head out of the blue. But this behavior is quite common in babies and toddlers. Although the reasons behind such behavior might be different for babies. 

In most cases this is considered as a normal expression of your child. Sometimes babies do it just to express their excitement. For example, some babies love to listen to music and move their head along with it. You can tell just by looking at their smiling face it is their expression of joy.

But, in other cases, babies might be wanting to express something else by hitting their heads with their hands or banging it against the crib or wall. As parents, it must be worrisome to see your child doing so. Some of you must be wondering why does my baby hit his head with his hand, what if he ends up causing brain damage or serious injury from it. And we totally understand your concern.

But, before freaking out, you need to understand when it becomes a serious concern and when not. So, observe the pattern and vulnerability in your child while hitting their head with their hands. It will help you identify the specific reason behind this behavior and get a solution accordingly.

Reasons Why Kids Bang Their Heads

We will be discussing some possible reasons for babies hitting their heads. So learn them to find out which one matches your baby.

There are two main categories of reasons that might make your kids banging their head— Behavior Related Reasons, Medical Conditions, and Expression of Pain or irritation.

1. Behavioral Reasons

Children’s psychology is quite hard to understand. They might be doing the same thing for different reasons. Your little might be hitting their heads—

  • To Comfort Themselves

Little babies sometimes gently hit their heads while lying on their belly, and sometimes with their tiny hands. Researchers found that little babies often do it simple because it is soothing for them. 

You will find them in a relaxing and calming mood when they do it for self-comfort. It is a very normal and common thing among little children. So, if you notice no sign of irritation or discomfort, you can happily ignore this tiny gesture of self-soothing.

  • To Draw Your Attention

Children, when reached at their toddler phase, start to understand and process information, expression and behavior. But they still are not so good at expressing their emotions and communicating with you. They crave for attention almost all the time. 

So, some toddlers keep exploring things and behaviors that catch your attention. Some parents are overly concerned and get easily paranoid when they see their children making a mess or hitting themselves. If you are similar kind, then probably your grumpy little baby is doing it on purpose just to draw your attention. 

This is a little problem by means of parenting and upbringing of your child. But, in most cases, this is normal and such behavior tends to go away with age.

  • To Express Frustration and Anger

Well, not every toddler is the same in their personality traits. Some children are quiet and well-mannered by their given nature or instinct. But, some on the other side, are a little violent. Again, some toddlers hit their head when angry only. In other times they are absolutely sweet and cute. 

In some cases, a toddler’s tantrum gets so bad that they start to hit their heads with their hands, in a quite dangerous manner. Usually this happens when parents don’t validate their child’s anger and frustration. 

So, if you notice such extreme behavior then you might be doing something wrong in your parenting methods. Don’t get it wrong. Sometimes even right methods are not applicable on certain types of babies with some specific personality traits. 

However, this extreme type of behavioral attitude is not healthy for your child. You should try to implement the 1,2,3 Magic Parenting method of tantrum handling.


2. Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions in little children can cause a baby hitting head with hands. The possible medical conditions include—

  • Rhythmic Movement Disorder in Sleep

As we already know that babies bangs their heads just to soothe and calm themselves sometimes. It also can be explained under a medical condition known as Rhythmic Movement Disorder

First of all, it is not any serious thing. Basically, it starts from the habit of rocking in rhythmic movement. Almost every mother rocks their child to help them fall asleep faster in the newborn phase. 

So, even after the baby is moved into a crib in their toddler age, they can’t get over the habit. Motion helps them sleep better and faster. So, hitting their head with hands or against the crib wall might give them the same effect and help them fall asleep. It’s completely fine and normal. So, don’t worry.


  • Early Signs of Autism or Other Psychological Disorders

A study shows that 3 percentage of children in the US are diagnosed with the symptoms of Autism, amongst them 0.2 percent are found to be diagnosed by the age of 17. So, it’s really important to observe any signs of autism as soon as possible. The sooner you find it out the better chance you will have for seeking required treatment.

Babies hitting their own head with hands can be a possible and early sign of autism or a disorder in their neurological or psychological development. There are subtle differences between the previously mentioned rhythmic movement disorder and a psychological disorder.

Observe the pattern of your baby hitting his head and look for their triggering point to be sure.

For example, children with early stage autism might show such behavior when they are getting anxious or feeling insecure. Observe how long they continue to do so, if it’s longer than usual for no other reasons like toddler tantrums, then better consult with a specialist ASAP.

  • Indication of Pain or Irritation

If your baby usually doesn’t hit his head with hand but suddenly starts doing so with a crying or 

screaming, or with any clear expression of irritation, then it can be something serious. It can be an infection in the ear or a heavy pain in their mouth, head, skin or anywhere. 

Check everywhere thoroughly. It might be a medical emergency that your child is trying to give signals about. So, find the problem and move fast accordingly.

How Should You React to Such Behavior?

The medical conditions responsible for babies banging heads are not something you have control over. In fact, you don’t need to do anything about it. But if the reason for your child hitting his head is due to their destructive behavior, then you need to react accordingly.

Simply Watch and Ignore Sometimes

If your toddler hits head when angry, and they just recently started doing so, all you need to do is simply ignore it. Because, when you start to give them attention for their negative behavior, they will repeat it again and again. So, it’s necessary to stop them making it a habit.

Discipline Your Child in a Constructive Way

If your toddler has already built a pattern of throwing extreme tantrums, it’s time to remodel your parenting. You can try different techniques to discipline your toddler based on their current attitude. There are many constructive methods you can apply. 

Although we do not vote for military parenting, some effective punishments are required to implement when children go out of the line.

Make Sure to Give Them Enough Attention

Babies, especially toddlers seek attention from their parents and it’s normal. Yeah, giving too much attention all the time can negatively affect your child’s psychology. It might turn them into an arrogant and dominating adult in the future. 

But, similarly, lack of attention also impacts their psychology, leading to lower self-esteem and lack of confidence. So, make sure you are giving them neither too little nor too much of your attention.

Final Words

Babies do a lot of things. Not each of their gestures are needed to take seriously. But whether it should be a valid concern for the parents or not depends a lot on why they are doing certain things.

We have tried to cover all possible reasons that are responsible for making a kid hit their heads, and also the seriousness of each reason. Let us know, what is the reason in your baby’s case and how you are planning to deal with it.

About Sujana Vij

Hi, this is Sujana. I am an independent strong woman. My noteworthy identity is I am a mother of two children and also a baby site blogger. Besides, the part of my job I love to help parents by giving them useful and practical suggestions that I gained through many difficulties. Normally, we use many products or items for our baby. As a mother, I know how difficult to choose the best product for your baby. In addition, if you are a rookie parent then it's much more difficult. You might need to talk to real parents. That's why I share my experience and feelings upon the best baby products and parenting tips