by Dee Dee
(Charleston, WV USA)
Is it normal for a baby to hit themselves in the head repeatedly when they are tired? Is this something I should be concerned about? The doctor said her ears are clear but has no answer for why she hits herself like that.
Baby Help Line:
Baby Hits Head When Tired – Normal?
Babies do hit their heads for several reasons. It is common and most often nothing much to worry about. One of the reasons is actually self-soothing, for example when tired.
Another reason is pain relief, so it is great that you had your baby’s ear checked. Teething can also make a baby hit his or her head or face.
So what to do about it..?
Well, first of all, ruling out any physical pain or illness (like you just did) is a good start.
Secondly, you need to make sure your baby doesn’t really injure her or himself. This is usually not a problem, but for example, make sure the baby doesn’t have any heavy or sharp objects at times when he or she is likely to start the hitting.
Third, don’t react to it! If you start giving your baby a lot of attention when hitting, there is a significant risk that you will reinforce the behavior. Instead, ignore it as much as possible, and divert your baby’s attention to something else if the behavior disturbs you a lot or you are afraid that your baby can get hurt. Why not try a lullaby and cuddle, for example? Or patting the lovey?
But again, if it is just a matter of hitting the head relatively softly when tired, it is likely to be a self-soothing thing and really nothing to worry about.
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