Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is This Normal?

I've been noticing for a while now that if BB accidentally bangs his head on something, once he gets over the initial pain and crying, he goes back and purposely does it again while saying, "BA!" (his way of saying 'bang' and several other things, but in this case, he means 'bang'.) What's that about? Then tonight I wouldn't let him push the power button on my computer. In a fit of rage he got down on the kitchen floor and started banging his head against the ceramic tile. This completely blew me away. I wasn't sure how to react to him intentionally hitting himself in the head with a toy, so when he started banging his head into the floor I was completely at a loss. I chose to ignore it, and once he stopped and was just sitting on the floor I got down and sat with him and gave him a hug and some love. I'm thinking that perhaps he's just hurting himself for the attention, since when he does accidentally hurt himself I drop everything to reassure him, be there for him, and give him some love. Handling accidents in this manner is something I'm consciously doing (thanks to Dr. Sears), so maybe he's caught on to that and is just doing it for attention. When he intentionally hits himself in the head with a toy, I normally just ignore that as well. The first couple of times, I acknowledged what he was doing, and it only seemed to encourage him.

Even though the explanation I have come up with seems likely, the worrier in me fears that this is a sign that there is something very wrong with him. Perhaps years from now we'll look back on these incidents and say, "If only we took action right away."

If you're a mom reading this blog, have you encountered something similar with your little ones? If so, I'd love to know how you've handled it.


Emilie said...

Oh yeah! We've been through this before! I think that it's just a phase kids go through, like tantrums. I think you're right on about ignoring it. If you're worried about him hurting himself (like if he's hitting himself too hard, or if the floor is getting a serious beating), you could try picking him up, putting him in his crib or on carpet (safe spot) and shutting the door. Maybe give a good firm "no" when you first pick him up. He won't get the attention, but he won't hurt himself.
Good luck!

Beyond A Mommy said...

I agree, normal child behavior....although it seems anything but normal at the time! He's seeking your attention. No need to worry!

Independent Chick said...

Nothing wrong with him...cause and effect...he's checking it out. And he also wouldn't mind a little of your attention. ; ) He'll never do it to the point of hurting himself or so the pediatrician said when I J for doing something similiar. Yup, I was an anal first time Mom.

You rock as a Mom. Enjoy the perfectly normal child you have brought into the world. XX

cuddles said...

Thanks for the comments. It makes me feel better to hear from real people that this isn't weird.

I noticed yesterday that when he hits his head against the floor now, he's doing it much more gently than before. Very very slowly and carefully, just enough to touch his head to the floor, and then he screams. Same thing with the leg of the kitchen table. Previously, he had been doing it with enough force to leave a bruise, on top of his existing legitimate bruises! By today I didn't catch him doing it at all... hopefully it will completely pass soon!