1 Year Old Hitting Head With Hand- Is It Serious?

If you can not stand seeing your 1 year old hitting head with hand and are finding the solutions, hold up. This writing provides a detailed review of this condition among toddlers.

Besides the ways to deal with this problem, the lines below will also equip you with knowledge about the causes and categories of head banging.   

Is It Normal When A 1 Year Old Hitting Head With Hand?

1 Year Old Hitting Head With Hand

No matter how weird it seems, a baby hitting themselves in head is  considered a normal behavior. Numerous toddlers have this habit before going to bed or during naptime.

This behavior is known as a self-soothing technique. However, parents may feel upset or frightened about it.   

Not to mention hitting by hand, some babies even have head banging against some objects, including soft ones like mattresses or pillows, and hard surfaces in serious cases. 

There are different forms of a toddler smacking head. Commonly, your child may bang himself when he lies down on a pillow.

Some kids tend to act like this when they are in an upright position. Others even make sounds while hitting their heads. 

This behavior appears at the ages of six to nine months and commonly disappears till the child gets three to five years old.   

Why Is An 1 Year Old Hitting Head With Hand?

Why Is An 1 Year Old Hitting Head With Hand

Why does my toddler hit his head with his hand? The most common reasons are his communication deficiency, feeling expression (angry, excited), self-soothing, attention seeking, or, in the worst case, a developmental problem.

Lack Of Communication Skills

When your baby is in an extreme mood like angry, fearful, jealous, or confused, they tend to bang themselves for expression.

The 1 year old hits head when mad due to their lack of vocabulary to show up in words. 

Furthermore, they may get annoyed by their inability to speak out their feelings. Thus, this act appears to be a natural response.  

Self-Soothing Or Sensory-Seeking

Some babies have a greater desire for physical and sensory experiences or may use slight pain for relief.

Therefore, the habit of hitting themselves is to satisfy their craving for physical stimulation. Under other circumstances, kids get out of stress and tiredness through these repetitive movements.


As mentioned above, don’t be worried about a baby hitting head with hand when angry or frustrated.

This normal behavior appears among young toddlers when they find it challenging to achieve something. For instance, they can not get dressed properly, or their puzzles get messed up. 

Little children also bite or hit their parents to see their reactions for fun or when they get angry.

Take it easy, as it is arduous for newborns to cope with negative emotions when their means of communication are lacking.


Banging is another way for the toddlers to express excitement. When being hype, the baby keeps hitting head with hand as other normal actions like clapping hands or jumping up to respond. 

The same explanation goes for this case, as excitement is another strong emotion.

Once newborns learn how to respond to these feelings, this habit will be replaced by dancing, cheering, or clapping.       

A Need For Attention

There is no doubt that you will become solicitous once your baby tries to hurt himself. The action of hitting their head shares the same purpose of getting attention from people around as screaming. 

In some cases, this behavior appears more effective. Thus, once toddlers recognize the apparent effect, they would keep banging to ask for attention as they expect. 

A Developmental Problem

Although head banging in newborns is a normal act, it may relate to autism or other developmental disorders. However, please don’t take it too seriously as the chance for this alarming scenario to happen is rare.  

Solution For Toddler Hitting Head With Hand

Ignore It

The first time your baby uses hitting to ask for breaking your rules, such as sleeping in your bed (which is not recommended for toddlers), ignore it.

Then, the kid will stop after a few minutes. Or else, they will find it effective and continue this act the next time.  

Give Positive Attention

Ensure you have given your baby sufficient notice to avoid this attention-seeking behavior. However, if the newborns bang themself to get noticed, try not to satisfy them immediately.

Meanwhile, scolding or punishing is not recommended as well. 

Reposition The Crib

Hitting their heads is a way of expressing feelings, and they may be not comfortable with their sleeping environment. You can try repositioning the crib to a quieter, cooler room.

Prevent Your Child From Injuries

In order to protect your child from hurting themselves, you can fill the headboard with pillows or even install a railing on their bed.

However, experts advise that extra pillows are only relevant to older kids. The newborns should sleep in a soft bedding crib or mini crib to avoid physical pain.  

Help Babies Label Big Feelings

When the kids are in trouble expressing extreme emotions, help them name the feelings. Teaching them single words to call out human feelings.

Thus, your little one will then replace physical behavior with verbal means of communication. 

Make use of objects like flashcards, picture books, or stuffed animals to help your kids remember words about social interactions.    

Start A Soothing Routine Of Bedtime

Make your baby relaxed before hitting the sack. Help them take a warm bath and massage their body gently. You can tell stories or sing softly a few minutes before your child gets in night sleep. 

Address Physical Needs

Some babies use banging to sign their wet or blowout diaper or hunger and thirst. Try to satisfy their demand; besides, it is advised to coax them before they act.

Please pay attention to the repetitive behaviors and address their physical needs timely.  

When Should I Call The Doctor About Head Banging?

There are some signs to indicate that you need doctor help when your newborn makes this behavior worse:

  • You think your kid has developmental delays.
  • Your child gets bodily injuries during head banging.
  • Self-banging constantly happens throughout the baby’s awake time of a day.
  • Lack of sleep due to the head hitting. 

Notify the healthcare provider as your child may be involved in some autism spectrum disorders.


Your 1 year old hitting head with hand is a normal phenomenon during the time they grow up. Try to understand their thoughts and satisfy their demands wisely, following the tips provided above.

However, don’t neglect any strange signs as your child’s common behavior may have turned into another form of more serious disorder. Ask for professional help if necessary.

Leave a Comment