When you have a baby at home, especially if they're your first, it's hard not to feel constantly anxious. It's natural to watch their every move to make sure everything they do is "normal." Unfortunately, babies and toddlers do all sorts of weird things that get make their moms worry, like smacking themselves silly, so to speak. If you've ever wondered, "why is my baby hitting his head?," there are quite a few different explanations.
If your baby is slapping or tapping their head with their hand, Babble noted that it may just be a way for them to explore their bodies. The Bump noted that, at some point, babies start to understand cause and effect. And, until then, they might not realize that the unpleasant sensation they're feeling on their noggin is in fact being caused by their own little hand. Additionally, babies' motor skills are still developing and they may not necessarily be in control of the habit. As long as baby is hitting their milestones on time, there shouldn't be any reason to worry.
But what it baby is deliberately hitting their heads on the floor, walls, or the bars of their crib? Baby Center noted that head banging is actually more common among older babies, peaking at around 18 to 24 months. There are a number of reasons a little one around that age might bang their head. For one thing, they might find the rhythmic motion of swinging their head comforting. In fact, it may be a coping mechanism if they're in pain from something like an ear ache. Head banging can also be an emotional response to wanting a little more attention from you, or due to feelings of frustrations they don't yet have the words to express according to Parenting.
Many parents fear that head banging is a symptom of autism or other developmental issues but, according to She Knows, parents shouldn't panic over the behavior. Again, as long as your child on track developmentally you shouldn't freak out. But if it seems to be happening more frequently or you're concerned about any other behaviors your child is displaying along with head banging, it's worth checking in with your pediatrician.