Sometimes, toddlers bang their head to get the attention from others. Kids are smart enough to realize that this kind of self-destructive behaviors can help them get your attention effectively. If you can tell they’re banging their head to get your attention, try not to make a big deal out of it. Your strong reaction could reinforce the behavior and make them more likely to keep doing it.
Apart from these causes of head banging, toddlers may bang their heads due to underlying problems in their developmental milestones. Head banging may signal autism or certain developmental disorders.
As a general rule, if your child is healthy and doesn’t show signs of a developmental, psychological, or neurological condition — and banging only occurs before sleep — it’s likely a very typical rhythmic movement disorder. On the other hand, if other symptoms accompany head banging — like speech delays, emotional outbursts, or poor social interaction — there could be another issue. See your pediatrician to rule out an underlying condition.