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Intentional head banging and refusal to sleep 21mo - help!

(7 Posts)
mazzamoo123 Sat 24-Dec-16 19:19:54

Can anyone please help??

My 21 month old DS has always been a dream child. We've had a consistent routine ever since he was tiny and he's never veered from it. However, for the last few months, he's started to refuse to nap at lunchtime (I think this is too young to drop it - he's exhausted by tea time). This coincided with me being obviously pregnant so I'm not sure whether he knew change was afoot.

More worryingly though, over the last few weeks (since my new baby was about 6 weeks old), he's started to intentionally bang his head on things and repeatedly hit it with his hands. He's still refusing his lunchtime nap and he's now also refusing to go to bed in the evening!!! We've tried leaving him to cry but then he just bangs his head on the edge of the cot over and over again so we have to go in and get him before he does himself some damage. The earliest we've managed to get him down in the last week is 9.30pm!!! I know I should cherish this extra time with him but at the same time, we're all exhausted! I also don't want him to get into bad habits and lose the routine we used to have.

PLEASE can anyone help??????? Has anyone experienced a similar thing??

Thank you!

minipie Sat 24-Dec-16 19:25:29

Mine have both head banged and slept badly when teething, do you think he might be? canines or second round of molars? Worth trying some baby nurofen half an hour before bedtime and see if it helps, if it does then that tells you it's teething or other pain.

Another possibility, maybe he needs to cut down his nap now - not drop but cut down. my 21 mo has 1hr 15, if she sleeps 2hrs she won't go to sleep at bedtime. How long is he sleeping at naptime and what time is it?

mazzamoo123 Sat 24-Dec-16 19:51:39

Thanks minipie.

He's not sleeping at all in the day! He refuses. He just cries and then starts hitting his head on the cot so cutting nap time down isn't an option...

I've given him some nurofen tonight because I do think teething might be a part of the problem. He's refused bed so far but we're going to try again in a bit.

Bubspub Sat 24-Dec-16 23:41:56

Don't know if this is much help, my 20mo has always been a sleep fighter and head banged. But when he seems to be having a developmental leap he does it even more. It's like his brain is hyper stimulated and he can't allow himself to sleep. Also he's very clingy, hence not wanting to sleep as it means time away from me. Have you tried rocking him to sleep on your lap? Sometimes that's the only way I can get my DS to sleep, then transfer to cot. X

mazzamoo123 Mon 26-Dec-16 16:59:58

Thanks bupspub. I'll give it a go.

To be honest, I'm more worried about his head hitting. He does it all the time, even when he's seemingly happy in the daytime. Do I need to take him to a child psychologist? I'm really worried about him!

OzzieFem Mon 26-Dec-16 20:56:45

Bubspub Tue 27-Dec-16 12:29:33

I know it's really horrible to watch, really upsetting. I remember reading up on
It when DS's head banging first started and reading that it's 'self limiting' behaviour, in that they would never actually do it hard enough to seriously hurt themselves (though they may end up with a few bruises). Also for some reason it's more prevalent in boys than girls. And increases in intensity when teething. I also remember reading to ignore it, I think so as not to fuel it, but in reality we couldn't help telling him not to do that and rubbing his little head. He still does it very occasionally but not as much as before. I'm sure it will be a phase your boy is going through, with new frustrations etc and will pass x

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