Ben's Disturbing Habit of Banging His Head...

~ Posted on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 2:39 PM ~

Sigh... we have been observing this disturbing habit of Ben for the past few weeks now and I'm reading up on the article about it at BabyCenter website. Notes in blue below are excerpts from the article:

Why does my toddler purposely bang his head?
Head banging is surprisingly common. Up to 20 percent of babies and toddlers bang their head on purpose, although boys are three times more likely to do it than girls. Head banging often starts in the second half of the first year and peaks between 18 and 24 months of age. Your child's head banging habit may last for several months, or even years, though most children outgrow it by age 3.


Sigh... Boys are 3 times more likely to do this than girls?!! And peaks between 18-24 months of age?! Ben is 16.5 months now and he's already banging his head! And the article mentioned that most children outgrow the habit by age 3?!!! Oh crap... Ben has got a longgggggggggg way to go then...

Based on the possible reasons listed, I think for Ben's case, he bangs his head because:

* He's frustrated ("If your toddler bangs his head during temper tantrums, he's probably trying to vent some strong emotions. He hasn't yet learned to express his feelings adequately through words, so he's using physical actions. And again, he may be comforting himself during this very stressful event.") and

* He needs our attention ("Ongoing head banging may also be a way for your toddler to get attention. Understandably, you may tend to become solicitous when you see your child doing something that appears self-destructive. And since he likes it when you fuss over his behavior, he may continue the head banging in order to get the attention he wants.").

He only does that when he is playing with us (hubby and me) and when one of us go "No Ben, don't do that!" and off he goes and bang his head. Or when he tries to do something (for example stack the Megablok toys) and unable to do so, then off he goes and bang his head.

I can see the tell-tale signs that he's about to bang his head on the floor. It's either 'No Ben, don't do that' or he gets frustrated then he will step away to a wider space, get ready and squat down, head lower down and then he delivers one swift bang on the floor. He only bangs his head once and then he'll stand up, rub his forehead and started to cry if he does it too hard. Otherwise, he'll rubs his forehead, stood still with his angry and frustrated look until we diverted his attention elsewhere and he will forget about it and goes on playing.

The only picture I can find that comes quite close to how it looks like when he is going to bang his head is like the picture below but he does it real fast and he's clever to choose a wider space area for his head banging actions.

Now what can we do about it?

Give your toddler your attention — but not when he's banging.
Make sure your child gets plenty of positive attention from you when he's not banging his head. If he still bangs his head to get your attention, though, try not to make a big deal about it, or you may reinforce the behavior. Even if you can't completely disregard the behavior, don't scold or punish him for it. He's too young to understand the situation, and your disapproval may only make matters worse.

Protect your child from injury.
Check all the screws and bolts on your toddler's crib once a month or more to make sure the rocking isn't loosening anything. You can also put rubber casters on the crib legs and hang a soft fabric or quilt between the crib and the wall to reduce noise and to minimize wear and tear on the walls and floor. Don't put pillows or blankets in his crib to soften his surroundings, because these are a suffocation hazard. If you want to use bumpers on your toddler's crib to soften his blows, make sure that they're thin, firm (not puffy), and securely tied to the crib railings, so your toddler can't get his head between the bumper and the railing.

Try not to worry.
Your toddler may get a bruise or two, but don't worry — head banging is usually a "self-regulating" behavior. This means your child is unlikely to hit his head hard enough to seriously injure himself. He knows his threshold for pain and will pull back on the throttle a bit if the banging hurts.

Help foster your child's love of rhythm in other ways.
Your child clearly likes a good steady beat, so help him find other outlets for his love of rhythm. Experts often recommend dancing, marching, and drumming or clapping to music together. You might also try putting a metronome in your child's room to give him the comfort of a steady rhythm. Make sure he gets lots of physical exercise during the day, too, to help him burn off some of the nervous energy that may feed his head banging.

 Consult a doctor if your child's behavior becomes worrisome.
If your child bangs his head a lot during the day or continues to bang his head even though he's hurting himself, you may have cause for concern. Though it's uncommon, head banging can be associated with autism and other developmental disorders, which sometimes become apparent during the toddler and preschool years.


Ok... currently, whenever Ben bangs his head, we'll actually try to stop him (if we can catch him on time) but otherwise, after he bangs his head, we'll pull him over and tell him in a stern voice not to do that (and now reading the above which mentioned scolding and punishing won't help cos he's too young to understand), oh well, we really need to be super patient and try not to over-react when he does it since it's a self-regulating behavior. And we've also gotta look for ways to channel his energy to other activities (dancing and clapping to music sounds like a good idea!) After all, we might have to wait and ride this out until Ben turns 3 year old... gulp...

My Cool Son With His Awesome Money Sense...

~ Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 12:08 AM ~

I went to my ex-company earlier today to have lunch with 3 of my ex-colleagues who are all close friends to me and whom I still keep in touch with even after I left the company. I arrived at 12pm and hang around a while as we were supposed to be lunching at 12.30pm. A few of my ex-colleagues came over and checked Ben out.

Ben as usual, is very reserved and kept his cool. Too cool sometimes cos I can just see how desperate and eager all of my ex-colleagues were trying to impress him and squeeze a smile out of him. We sat on the sofa and Ben squeezed in between myself and the sofa and kept his distance from my ex-colleagues... Just look at the few pictures I managed to snap of him looking cool as a cucumber...

The cool boy looking around the reception area...

Oppss... the cool boy noticed his mummy busy snapping his cool pictures... 

Cool boy couldn't be bothered and look elsewhere, giving mummy more angles to snap his cool look... 

An ex-colleague appeared with a paper puncher to entice Ben and hoping she can break his coolness... hahahah...

Ben hesitated quite a while before succumbing to the pressure of playing with the paper puncher.

But he still does not smile. Hahahaha....

We left a short while later and went to a cafe for lunch.

Ben sat on the high chair while we waited for our food and catched up on the latest gossips at office...

One thing I need to mention here, the last time I went to lunch with my close friends here was about a few months back and they actually tried to play a game with Ben using the Malaysian dollar notes.

What they did actually was, one of them held out a $1 note (light blue color) and a $10 note (red color) and Ben chosed the $10 note.

Then they hold the $1 note and a $50 note (light blue color as well) and took out the $10. So, between the $1 and the $50 note, Ben chosed the $50 note! It was hilarious and they were joking around saying Ben knows the value of the money!

So today, they did the same trick again...

Note picture below the $10 note on Ben's left hand and the $50 note on Ben's right hand. Guess which one he took?

Heheheheh... this time, Ben took BOTH!

My ex-colleagues cracked up and laughed out loud at what Ben did!

They didn't expect Ben is going to do differently this round!

Then they thought maybe the $10 note is in red which is eye catching (Ben loves red colored things!) so they switched it with a $1 note and held both $1 and $50 notes to Ben again and waited for his reactions.

This time, he took both notes, turned around, and passed it to his mummy!

Attaboy! Laughing

I am a bad mummy...

~ Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 at 12:40 AM ~

We were out earlier today for a short trip for tea time and went to the supermarket to look for vegetables for Ben. I was pushing Ben in the shopping cart (I let him walk around in the shopping cart when he's well behaved). I parked the cart right in the middle of the quite cramp aisle (not many people around that day) so that Ben is not able to grab or mess up any of the products at either sides of the aisles.

Just when I was squatting down to take a closer look at one of the fish sauce bottle, I glanced back at Ben, saw him at the other end of the shopping cart (not the sitting side) bending over to touch or look at something and then he just toppled over and fell on the floor.

My heart just stopped right there and then. I screamed out his name, dumped the sauce bottle one side and rushed over to his side. He was lying on his back, shocked at what happened and then he started crying when hubby rushed over (when he heard my screaming I guess). Hubby carried Ben up and immediately we comforted him, while I touched around the back of his hand, trying to see whether he got hurt anywhere or whether there's any bumps or scratches or swelling or not.

After a few seconds, Ben quiets down and we decided to leave the supermarket. On the way back home in the car, Ben was back to his usual chirpy and noisy self, rummaging around for stuff to play and I keep touching his head, back and all... So so worried he might have hurt himself and not able to tell us that...

Sigh... what a bad and careless mummy to allow this to happen to Ben...

Frown And no more allowing Ben to walk around in the shopping cart now...