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Toddler's sleep/comfort routine is killing me

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
My 15-month-old daughter's sleep/comfort ritual involves grabbing/pinching my neck, and at times it's all I can do to keep from biting her hand. If she can't get my neck, she'll go for my face or any bare skin she can find. I feel terrible because it's a habit that surfaced when she was in the hospital at 6 months following an allergic reaction. I try to be patient, but depending on my mood (which swings harder since I'm pregnant again), and the length of time she goes on picking (sometimes over an hour), I just can't take it. It's a vicious cycle because the longer she picks, the more annoyed I get, but if I step away to regain my composure, she cries, setting the clock back in terms of finally getting her to sleep (she's never cried herself to sleep). The few times I've sent my husband into the room to relieve me, she's pitched herself into a fit.

What do I do? Of course, I'd love to know the underlying cause, but right now I'm just looking for relief. How do I get her to pick at her stuffed dog instead of me?
post #2 of 3
it's funny, my son picked up the same habit and I thought I was the only one! I remember feeling annoyed with it, and that is not a vibe you want to send to your kid, so here's my recommendation:

your daughter is old enough to be reasoned with. (you may doubt it, but it is true!) when she pinches your neck gently take her hand and kiss it, and tell her she is a big girl, and big girls don't need to do that to go to sleep anymore. tell her you will give her as many kisses as she needs to feel comforted to go to sleep. see what else you can come up with to give her comfort another way.

this will be the first of several annoying habits over the years you will have to train her out of. if we don't train them out of these things, they will do them to other people, and we would have failed them! that's how I look at it, anyway.

best of luck and take care!
post #3 of 3
My 3 yo does the same thing. Drives me BAT$#!T crazy. I just tell her "quiet hands" and if she doesn't stop on her own, move her hand away and explain that it hurts mama, and please don't do that. She's been doing it FOREVER, and still goes for that spot, but I just keep asking her not to, and I definitely don't just grit my teeth and let her keep doing it. I've put turtle necks on before to just keep her the heck away from my neck. And hey, at least she's not a nipple twiddler! LOL
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