Sensory toy or textured blanket that feels like human hair?
A wig seems.... gross? to me. Not sure why. Also, he has reactive airway disease & really sensitive skin, so if there is anything synthetic/chemical on or in the wig, I wouldn't want him sleeping with it. I was just hoping there was something someone had seen that was specifically designed for this special need.
I can see how a whole wig would be really gross to think about....but maybe something like.....a swatch of human or horse hair, bound with leather or something at the base of it that he could hold in the night??
Is it softness, or wrapping his fingers up in the hair that he seems to need? My baby boy wraps his finger, quite gingerly, in my hair with one hand....and has to have the other hand on "his" boob. He's not absolutely nuts about the hair....but he really likes it. it's something about wrapping his fingers in it.
Do you have coarse or silky hair? Would something with shorter hair than your work....like a sensory toy style teddy bear with soft, long mohair type hair on it seem good?
Like would something like this work:
or is that too short and not the right texture??
Polyester city...I know....but could a "stuffy" with natural fibers and longer "hair" work?
You know, if you can find someone who brain tans rabbit hides in your area....you could have a lovey type thing made for him with some short-longish rabbit hair. I actually brain tan my own rabbit hides and the process uses NO chemicals(only brain matter is used in the tanning process) and leaves NO smell and rabbit hair is really soft. I think you would need hides with hair longer than mine, but there are people out there doing this. You should look into it!
Edited by BroodyWoodsgal - 11/18/11 at 6:40am
We have a wig that I bought on clearance after Halloween (it's long silky bright blue hair). I would suggest getting a wig like that at a costume store and sewing it onto a pillow or doll (you can even make a face on the pillow with embroidery or fabric markers). Or get a high-end, large doll with long hair that can sleep with her. Another idea is to get a sheepskin at IKEA -- not the same thing as human hair, of course, but the wool is long and smooth. I also suggest calling one of the OT equipment distributors like Southpaw Enterprises and asking if they carry anything that would meet this sensory need.
My little boy had to hold my hair to go asleep from the time he was about one until he was 4 or so. He'd also bite, chew, suck and pull, which drove me crazy. I know this isn't what you're asking but for us, the solution was to offer alternative sensory stimulation such as a chew toy to bite on, fidget toys to hold, terry cloth bedsheets, a warm grapeseed cushion on his tummy, and a long massage every night before going to sleep. I managed to wean him by offering another round of massages for every five minutes that he could go without touching my hair. At first he couldn't go for longer than a few seconds - it was almost as if his hand had a will of its own, sort of like in the Addams family lol. He then managed to go longer and longer. He still likes stroking or nozzling it occasionally when we cuddle but is able to stop, or change what he is doing when I ask him to.
I also told him that it hurt me if he used me like a fidget or chew toy, that I was a person and not a thing, offered cuddling positions that were pleasant to both of us while stressing that this was what cuddling should feel like (ie pleasant to both, a valuable life lesson I think in case he ever, heaven forbid, should be on the receiving end of "cuddling" he feels uncomfortable with), and redirected him to whatever "thing" was helpful at the time. This depends on your relationship and how strong your discomfort is with what he's doing of course. At the time, this and other sensory behaviour seriously hurt our relationship - I remember he also started sucking my nose! We'd also just had DD and for some reason, DS appears to ramp up sensory seeking behaviour in fall and winter, getting better again in spring). He did develop a tic that involved pulling his own hair at the time, which went away in spring. (It's recently reooccurred, together with some "hair-seeking" behaviour, but nowhere near as bad as it used to be and redirection has worked so far).
Edited to add that I had a number of threads right about this time last year, with lots of helpful inputs by others, so you may want to check those out using the search function.
What about a doll or toy with long hair?
Maybe something like this horse:
or an American Girl doll:
Or a Cabbage Patch doll:
Or a stuffed animal:
i am just blown away that someone else has this hair problem my so has been doing this since he was six months old and I have tried anything I can find and nothing works and honestly people say wigs but they dont understand kids wrap their little fingers and press against your head its not just our hair we are their comfort frustrating especially if you want to sleeep in the same bed as ur husband who ends up on the couch because ur son hogs the bed. I myself had a dream of sewing some sort of manacan head into a bed with really soft hair making a body out of the vibrating chair pads, some arms stuffed with beads to put around him like arms and cut some of those tactile balls and sew them to the bed so he can rub his feet all night by himself pretty creative I thought!!!
I have a "lovey baby" that my son used with great success. He would fall asleep with his hand in my hair, then I would slowly pull his hand out of my hair and have him grasp the doll's hair so I could sneak away. He really got attached to it and started taking it everywhere.
It looks like the lady who makes them isn't making them anymore, but here's her facebook page.
My son has grown out of his need for his lovey baby. I'd be more than happy to send her your way if you think she might be of help. She's just sitting on a shelf right now and could use some loving :) PM me if you're interested!
OMG! i was looking into options for my 7 month old son who HAS to have my hair to sleep. he wakes up in the middle of night to wrap it around his fingers and roll it around in his hand! i have been growing my hair out to donate, but i'm thinking i might have to donate it to my son in some way, shape, form, or fashion. we bought a cabbage patch doll with long brown hair like mine that will work in a pinch (when i'm not home and dad is putting him to sleep), but is sticky (synthetic). for him, the hair seems to be more important than the pacifier. i just found this link http://www.ehow.com/how_7802122_make-human-hair-wigs-dolls.html that talks about making a wig for a doll out of loose human hair. my daughter actually has a rabbit skin that i might try. it's as soft as mine is, but with him needing to wrap it, i don't know if it'll work. it will also be a matter of talking my daughter into letting him use it!