My grand-daughter is 7 mos. old and for a few months now she has acquired a strange habit. When she is sleepy she MUST pull hair, (not hers) but whoever happens to be getting her to sleep. It really hurts and if we try to stop her she cries. She also likes to put hair in her mouth. She has had hair in her stool before. This really concerns me. Is it a common habit in infants? My daughter and I have tried putting out hair up and out of her reach but she goes for the top of the head and pulls us down to her face so that she can feel the hair on her face.It seems so be her security. Does anyone out there have this problem??
Strange habit of 7 month old
Hmm, my LO used to eat the dog and cat hair at that age....she would crawl like a maniac, shovel it into her mouth and try to swallow it before I could wrench it away. It was a bit bizzare to see her pooping out hairballs! I just kept telling her 'ick' when I'd take it away and eventually she started to say ick back and hand me the hair. Not quite a comfort thing for mine, but I thought it was a mild form of pica. Has your daughter tried giving her a blanket or even a soft pillowcase with the smell from her hair on it to soothe her that way instead?
My almost three year old STILL does this. She feels like it's an absolute need, and she does it both before bedtime when I sing to her on my lap, whenever I snuggle her in my bed, and any time she's really upset. She gets FURIOUS when I remove her hand from my hair. BUT - consistent redirection has limited the times of day when she reaches for my hair. It used to be ALL the time, and any time she drank a bottle when she was a baby. So, yeah, not sure how to solve it, but you're not the only ones with this problem.
My dd has always pinched the tops of our hands rhythmically to soothe herself. When she was a baby and toddler, she did it with her sharp little nails and it hurt and made little scratches all over my hands. I wasn't a big fan then, but she's almost six and still does it occasionally (she calls it a "snoogle"). I'm really going to miss it when she doesn't do it anymore - just one more way she doesn't need me anymore :(
My daughter used to rub a soft blanket on her face to fall asleep. At 5 she buries her face in her blanket and makes a "mmmm" happy noise. I think everyone finds their own self-soothing techniques. As adults it might be a cup of tea or just the daily routine of in bed by 11, but some adults still have snuggle friends (body pillow anyone?). I certainly wouldn't be conerned about the kiddo wanting to snuzzle on hair. The texture could just make her feel super relaxed.. The way that the texture of silk sheets makes some people feel super relaxed too.
I do understand how it has got to be fustrating to put the little girl to bed with your hair clenched in her tiny fist. (My 7 month old son likes to grab me by the hair and pull my face to his so he can suck on my nose.) So I agree with previous posters that you might want to experiment with other things that might soothe her. A stuffed animal with long fuzz, a baby doll with long hair, a soft blanket etc. If I were you, I'd scour the house for replacement items and keep them next to the area where you put your little one down to sleep. Each time she reaches for your hair, I'd let her try a new item. See if anything gives her the same cozy feeling. Don't let her become overstressed about it though. If you've tried the taggie blanket, the dolly, and the brand new mop head and now she's red in the face and yelling, then just let her have your hair and resolve to try again tomorrow.
Now, I don't mean that you should just continue to let her pull on your hair indefinately. But, obviously you found out that she had aquired this habit "for a few months" by allowing her to do it. So, just keep offering other items to see if they work and as a last resort just continue as you have been.
Oh, also I also feel like I have to add that you shouldn't let baby keep any items that might harm her throughout the night. Slip them out of her sleeping area after she is out cold.