Why is my DD pulling out her hair? - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > Why is my DD pulling out her hair?
gbailey's Avatar gbailey 04:30 AM 03-12-2010
I find this very disturbing or maybe weird is a better word. I went to check on DD after we laid her down for bed. I see her hair lying in various places in her crib. She's been pulling strands out. Some multiples. DH thinks it's just something new she's doing. It's not clumps but a few pieces here and there. Is this in the realm of normal toddler behavior?

diamond lil's Avatar diamond lil 02:00 PM 03-12-2010
I think you should closely monitor it. It may be signs of trichotillimania, a condition that I have lived with my entire life. It involves hair pulling. People suffering from this disease (like me) have an obsession (for lack of a better word) with hair pulling. Most of us do it to relieve stress. Some people do not realize that they are doing it, and do it in their sleep. I have my trich under control now and no longer struggle with it so much like I did when I was a child. I pulled eyelashes though, not head hair.

I don't mean to freak you out or anything, but my parents didn't get help for me. They belittled me for it and made me feal like a was a total freak. As a young adult, I spent thousands of dollars on therapy and I feel that I am "cured" more or less, though I occassionally have those urges to pull when I am under a lot of stress.
CozMama's Avatar CozMama 04:56 PM 03-12-2010
I was a serious hair puller from about 3-6 yo. Yup, I had some serious bald patches and photos to prove it. It was a security thing for me, I'd pull out my hair or pull the pills off blankets and rub it along my upper lip while sucking my thumb.

At the time my mom was on to her second husband and I already had 2 & 3 younger siblings in that time period plus dealing with a father that "disappeared" and rarely ever came for a visit. It was a very stressful time for me.

I kicked the habit sometime in early childhood but in another way I supposed I still have a hair obsession which I never thought of till now... In 5th grade I had decided I wanted desperately to be a hairdresser and that is exactly what I became. I became obsessed with taking good care of hair and keeping it as healthy as I possibly could.
jempd's Avatar jempd 05:22 PM 03-12-2010
I also have it, much like DiamondLil, and, like her, urge you to do just what she says. I'd keep an eye on it, if it were my kid, and see if it continues as she gets older. It is incredibly hard to stop--I'd had it treated by an antidepressant which worked but I was no an antidepressant, which I didn't like. It decreased a great deal as I got older. My niece has it. The thing that is so hard and painful about it is people belittling you and being made to feel as though you are a freak because of a bald spot, and that if you just exercised some will power, you would be able to stop, although it really is compuslive. It's a form of OCD, I've heard. I don't want to scare you either.
diamond lil's Avatar diamond lil 05:39 PM 03-12-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by jempd View Post
I also have it, much like DiamondLil, and, like her, urge you to do just what she says. I'd keep an eye on it, if it were my kid, and see if it continues as she gets older. It is incredibly hard to stop--I'd had it treated by an antidepressant which worked but I was no an antidepressant, which I didn't like. It decreased a great deal as I got older. My niece has it. The thing that is so hard and painful about it is people belittling you and being made to feel as though you are a freak because of a bald spot, and that if you just exercised some will power, you would be able to stop, although it really is compuslive. It's a form of OCD, I've heard. I don't want to scare you either.
One thing that really helped me was when I realized that I was not alone.
gbailey's Avatar gbailey 05:48 PM 03-12-2010
Thanks for sharing your experiences with me. I am sorry people were mean to you jempd and diamondlil.

So far, she only did it last night but I will monitor her and see if it's something she does consistently. I thought maybe her hair may have been itchy so I washed her hair and braided it up this morning. I'll continue to watch and see if she does it. I hope it doesn't become a habit.
Peacemamalove's Avatar Peacemamalove 08:13 PM 03-12-2010
I would keep an eye on it , my son pulls his hair until it leaves bald spots. So we have to keep it really really short!
gbailey's Avatar gbailey 08:27 PM 03-12-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peacemamalove View Post
I would keep an eye on it , my son pulls his hair until it leaves bald spots. So we have to keep it really really short!
Do you have any idea why he does this?Last night was the first time and she hasn't done it today and I hope she stops. It makes me nervous.
gbailey's Avatar gbailey 02:31 AM 03-13-2010
I called the ped and she said the pulling may be because of teething. I've never heard of that before but she is getting two teeth in and they've been bothering her all week.
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 02:46 AM 03-13-2010
My DS started doing this about a year ago... ever since then we've just kept his hair cut super short, and I've insisted that other people not let him play with their hair (it started when he was a baby and he'd twiddle his fingers in my hair... cute when their 3 months, not so much at 2/3 yrs!!). He does seem to be getting better
Freud's Avatar Freud 02:50 AM 03-13-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post
I called the ped and she said the pulling may be because of teething. I've never heard of that before but she is getting two teeth in and they've been bothering her all week.

I think some kids tug on their hair when they're teething because they have a headache or ear and jaw pain and the sensation of slight pain from hair pulling helps negate the headache/ear/jaw pain (ever push on your head or temples when you have a headache?). Maybe she just pulled a little too hard and a few strands came out?

I wouldn't worry too much if she's only done it once, but I'd be watchful.
Vancouver Mommy's Avatar Vancouver Mommy 03:30 AM 03-13-2010
My dd did this a few times at about 20 months or so. I literally had to hold my breath not to react to it, but I didn't say a word. It only lasted a short time and then it stopped. I think it was just the novelty of finding out a body part could be removed.
gbailey's Avatar gbailey 01:31 PM 03-13-2010
Thanks again for replying. She did it again last night. Secondevening in a row and always before she's about to go to sleep but I am listening to you guys and the doc and not worrying but paying attention to it. Last night it was just a few strands. I really hope it's from the teething and will stop soon. I'll ignore it but it really bugs me. DH told me to relax. He thinks she'll stop when I stop letting it bug me. LOL
gbailey's Avatar gbailey 04:47 PM 03-31-2010
DD is at it again with this hair pullig thing. Now she has a small bald spot near the middle of her hair line where I part her hair. DH suggested I stop braiding her hair and just let her wear it out. Not a problem. Last night I went into her room to find hair in her hands. I know the doctor said it could be the teething or her soothing herself at night but this is just bothersome to me. The doc also told me her daughter did this for two years and just stopped. I know I need to just let it go but this is one habit I wish she didn't have
claddaghmom's Avatar claddaghmom 04:56 PM 03-31-2010
Is she stressed or trying to self-soothe to sleep? If you hold her while she falls asleep, will she still pull her hair?

Could it be a symptom of pain? Is she relieving pain by creating a different pain....the way some people might bite their tongue to distract from other pain?

Maybe offer some Arnica 6x tablets to her?
gbailey's Avatar gbailey 05:32 PM 03-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post
Is she stressed or trying to self-soothe to sleep? If you hold her while she falls asleep, will she still pull her hair?

Could it be a symptom of pain? Is she relieving pain by creating a different pain....the way some people might bite their tongue to distract from other pain?

Maybe offer some Arnica 6x tablets to her?
Thanks for the reply. I don't think she's stressed. It could still be the teething. I've tried rocking her to sleep but she likes to lay on her own so she can play in her crib or on our bed.

Where can I get the Arnica 6x tablets. I'll try anything.
claddaghmom's Avatar claddaghmom 05:36 PM 03-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post
Thanks for the reply. I don't think she's stressed. It could still be the teething. I've tried rocking her to sleep but she likes to lay on her own so she can play in her crib or on our bed.

Where can I get the Arnica 6x tablets. I'll try anything.
Here's a link I found about Arnica:

http://www.arnica.com/?p=225

We just buy the little bottle at our local health food store in the 6x strength. It is $7.79 here.

DD's teethin pain did not respond to chamommila or other teething tablet tinctures, but Arnica helped her immensely.
gbailey's Avatar gbailey 05:48 PM 03-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post
Here's a link I found about Arnica:

http://www.arnica.com/?p=225

We just buy the little bottle at our local health food store in the 6x strength. It is $7.79 here.

DD's teethin pain did not respond to chamommila or other teething tablet tinctures, but Arnica helped her immensely.

Thanks so much. I appreciate the advice. When your DD has teething pain does she always rub her gums to show her discomfort?
claddaghmom's Avatar claddaghmom 05:54 PM 03-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post
Thanks so much. I appreciate the advice. When your DD has teething pain does she always rub her gums to show her discomfort?
She bites on her fingers, drools and is basically a whining, clingy, sad baby.

We've been going through it again b/c she is getting all 4 "eye teeth" at the same time. From the way they look, I have no idea how they are going to fit! She has all her front teeth and her molars...not enough space!
gbailey's Avatar gbailey 06:06 PM 03-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post
She bites on her fingers, drools and is basically a whining, clingy, sad baby.

We've been going through it again b/c she is getting all 4 "eye teeth" at the same time. From the way they look, I have no idea how they are going to fit! She has all her front teeth and her molars...not enough space!
I feel like such a bad mommy. DD turned 23 months old this week and she's been a clingy, whiny, sad mess and since she hasn't been putting her fingers in her mouth I didn't think it was the teething but that's likely what it is since she's getting two teeth in. I thought the pain was over with. I'll let you know how the Arnica works. I'll run to our local healthfood store after she eats her snack.

Her trying to put all of her toys in her mouth should have been my first clue!
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