Scratching, pinching, squeezing... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-10-2005, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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My little one, Alex 10 months, is massively into digging his nails into me and grabbing and squeezing flesh - on my face, breasts (while nursing!), neck, arm - anywhere he can find skin, really. Sometimes he looks like he thinks it is fun (though not often), other times it seems very absent-minded of him, if that makes sense - like he doesn't even realise he's doing it - or at other times he seems very determined when he's doing it. It varies! I tell him it hurts and stop him or distract him into doing something else, or move him into a position where he can't get at flesh. But he just won't stop! And it really really really hurts! I do get frustrated with him about it and think that's making it worse - few loud ouches from me and he thinks that's fascinating. But I don't know what to do. He does it do my husband as well, and now he has started doing it do other babies - along with trying to poke their eyes and pull their hair, of course! Grrrrr. I assume it's a phase but should I be doing anything else to try and get him to stop? Id on't want this to continue forever! (Visions of him in college pinching his profs, heh...)

Any advice appreciated.


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#2 of 8 Old 01-10-2005, 11:41 PM
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Have you tried giving him lots of other things with textures to squeeze and pinch and etc.? A bowl of rice to run his fingers through (obviously not while nursing) or one of those stress balls to squeeze, things along those lines.
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#3 of 8 Old 01-11-2005, 12:39 AM
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my son is the same age & has also started scratching & pinching. I think it's due to him developing his pincer grasp, as it's corresponding with him picking more tiny things (dirt) off the carpet etc. Anyway, i'm trying to teach him "gentle touch". And slowly, it's working. When i say "gentle touch please", he at least pauses and looks at me and smiles. He then may go back to scratching, hitting, or whatever. When he DOES touch gently - regardless of if it's on me or the dogs or his toys, i say very happily "thank you soooo much for touching gently!" and i give him a cuddley hug. He loves that, so then he often repeats the gentle touching (and sometimes he expresses being happy with hitting excitedly, so...we're still working on this obviously!)

and i too assume this is a phase!
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#4 of 8 Old 01-11-2005, 01:23 AM
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My 11.5 mo old has been doing that and gentle touch is slowly working and giving her something to hold while nursing other than my skin folds!
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#5 of 8 Old 01-11-2005, 02:01 AM
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Same problem here, and biting also. I am trying to teach gentle touch, but maybe I just have to work harder at it.
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#6 of 8 Old 01-11-2005, 09:11 AM
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Hi, I dont have any advice for you, but wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I have tried everything but my 10 month old WILL NOT nurse unless shes got a handfull of skin. I have tried giving her blankets, other things to grap etc and she will grab them, feel them and throw them. Its aggravating, and really making me not like co-sleeping. I get to wake up every 2 hours because shes grabbing my skin. Not pleasant. But its still not enough to make me stop. I just grit my teeth and curl my toes.
Sorry Im not much help. Hopefully someone will suggest something Ive not already tried.

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#7 of 8 Old 01-11-2005, 01:59 PM
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Wow, I thought I was the only one w/ this problem. DS is 8.5mo and is a MAJOR pincher/ grabber/ squeezer. I've been trying to teach him gentle touch, but usually when he's grabbing, it seems absent minded. He does it A LOT when I'm rocking him to sleep : Makes it hard to WANT to rock him, knowing that my arm is getting maimed. I'm hoping it's a phase he'll work through and eventually stop. If not, well, then we'll just keep working on "gentle" til he understands

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#8 of 8 Old 01-11-2005, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your responses and suggestions - and it's great to hear I'm not alone with this! Stupid me for not thinking of the 'gentle touch' idea - I do that with him when he's terrorising the cats but never thought to use it for this - duh-uh!! Funny, I've been doing this with him for a few months with the cats and about a month ago I thought he was really starting to get it - and then we seemed to go backwards and he's worse than ever. One step forward, a dozen back, I guess! Oh and a few months ago he was really pinching my breast while nursing and I tried giving him something else to squeeze but he'd just throw it away - so the best thing I found was to put my hand on top of my breast that way the skin he was getting was the top of my hand and it didn't hurt so much, tougher skin I guess. Then he seemed to lose interest and stopped for some time - and now he's back at it!

Will start the gentle touch idea and giving him other things to squeeze - wish me luck!!

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