Hair pulling problem - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-09-2003, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, My dd is 11 months old and so far has been a delightfully easy tempered baby! We are just now having our first problem! I have an Ergo baby carrier and she goes on my back in it. I have long hair. She pulls it! I have gently taken her hands off of it and tried to re-direct her to a toy or a strap on the carrier she likes to chew on. It usually doesn't work. I have yelled "ouch" when she has suprised me by yanking. It starteld her and made her cry but didn't slow the pulling.

I have tried putting my hair up but there are these little whisps of it at the back of my neck and she pulls these. UGH!!!

She loves the carrier usually and it is a necessary place for her as I am a dog groomer and groom a few dogs a week at home and just have to have her in it to work. She is very attached and wants to be in arms most all the time so it works out great.

I have been considering reaching up and pinching her hand when she yanks my hair to get her to let go but something about that feels wrong to me. What has me wondering if it would be effective is her interaction with a cat I have. Our cat just loves her. He comes running and lays down in front of her and she pats (pounds) on his head and mushes his face and he just loves it! He does not like his tail being grabbed and it is apparent that he has bitten at her because when she grabs his tail, he turns around as if to nibble on her and she immediately lets go. That tells me that she knows that there is an unpleasant consequence to his mouth! (I try to always supervise them and he has never left a mark on her but this *lesson* happened out of my sight.)

I have done alot of dog training and I have always told people that hands are for loving not hurting. It is not a good idea to hit your dog.

By pinching her fingers, I feel like I would be violating the "hands are for loving" idea, so it doesn't seem right ......but.......I'm wondering if it would get her to stop hair pulling.

Any suggestions and opinions on my musings here! Thanks so much.

I am learning alot at this board. My dh was spanked/beaten as a kid and knows he has some learning to do and is very against spanking!!! But he is aware that you revert to what you know. He is committed to learning something new. So am I and you folks here are very helpful.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#2 of 5 Old 05-09-2003, 06:37 PM
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Hi Karen!

I don't think it's a good idea to be perfectly blunt. You are assuming that an 11 month old is capable of comprehending "cause and effect" which she most certainly cannot do at her age. She would definitely be surprised and "affected" by being pinched but she would not be able to *associate* "pulling hair = being pinched".

All babies go through hair pulling stages, you just have to keep reminding her. You can also push down on her knuckles if she grabs a handful and that will help get her to release your hair.

I would also suggest putting a baseball cap on your head or some type of hat that you can tie down (or a bandana). That might help.

Good luck!
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#3 of 5 Old 05-09-2003, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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LoveBeads, thanks for the response. She is not old enough to understand cause and effect at this point! I needed to know that. When do babies generally begin to catch on to that concept? She is so clever and can follow some verbal instruction. (For example, she will sit down when I ask her to sit at the baby gate. She has been doing that since about 7.5-8 months old) I just don't know when to expect her to grasp things. Are there any books on development that would cover these things that you can suggest? I realise of course that all babes are so different and that they won't fit any the chart!

I have tried a baseball hat and putting my hair way up and it helps but she gets the little whispy pieces at the back of my neck anyway! I hope this is a phase and I'll just ride it out and hope it gets better. As she gets more involved in her environment, she might stop this behavior.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#4 of 5 Old 05-09-2003, 11:52 PM
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My DS (13 months) does this in the ergo too. Most of the time putting my hair up works, but when it doesn't, I put on a sweatshirt with a hood. That way there's nothing to pull. I don't think I'll do it when it's 90 degrees in August, but it's working now.

Good luck and hang in there. Sounds like your instincts are great!


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#5 of 5 Old 05-10-2003, 12:31 AM
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my 8 month pinches bites scratches pulls hair hits u name it he does it i tell him no he laughs and does it all the more i usually hold his hands down or poke him just hard enough for him to notice. he is a busy boy and i refuse to hit his hands so... i guess we play it by ear lol
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