My 15-month-old daughter's sleep/comfort ritual involves grabbing/pinching my neck, and at times it's all I can do to keep from biting her hand. If she can't get my neck, she'll go for my face or any bare skin she can find. I feel terrible because it's a habit that surfaced when she was in the hospital at 6 months following an allergic reaction. I try to be patient, but depending on my mood (which swings harder since I'm pregnant again), and the length of time she goes on picking (sometimes over an hour), I just can't take it. It's a vicious cycle because the longer she picks, the more annoyed I get, but if I step away to regain my composure, she cries, setting the clock back in terms of finally getting her to sleep (she's never cried herself to sleep). The few times I've sent my husband into the room to relieve me, she's pitched herself into a fit.
What do I do? Of course, I'd love to know the underlying cause, but right now I'm just looking for relief. How do I get her to pick at her stuffed dog instead of me?