How do I get her to stop sucking/chewing on her hair??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 08-06-2010, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 6.5 and re-started a gross habit that I thought she ended a year ago...sucking on her hair!!! Collective ewwww. She'll suck/chew on the sides or tips, sometimes until it's a huge wet blob. Not only is it gross (it's spit. Spit smells after a while) it's damaging her hair.

She has long hair which is gorgeous, and no, cutting it is not part of the equation. This is not to punish her, for an obvious bad habit (maybe psychological?), but I want to get her to change her habit

I tried braiding it and she JUST sucked the whole bottom of the braid. Now I might have to double it up or put it in a bun where it's inaccessible. It's not the most comfortable way to wear hair during the day.

Ideas? Is there a stinky spray I can use like the stuff they paint nails with to stop kids from chewing?
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#2 of 13 Old 08-06-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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Would you be willing to let her get it cut if she thought that it would help her break the habit? This worked with my dd because she wanted to stop but couldn't. If there are gross tasting things you should still get her to say whether she really wants a change or not. A bun or two buns on the side of her head may also help if you aren't willing to let her get it cut. There are some gross smelling hair sprays, but I think that them being ingested would be a concern because the gross tasting things don't always act as a deterrent.
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#3 of 13 Old 08-06-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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How about getting her something that is acceptable to chew on?
http://www.affordabletherapysolution...oralmotor.aspx
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#4 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 01:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post
How about getting her something that is acceptable to chew on?
http://www.affordabletherapysolution...oralmotor.aspx
I just want to say thank you for this link. I came to this board to find out if there was a safe thing for my 4 year old to chew. He's biting his nails and chewing his plastic toys! I found a piece of one in his mouth tonight and who knows how much he has ingested. So glad I saw this thread and I think we will be trying one of those toys. If it works, we'll get tons! Thanks again.

Mama Lea, grateful wife to and mom to Big Boy 10/04/06 and my little Sunshine boy 10/06/08 and surprise joining the bed sometime in March 2011
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#5 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Even cheaper, and probably safer than any kind of plastic - DS1 has a habit of chewing on his clothes, and sometimes, when it's long enough, his hair. I have found that he is perfectly happy to chew on a dishtowel instead. He doesn't care if it's pretty or not, but for a child who did you could make/find pretty "hanky" style pieces of cloth. They do get holes chewed in them, but ingesting a little bit of cotton fiber (especially organic, undyed) isn't going to hurt anyone.

Here as mama to W (2/04), R (5/06), D (7/09), and J (12/9/12!), co-parenting with my DH

I WOH part-time, am a doula & childbirth educator, home/unschool, and hope we are nearing the center of chaos


 
  

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#6 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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Many, many children chew on their hair. And so do some adults. I did when I was a kid.

My mother used to tie my long hair back and leave out a "chewing piece" for me. And to this day I remember that she did this and feel such fondness for her. What a kind mom! It felt so good to be understood and accepted and accomodated.
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#7 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
Many, many children chew on their hair. And so do some adults. I did when I was a kid.

My mother used to tie my long hair back and leave out a "chewing piece" for me. And to this day I remember that she did this and feel such fondness for her. What a kind mom! It felt so good to be understood and accepted and accomodated.
Hmm...ya know...I never thought about that...
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#8 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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I chewed my hair as a kid and I don't think the nagging from my family helped any. I moved on to a weird habit of pressing the smooth part of my finger nails against my lips and other weird mouth things which I sometimes still do to this day. I don't think it hurts anything and its better than what some adults do (like smoking, for example).
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#9 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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My daughter has started doing this just out of the blue. It's gross. She has long hair that she mostly wears in braids (she doesn't want a hair cut, but doesn't like to feel the hair on her either) so I've just started pinning it up with Goody's Spin Pins. They come two in a pack and I can easily pull her hair up (one braid on each side, twist each one into a bun and put one pin in OR pull hair into one pony, braid, then twist it up and pin) with two pins in about a minute. With four pins (two in each braid) it is SUPER secure. It's so much easier than fiddling with bobby pins and the hair stays up, even lots of fine, long, slippery kid hair.
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#10 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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I would leave her alone. There are just too many other things they have to be corrected for.
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#11 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post
I would leave her alone. There are just too many other things they have to be corrected for.
...except that it's really gross! We're talking like sometimes half her hair on one side sopping wet with spit...oftentimes just before we have to go out. It's damaging her hair because of her teeth. And spit can smell..

Cutting her hair would be punishing/shaming her in her mind as she really does have gorgeous hair that she is proud of.

I like the idea of keeping a strand loose and putting the rest back.

@NiteNicole - I'm going to have to look for those spin pins!
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#12 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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okay maybe no the most popular but.... My DD is very visual and literal she needs very convincing proof on why something isn'ta good idea more than its icky... So in a google I found this article. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...chew-hair.html and I read it too her.. We openly explained the condition she had and why she chewed both for my DD and the girl in the article we then discussed ways to hel stop including having her hair cut. My Dd (then 5) decided that having her hair cut would be a good idea because it would help remind her not to when she couldn't reach it.. The time between cutting her hair and it growing long enough to reach her mouth again was enough to stop the habbit.
Now if I could just get her to stop licking her mouth....

Deanna

Wife to DH since August 01 mom to a bubbly girl October 2002 and our newest gal March 2010
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#13 of 13 Old 08-09-2010, 02:01 AM
 
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DD has taken to chewing her hair and clothes lately. I can't get her to stop so I bought a couple teething necklaces -- the kind made for moms to wear so their babies have something to fiddle with and chew on. The one she likes best is a "Dr Blooms Chewable Jewels" necklace. We also have a "Teething Bling" pendant, but she doesn't like the donut shape as much as the boxy shape.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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