4 year old chewing on her hair - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 6 Old 08-18-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
malayasmommy's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My 4.5-year-old was a “nuk” baby—we had a terrible time getting rid of it at age 3 (just for naps and bedtime since age 2), but had to because it caused the roof of her mouth to be misshapen.  It was by far the thing that calmed her down the most, and we really have been unable to find something that helps her stay as calm as she was when she had the nuk.


For a while she was doing OK without it, but in the last 2 mos or so she’s started chewing on her hair.  Which isn’t the worst thing, except that she LOVES long hair and gets so upset when we tell her that she’s ruining her hair and may need to get it cut.  (We’re not threatening her, it really is starting to look terrible and we’re starting to not be able to comb through the snarls.)  I have offered to buy her something else to chew on (baby teething rings was my thought) but she just says she wouldn’t use it because she likes the feel and taste of chewing on her hair.    


My first question is: how do I help her learn to calm herself better?  We have tried talking to her many, many times over the years—asking for her input, providing our own suggestions, etc.  She is not very open to trying other things.  My second questions is: could this indicate some sort of sensory issue?  If it does, how should we go about helping her manage that?



malayasmommy is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 6 Old 08-18-2012, 12:07 PM
pbjmama's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 3,200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My dd is similar. She also chews her shirts, straws, etc. I find chewy stix to be a good alternative for her and we keep her hair short (her choice) because she hates having it brushed. Sure, it could indicate sensory issues. If you are concerned get an evaluation. I find it is very difficult for parents to accurately evaluate their own children. You can read checklists and such to get an idea of course. My ds had/has some sensory issues that were helped by about 6 months of OT. I've been able to manage my dd's issues at home mostly based on what I learned when my ds was going through his OT.

pbjmama is offline  
#3 of 6 Old 08-24-2012, 04:41 PM
averlee's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Many 4 year olds still breastfeed, and those who are weaned often suck their thumb or something else. That does not usually mean there is any problem at all, and usually does not require any action. I think it would be okay to just let her chew her hair all she wants. It is not a sin to go about with ratty hair, she will grow out of it, and the hair will grow out just fine eventually.

averlee is offline  
#4 of 6 Old 11-30-2012, 09:07 PM
roxemama's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: sunny fl
Posts: 161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My 4 yr old DD also chewed on her hair and we actually got her to stop. Everyday I would put up her hair and explain to her that I was doing it to prevent her from chewing her hair. We made it kind of fun with braids, barrettes and super cute headbands from etsy. It made her feel good to getting her hair done and feeling pretty. I also enlisted her afternoon VPK teacher by giving her a bag if barrettes and a brush. I was so surprised that she stopped after only 2 weeks. Now she mainly wear her hair down unless we go out. Now if I could get her to stop nail biting greensad.gif for us it was a nervous habit.

Cloth diapering, Non-Vax, Bedsharing Mama to Maya 3-25-08, Mila 6-28-12 and DP Marc joy.gif

roxemama is offline  
#5 of 6 Old 11-30-2012, 09:37 PM
BellinghamCrunchie's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Alpha Centauri
Posts: 4,200
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

When I first came to the  mothering.com forums, the very first post I read was about a little girl who chewed her hair. I loved the response which suggested tying her hair back but leaving a chewing piece out.

BellinghamCrunchie is offline  
#6 of 6 Old 12-01-2012, 08:54 AM
One_Girl's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
I did distraction with my dd in a way that wasn't obvious to her for hair, nail, and random item chewing. I also mostly kept her hair up. She chewed on things when bored so channeling that worked well.
One_Girl is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 10,082

23 members and 10,059 guests
acharyasharma06 , Allen , Bufomander , customphotoprops , girlspn , greenemami , Greg B , happy-mama , hddclub85 , jamesmorrow , Janie1957 , Kicoreann , MarthaKw , Michele123 , mumofacub , NaturallyKait , omarinbox1888 , RollerCoasterMama , sciencemum , shantimama , worthy , Zilver
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.