Comfort habits

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Toddler appears to have a habit.  He has taken it upon himself to suck and chew his clothing, obsessively, whenever he is bored/relaxed/tired/engrossed.  We're talking damp sleeves up to his little dimpled elbows.  Should he be wearing short sleeves he'll suck and chew the neckline of his clothing instead resembling someone who's spilled a drink down themselves.  He's doing it right now, whilst watching Mickey Mouse.  It's driving me absolutely batty, We started reprimanding him for doing it, not only does it appear terribly disgusting it's also potentially ruining his clothing.  Then I pointed out to The Husband that he oesn;t appear to be doing it for attention nor for the sake of doing something naughty and I became to suspect it was some random comfort mechanism.  Epiphany central.  I actually asked the little cretin why he keeps doing it, he didn't know.  So I asked him how it makes him feel to which he replied that it makes him feel nice.  It feels nice.  So how on earth can we reprimand him for a habit that evokes a sense of comfort and positive emotion within him?  It seems to have started within the same time frame within which he's had a decline in day feeds on the breast.  We're rather hoping if we grit out teeth and ignore it he may grow out of it.  Sounds like a plan.

Or it would i it wasn't so painfully familiar.  Thing One is also incredibly orally fixated.  He too used to chew his sleeves and suck the collar of his school uniform making it look ragged, discoloured an quite frankly vile.  It's one thing at home yet another whilst at school.  If it's not his clothing it's his fingers. Usually whilst watching tv or in bed at night. The corner of his bedding is mangled from being sucked an chewed and even his bloody curtains had been sucked an chewed at the corner.  At one point I sprayed tea tree oil on his school collars to stop them going in his mouth!  Still, it's marginally preferential to his winter licking syndrome where he licks around his mouth so much it turns bright red and looks alarmingly awful. When he was a baby he'd suck the tail of a soft toy yet refused a dummy. Bare in mind these aren't nervous nor unhappy children, they're content, expressive and happy... just terribly orally fixated.

Does your child having any comfort habits?  How do you deal with them?

1 comment:

  1. A couple of my daughters used to do that licking round their mouths thing in the winter which made their lips incredibly sore and look like they were wearing badly put on lipstick. It wouldn't matter how many times I told them not to do it, they would carry on. I don't think there is anything that can really be done to change these things, they just have to grow out of it. Good luck. x

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