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new behavior that's worrying me

My daughter (almost 3) has started a whole new series of habits. She is 1) biting off chunks of hair -- I saw her doing this while we were reading books before bed and once I realized that was what she was doing, there was a ton of it in her mouth -- I'm not sure if she has swallowed some or what! 2) biting nails -- I haven't seen her do this but she keeps telling me she does. 3) biting little bits of cloth off her lovie (strings off the corners).

How do I respond? She's not a thumb-sucker, nose-picker. hair-twirler. This came out of nowhere! I feel like my response is crucial, though... I mean, isn't there a really serious thing where people eat their own hair compulsively? Do I ask her not to or just ignore it? Before I realized what I was saying I told her if she kept biting her hair we may have to cut her hair short... I feel like that was a mistake but what SHOULD I say?

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EmilySusan

Asked by EmilySusan at 9:18 PM on Apr. 23, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 5 (79 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • Also I should add that if she does any of these things now she immediately tells me (that is, if I'm around), so I'm not sure if that's an attention thing or if it's because she can't not tell me (she hasn't quite figured out how not to self-report violations yet. lol
    EmilySusan

    Answer by EmilySusan at 9:20 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • My aunt used to eat her hair...it got to the point they had to pump her stomach because it made her sick because there was soo much hair in her belly. It got bad. Do some research online...and if you're really worried, I'd call her pedi. My daughter is a nail biter...she's 2 1/2, but that's because i'm also a nail biter and she sees me do it. The hair thing could be an attention thing, and it could also be a nervous thing. My daughter used to have anxiety, and she'd twirl her hair on her left side and literally pull it out, chunks...it was bad. She got over it herself though....good luck
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:54 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • You need to take her to the doctor for the hair situation. If she is swallowing the hair, it can become a very serious situation that may even require emergency surgery. The hair cannot be digested and will create a hairball in the digestive system if she eats enough of it. They have medication they can put her on if she doesn't stop doing this.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:56 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • Talk to her doctor for sure. She may have a mineral/vitamin deficiency. Google her habits and see if anything pops up. You can find anything on google! Good luck momma!
    vances_mom

    Answer by vances_mom at 10:46 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

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