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How do I get my toddler son to stop rubbing my arms?

My 16 month old son likes to constantly rub my arm. He started doing this when I breastfed him, and now that he has been weaned for 2 months he keeps doing it. He likes to stick his had up my sleeve, my shirt of my pants! He especially does it when I am trying to put him to bed. He is very reliant on me and does it as a comfort thing. Ive tried giving him a blanket to rub or something else but he wont do it. Hes very stuburn. Its getting to the point now where he will just walk up to me during the day and start rubbing my arm for like 3-5 minutes! He is now also doing it to my family members. How can I get him to stop?


Asked by MommyAmbie at 9:32 PM on Jul. 5, 2008 in General Parenting

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Answers (5)
  • My sister is going through this exact same thing. My nephew has to play with someone's fingers to go to sleep. It's been very hard on everyone because he still wakes up at least once almost every night and then someone has to lay with him in his bed. He's 15 mo. old. The older they get the harder it is to get them to comfort themselves. That's why you read a lot about letting them cry it out when they're young. They're learning to self-comfort and that's very important if you want them to sleep independent of you. Now that he's older it will be harder and you'll have to let him cry which will not be fun but it's better to get it over with. If he's rubbing your arm, most likely he's showing you affection and gaining comfort. If you take that away make sure you replace it with special mommy time where you love on him. Then if you don't want him to rub you teach him "no", give mommy a kiss or something like that. God bless.

    Answer by jackimci at 11:35 PM on Jul. 5, 2008

  • I think he is doing it for comfort. my daughter is 18 months, she use to play with the tips of my hair when I breastfeed her. when I stopped she kept playing with my hair, even in the middle of the day. I have to lay with her at night so she can go to sleep because she needs my hair in her little hand. I bought her doll that has really soft hair, so that can substitute me. But she only plays with my hair when she is tired. But i think it is a matter of time till they grow out of it.

    Answer by mommy-in-pink at 9:46 PM on Jul. 5, 2008

  • That is exactly what I have to do with my son. I co-sleep with him and he has to rub my arm in order to fall asleep. When he was a newborn he would sleep in his crib fine, but when he was 4 months he got really sick and would only sleep onto of me in the recliner. After that, I couldnt get him to sleep in his crib. His pedi told me numerous times to just let him cry it out in his crib and that he would get used to it, but it made it worse. The crib became like a negative thing to him. I loved breastfeeding and wouldnt change anything but I think that made him more reliant and needy for me. Plus im a stay at home mom, with him all day long. He wont even let my husband put him to sleep.

    Answer by MommyAmbie at 9:50 PM on Jul. 5, 2008

  • I think that would get annoying after awhile to. I breastfeed my son for two months and now if you pick him up he grabs and plays with them all of the time. I think its just a sercurity thing and they will get over it sooner or later. When I was little I rubbed my moms arms just to do it because it felt cold and I was trying to warm her up. I know its weired but I was like 5 or something.

    Answer by tori1984 at 9:59 PM on Jul. 5, 2008

  • that was is comfort for feeding time get him a buddy doll it help my sister.god bless you honey

    Answer by supermama65 at 10:50 PM on Jul. 5, 2008