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Preschoolers & Kindergartners What a fun time in life! Time to learn 123's and ABC's. At the same time, they're leaving that babyhood we'll miss so much!

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Old 11-07-2002, 02:35 PM
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Hair chewing

Does anyone have a way to stop hair chewing? Our 2 1/2 dd constantly chews her hair and its grossing us out! I know its a comfort thing like using a pacifier and she will probably give it up eventually but in the mean time I can't stand it.

Tried the usual things like putting her hair up in pony tail but she either pulls it out or grabs on to a handful from the back and chews away. Have even tried putting nasty things in her hair like vinegar and tobasco sauce to defer the taste. Still no luck, she seems to like the different tastes!

Cutting her hair short in NOT an option and I'm losing patience...
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Old 11-09-2002, 01:11 PM
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I would be interested in knowing why cutting her hair is not an option? It is after all, only hair.
By the time it grows back, she would probably be over the bad habit.
We got our daughter's beautiful long blond hair cut after months of combing out knots etc. Yep, it is short - but it is cute and she can grow it out all she wants when SHE is old enough to look after it herself. (Instead of yelling when I tried to comb etc.)
If cutting is not an option, then I would say you will have to continue to telling her not to or put up with the habit. It would be difficult to monitor when it is well, like right there in front of her all the time.....
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Old 11-09-2002, 05:10 PM
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LJsmom - I don't know how long your daughter's hair is but I'm right there with you! I didn't cut my oldest daughter's hair for the longest time. I still haven't cut my 2 years old's hair yet! As for the chewing, I have no idea what to tell you! I noticed my daughter (5) has recently started chewing on her hair! And it's grossing me out too! I just tell her to stop. Luckily, she doesn't do it very often. I'll be interested to see what anyone else has to offer!

Good luck!
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Old 11-09-2002, 05:20 PM
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Put it up in a bun or in barrettes out of her face....maybe something is stressing her out? I have heard of kids that pull out their hair as like a nervous habit maybe when you see her do it distract her don't draw attention to it?
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Old 11-09-2002, 10:03 PM
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hair chewing

With my kids (one chewer and one twiddler was breaking it off short on one side) we were dealing with TS and OCD. They literally could not keep from doing it. We cut their hair off short; (doing our best to even out the twiddler's mess) and found something else to keep them occupied. The hair chewer quit chewing her hair when she was given erasers to play with. She was allowed to twist them; break them into pieces even chew on them at times. It was a written rule in her IEP at school that she be allowed to have an eraser in her hand to keep her calmed down. You may be dealing with a stress helper or you may just be dealing with a bad habit. Try a stress ball. The twiddler could spend hours squishing it into funny shapes and watching it return. The ball was part of her IEP as well. I was dealing with kids who had to have an outlet (kids with TS can often suppress tics when they have something else in their peripheral thought process to sort of concentrate on). Hope this helps.
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:07 PM
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Environmental stress

She is overwhelmed and trying to calm herself down. Cut her hair but ....

1) make sure she sees her pediatrician and gets a good nutritional workup. More protein and less sugar and other refined carbohydrates.

2) better offer her something else to calm herself down with. Mine decided to bite her nails.
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Old 04-30-2003, 01:04 PM
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trichotrillomania

Hair chewing, hair twisting, and hair pulling are placed in a psychology category called trichotrillomania. It's common in preschoolers and usually ends by the time they go to school. Yes, it is a stress reliever. Children don't know constructive ways to deal with anxiety, and this is a common thing for them to do until they learn to adjust.

My 2 y/o is a hair twister and has been since she was born. She played with my hair before she grew her own. It's getting less frequent, but it's especially noticeable when she's tired or right after meals.

If your daughter has enough hair, you could try to put it in braids or if you're really talented, a french braid. It may stay out of her reach a little longer and help her to gain even a few minutes of non-chewing time.

Don't get too frustrated. Mention it to your pediatrician at the annual visit, but don't stress too much. I'm sure it's gross, but there are worse things she could be doing.

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Old 04-30-2003, 01:26 PM
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I agree with mentioning it to her doctor, but you know all three of my daughters has gone through that stage!!! My youngest 3 yo, still does every now and then, I never made a big deal out of it just told them, get your hair out of your mouth!!! But, the older two have completely grown out of it and both of them have hair long enough to chew on!!!!

Just try to distract her and do something else!!!

Karen
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Old 07-12-2006, 07:14 PM
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We are currently going through the same thing with our two year old. I would like to cut her hair a little bit but DH down right refuses to let me (ok, I could just go and do it but that would be wrong).
I have tried putting the front into seperate braids and then putting it all into one big ponytail (if I just put it into a pony tail there are tons of lil whisp that drive me batty all day long) but now she has gone so far as to pull the braids out of the pony tail and chew on them.

I think I am going to set up a doctor appointment with her ped once we get back from vacation to discuss this.
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:17 PM
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I chew my hair from time to time. It just tastes and feels good. I guess it is better than candy with all its sugar and calories. Make sure her hair is clean!
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