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HappyEverAfter 09:27 AM 09-26-2017
I have a 4mth old DCB who I've noticed has some behaviors I find curious. He always sleeps with his left hand rubbing his left cheek. A lot of his outfits have hoods on them and if so, he prefers to have them on his head at all times and will fuss if it isn't pulled up. He will even use a hand to hold the hood to his head, rubbing the fabric against his skin/hair. He takes his burp cloth (which is old, soft flannel) and clutching it like a blanket, will cover and rub his face with it all the time (I never leave him unattended like this and if he is playing with the burp cloth he has my full attention). Yesterday I noticed that he has started pulling his own hair on the left side and not out of fussiness but more like it's comforting to him. He has a soft, stuffed monkey rattle that he plays with but usually he is just rubbing it on his face. All of these things combined make for a full day of face/head rubbing for him. My 5mth old baby doesn't do anything like this and no other baby I've cared for has done any of these things so consistently. I'm starting to wonder if it's a sign of some sort of sensory issue. He just seems so focused on soft fabrics and rubbing his face, especially on the left side. Is this normal baby behavior or something I should keep an eye on and speak up about if it progresses further?
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Ariana 09:35 AM 09-26-2017
Sounds to me like he is left to self soothe a lot at home. What are the parents like?
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HappyEverAfter 09:41 AM 09-26-2017
Originally Posted by Ariana:
Sounds to me like he is left to self soothe a lot at home. What are the parents like?
They are super overprotective, never want to put him down kind of parents. I don't see him being left to self soothe at home and I only watch 3 kids so he gets ample attention here. It could very well just be nothing at all and he just likes to rub soft fabrics on his face but it's just done so consistently that it's seeming odd to me.
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Ariana 09:44 AM 09-26-2017
Originally Posted by Starrygirl:
They are super overprotective, never want to put him down kind of parents. I don't see him being left to self soothe at home and I only watch 3 kids so he gets ample attention here. It could very well just be nothing at all and he just likes to rub soft fabrics on his face but it's just done so consistently that it's seeming odd to me.
Ah ok! Could just be a sensory thing then. Only time will tell
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Blackcat31 10:29 AM 09-26-2017
I've had infants like that before....

Some are just more sensory seeking than others.

Like sucking thumbs and/or fingers, looking for satin or soft materials edges on their blankets....I've even had a few that like to chew on crochet type blankets etc...Had one that liked to pick at mom's finger nails..

The most recent baby I had was super into rubbing fabric and burp clothes on their face as well.

I wouldn't think much about it unless it becomes excessive or obsessive. Also great that he's never out of eye sight when he does have a cloth.
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daycarediva 10:42 AM 09-26-2017
Sounds like DS as a baby. He loved those minky/plush fabrics. He was cloth diapered and would even wiggle past the pants and into the onesie to touch the fabric on his minky diapers.

He has no sensory issues now that he's older.
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LysesKids 11:05 AM 09-26-2017
Originally Posted by Starrygirl:
I have a 4mth old DCB who I've noticed has some behaviors I find curious. He always sleeps with his left hand rubbing his left cheek. A lot of his outfits have hoods on them and if so, he prefers to have them on his head at all times and will fuss if it isn't pulled up. He will even use a hand to hold the hood to his head, rubbing the fabric against his skin/hair. He takes his burp cloth (which is old, soft flannel) and clutching it like a blanket, will cover and rub his face with it all the time (I never leave him unattended like this and if he is playing with the burp cloth he has my full attention). Yesterday I noticed that he has started pulling his own hair on the left side and not out of fussiness but more like it's comforting to him. He has a soft, stuffed monkey rattle that he plays with but usually he is just rubbing it on his face. All of these things combined make for a full day of face/head rubbing for him. My 5mth old baby doesn't do anything like this and no other baby I've cared for has done any of these things so consistently. I'm starting to wonder if it's a sign of some sort of sensory issue. He just seems so focused on soft fabrics and rubbing his face, especially on the left side. Is this normal baby behavior or something I should keep an eye on and speak up about if it progresses further?
I don't allow hooded outfits because it's a hazard in infants, especially during nap; Hooded coats for outdoor play yes, but not hoods attached to a shirt. Other discussions on here about them too
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CalCare 01:58 PM 09-26-2017
I rubbed my hair from my right side only, against my cheek and nose, for years. I naturally go to twirl my right side hair now lol no interest in my left lol When I was in my 20's I got embarrassed about my hair twirling habit so I started to wear my hair up constantly. Eventually it petered off somewhat. I still unconsciously go for it when my hands are free and hair down. I notice it at red lights haha it's embarrassing.
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HappyEverAfter 02:07 PM 09-26-2017
Originally Posted by LysesKids:
I don't allow hooded outfits because it's a hazard in infants, especially during nap; Hooded coats for outdoor play yes, but not hoods attached to a shirt. Other discussions on here about them too
Thanks for the tip! I'd wondered about the hood being a hazard but no one else seemed to think it was an issue. I'll start taking the hooded outfits off at nap time.
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HappyEverAfter 02:08 PM 09-26-2017
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I've had infants like that before....

Some are just more sensory seeking than others.

Like sucking thumbs and/or fingers, looking for satin or soft materials edges on their blankets....I've even had a few that like to chew on crochet type blankets etc...Had one that liked to pick at mom's finger nails..

The most recent baby I had was super into rubbing fabric and burp clothes on their face as well.

I wouldn't think much about it unless it becomes excessive or obsessive. Also great that he's never out of eye sight when he does have a cloth.

Thanks! 😊
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nannyde 03:54 PM 09-26-2017
Cloth addict.

Hoodies are dangerous.

Either have him sleep in a sleeper that is cuffed at the hands or make a footed sleeper that is a size up and sew the sleeves shut. That way he has cloth on his hands and he doesn't resort to pulling hair.

He can put the hands to the face.

I make picking shirts:

https://www.daycare.com/forum/showth...ghlight=shirts

https://www.daycare.com/forum/showth...hlight=picking
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storybookending 04:00 PM 09-26-2017
My cousins child took one finger and twirled her hair but only on one side constantly!! When she was 1ish they put it in pigtails and you could just see how much more hair she had on the side she didn't twirl. She's 5 now and it's evened itself out but sometimes I still will catch her when she's overtired stick her finger in her hair.
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Blackcat31 04:51 PM 09-26-2017
Originally Posted by nannyde:
Cloth addict.

Hoodies are dangerous.

Either have him sleep in a sleeper that is cuffed at the hands or make a footed sleeper that is a size up and sew the sleeves shut. That way he has cloth on his hands and he doesn't resort to pulling hair.

He can put the hands to the face.

I make picking shirts:

https://www.daycare.com/forum/showth...ghlight=shirts

https://www.daycare.com/forum/showth...hlight=picking
Let's discuss...

How come you would prohibit rather than just let it be unless as I said it becomes excessive or obsessive?
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storybookending 05:42 PM 09-26-2017
My cousins child took one finger and twirled her hair but only on one side constantly!! When she was 1ish they put it in pigtails and you could just see how much more hair she had on the side she didn't twirl. She's 5 now and it's evened itself out but sometimes I still will catch her when she's overtired stick her finger in her hair.
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Mom2Two 05:58 PM 09-26-2017
Pulling out hair is actually a "thing" with a dx. I can't remember what it's called, but one of my dcg has been doing it and her parents have had to give her an (almost) buzz cut twice since she was here to break her from the habit. She's 3.5 now and I think she's over it.

If he's actually pulling out his hair, I would consider doing a little research so you can talk to the parents about it.

Personally, I'd rather keep my kiddo's hair super short for a few years and not have to deal with this.
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HappyEverAfter 06:01 PM 09-26-2017
I'm not concerned about stopping him from doing these things, I just was curious because I had never seen other babies do this so regularly. The hoodies I will address since that could be dangerous but the other things I'll continue to let him do since they aren't currently harming him. I will watch over the next several months and make sure the behaviors don't become obsessive issues where he can't function without doing them but until then, he can continue.
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nannyde 06:47 AM 09-27-2017
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Let's discuss...

How come you would prohibit rather than just let it be unless as I said it becomes excessive or obsessive?
I'm not prohibiting it. I just modify it so that the "comfort" doesn't turn into the baby blocking out the rest of the world so they can get their cloth fix. I don't want their happiness to be dependent on cloth.

In my experience it escalates as they age. It doesn't get better. I've had a number of these kids and their backstory is usually the same. Parents let them sleep with cloth to the face or even a blanket over their face. Parents promote blankets as their favorites... get them to sleep with them from birth... have them latched all night to the nipple and then have their blankets over their faces or up to their faces so they can suck all night and have cloth to the face.

By putting the cloth directly on his hands he has access to that feeling and it blocks escalation to hair pulling.

I let them get their cloth on when they are upright in a bouncy seat or baby chair. I use little squares of cloth with the edges lined in satin cloth or cloth with rubber chews at the corners. Most of them don't go for it. Some try to get the cloth over their head but it won't stay for long so they surrender.

I've had babies who are so addicted to laying on cloth that they will slump over in a bouncy seat just to get their face on the seat cloth or push their face over to the side of the infant seat to get to the cloth on the head rest or sides of the seat. If they are in a play yard that is on a blanket instead of directly on the floor they will face plant the blanket even when they are surrounded by hundreds of dollars worth of the best infant toys ever made. They won't touch a toy unless it is cloth and they don't PLAY with it... they put it to their face.


I've also had kids who twisted hair. Even boys with very short hair they will grab it and pull. Picking shirts block that.

Cloth to the palm of the hand is usually very comforting to them... ime BUT... they have to do the work of keeping it at their face and it is a small surface area so it is not covering their face as they are used to.

Once they go home it's all cloth all the time so the small window of the day when they are at my house they have a break from it. I don't see it as comfort. My experience is more of babies with fixations. Fixations escalate and their happiness plummets without their fixations.

I also have a general philosophy that comfort items for the most part aren't really comforting the child. From my experience kids who are addicted to xyz use it as a block between them and the real world. I would rather they play toys on a blanket, play toys while on belly time, suck toys as infants etc than to spend every second trying to soothe themselves when their is nothing going on that should make them need to soothe. My environment is calm, loving, with tons of manipulatives and outdoor time. The food is good. The temp is right. The adults are loving. The schedule is good. Their diapers are changed. They have comfort in everything we do. They don't need fixation on comfort items in a really comfortable environment... not at full force anyway. A little here and there but I want the majority of their time focused on everything else we have to offer instead of comforting themselves exclusively with something and shunning the rest of our world.
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Tags:infant - behavior
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