Among various other weird habits that babies develop, one is hair pulling. Yes, your little one may develop this habit but there is no need to panic because he may pull his hair or someone else’s hair because of many possible reasons. However, it is important that you help your baby to get rid of this habit. This article discusses, why babies pull hair and what can you do to stop your baby from doing so.
Why Do Babies Pull Hair?
It is normal for babies to pull hair. Some babies may outgrow this habit in time, while others may not. This is when you, the parent will have to step in to help your baby get rid of this habit. Generally, a baby may pull his hair to grab his parent’s attention, but he may pull his own hair if he is tired, sleepy, or irritable. Whatever the reason be, the habit of scratching head and pulling hair in a baby is pretty daunting for the parents. So, if you are wondering why your baby pulls his hair while eating, sleeping, feeding, or doing other such activities, then the answer is simple – just to grab your attention. However, sometimes the hair pulling may be a sign of some serious problem such as ‘Trichotillomania’. Trichotillomania is a medical condition which may be characterised as a compulsive urge to pull one’s own hair. This medical condition requires medical intervention. If you notice this condition in your baby, you should talk to your paediatrician about it.
How to Stop Hair Pulling in Babies and Toddlers
Getting angry at your baby because he is pulling his hair won’t help. Your baby is too young to understand your anger, which is why you need to try something different to help him outgrow this habit. So, here are some ideas that you can try to put a stop to this annoying habit of your little one.
1. Chop Your Baby’s Hair
If you are concerned about your baby’s hair pulling habit, chop his hair. If your baby has long hair, then certainly he may be able to pull them, however, if you feel that you don’t want to chop your baby’s hair, then you may tie your baby’s hair in a ponytail.
2. Exhibit No Reaction
When your baby pulls your hair to grab your attention, and you listen to him, then he may keep doing that again and again. We suggest that whenever your baby exhibits this kind of behaviour, you don’t react to it. Stay quiet and do not react. Slowly and gradually your baby will understand and let go this habit.
3. Try Saying No
Your words matter a lot to your baby. If your baby is pulling his hair and you say ‘NO’ to it, he may obey your command. Whenever your baby starts pulling your hair, pull away from his hand and say ‘no’. Doing this every time will help your baby understand that pulling hair is an unacceptable behaviour.
4. Be Firm
Babies may not understand your language, but they surely understand gestures. If you don’t approve a certain action, you need to make your baby understand that. However, make sure you act consistently and show your disapproval whenever your baby pulls hair otherwise it may confuse him. You need to be firm and consistent in your commands.
5. Replace Positive with Negative
Whenever your child pulls your hair, gently take his hand off your hair. You may take the same hand and let him gently stroke your cheeks or hair. While you do so, you can make pleasing gestures and remarks. This will help your baby understand what behaviour will be liked and what will be disliked.
6. Try and Distract
Sometimes pulling hair may just become a game for your little one and he may enjoy it. You can try distracting techniques here. Try and divert his attention towards another toy or some other activity and soon he will forget and won’t pull his hair.
7. Say it Again and Again
If you were thinking that your baby may understand all about not pulling his hair or pulling your long tresses, in the first go, then we may like to tell you that it may not be the case. With babies, you have to be patient and persistent because they do not understand words. However, when you say something, again and again, it may gain your baby’s attention, and he may stop pulling hair.
Babies come up with all kinds of funny fascinations, and there is no need to worry or panic because they outgrow these habits too with time. However, if your baby is still not giving up this habit, try out some of the above-mentioned tips to help him get rid of this newly acquired habit.
Also Read: Nose Picking in Kids – How to Get Your Kid to Stop It?