Why does my baby twiddle her hair?

My little girl has a bald patch at the back of her head where she twiddles her hair. The patch is growing as she twiddles the hair next to the patch now! Why does she do this and how can I stop it?

Hair twiddling is a very common behaviour and is thought to be a way for the baby to reduce stress. You will often see babies playing with their mother’s hair while feeding. Babies seem to find it a very soothing activity. So you may notice that your daughter is more prone to twiddling when she is tired or grouchy, as a way to try and soothe herself. Have a few distracting activities ready for the next time she twiddles, and see if you can reduce the amount of twiddling with this technique.

There is very little you can do about this. Most children do grow out of this behaviour. Cutting her hair very short just for a while may be enough for her to find other ways to comfort herself. It may be a good idea to give her a toy with long hair at the same time that you cut her hair, and see if she transfers the behaviour.

In addition, you could experiment with extra soothing activities. Babies do have very active lives and perhaps you are underestimating the amount of calming, quiet play that she needs. Especially at bedtime, it may be worth extending the bathtime routine to include a gentle massage, and some extra reading and cuddling time. If you persevere with this for a few weeks, you may notice a decline in the amount of twiddling.

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*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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