Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hair Problems

Can anyone give me some good advice on how to deal with this? C is a thumb sucker & when she sleeps she sucks her thumb & twists the hair on the sides of her head until it breaks off. I am not sure how to get her to stop this, but she has bald patches. Anyone have any good suggestions? I took these photos of her the other night before bed & showed them to her so I hope that helps but any advice would be most welcomed. I have quit using hair elastics of any type in her hair for puffs or cornrows as that just makes it too easy to get ahold of to twist. The rest of her hair is thick & not affected it is just the two sides that are being damaged. This is not a new habit from the stress of having a new family or life. When we picked her up she had very short, very little hair on the sides but since being home she has continued this habit. I am finding a couple of little balls of hair on her bedroom floor every morning almost. Help!

She does have very dry hair & dry patchy spots on her scalp but I think hair twisting is more of a self soothing habit & not a symptom from the dry hair / scalp issues.

Any ideas on how to get her to stop sucking her thumb? I have tried telling her that her fingers will get owie & put lotion & band aids on her thumbs, but the band aids end up off. I also told her it was making her teeth crooked - still no difference. I have also tried putting socks on her hands at night & that works for a bit but eventually the socks come off too. This is my first child that is orally fixated on a thumb or pacifer so I am not sure how to break this habit either. She seems to not even be aware of doing it, but as soon as she is upset or tired her thumb goes into her mouth & the other hand goes for her hair.


Lisa said...

Hey Laurie: I do not know how to stop the hair thing, but Ellie was a thumb sucker and despite everyone telling me to get her to stop, I just told her she would stop when she was ready. And she did it on her own and quit cold turkey. She quit without telling me, and then told me, "Mom, I haven't sucked my thumb for 9 days!" (she only did it to fall asleep.) She reminded me of a 12 stepper quitting an addiction! Anyway, the bad news is she was 6 when she quit, but she never ever did it again. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

My youngest daughter came home from Haiti in October and was a thumb-sucker. She was just over 2 1/2. I didn't even attempt to break the habit for the first few months as she needed that thumb for comfort. In January, I started with no thumb during the day and let her suck it at night. It took a few weeks to stop the day time sucking. I just took the thumb out of her mouth everytime I saw it and said "No thumb, pa fe sa".
My new thing for the past few weeks is no thumb in my bed (she usually crawls in around 4 to finish her sleep) and then we will work on the full night without. I was a thumb-sucker myself (until about grade 1) so can empathize with her but still want to break the habit as her teeth are already showing some effects.
Does your daughter wear a "sleep hat" at night? Mine do and it does seem to help. I would strongly suggest getting it checked at the doctor though as my daughter did have a bacterial infection on her scalp when she came home that did cause some sores, scratching and discomfort. Hope that helps. Your children are gorgeous by the way!!!