My 3yo niece has developed a weird new habit. She liked to chew on her hair. Is this normal?
Children sometimes develop strange habits and if not curbed at the starting they remain with them for years. One of my cousins son not only had the habit of sucking his thumb but while doing that whoever would be with him (woman), he would hold a strand of her hair and would keep rolling it till the time he would doze off. (and when you get your hair back, you would take hours to unlock them or sometimes would be so badly entangled that you would be left with no choice but to cut them). It happened so, that initially mother did not stop him as that would make the baby go off to sleep in a jiffy without crying and all. But, trust that habit stayed with him even when he was as old as 18. I think, you need to stop her right away. Whenever she chew on her hair, you distract her into doing something else. When she is sitting let her hands be engaged. Give her a toy or a book whenever she chews her hair. You can tell her that if she will not put her hair in mouth, she will be awarded, and when she listens, applaud and appreciate her infant of everyone. http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/habits.htmlRead more
If your niece was only twirling the hair, it would have been alright. However, chewing hair can also signify a condition known as pica, which is a form of some deficiency, mostly zinc or iron deficiency. please consult with a doctor immediately. even though there are no tests to determine if it's pica, it will highlight any deficiency. also, hair strands can get stuck in the system and cause serious health issues. the doctor will also recommend tests to look for the same. http://www.livestrong.com/article/321173-why-do-babies-try-to-eat-their-hair/Read more
i have a friend whose daughter is suffering from a medical condition known as trichotillomania, in which a child starts pulling at and chewing hair. your niece is 3 and it is possible that she accidentally started doing this, and enjoyed it. i would say don't panic yet and instead try to divert her attention. don't tell her to not do it all the time, as it could make her want to do it more. if she does not stop, consult a doctor. you can read more here https://www.trichstop.com/info/children/trichotillomania-in-childrenRead more