Hey, moms! My 14-month-old for the past two months will not stop pinching her nipples.
I noticed shes leaving little bruises sometimes on her tater tots, which is why I’m trying to get her to chill out. All I find online is referencing breastfeeding moms with twiddling.
Any of you moms dealt with this? And what was your personal movement with it? I don’t mind it, but she’s being a little rough with it! Thanks."
RELATED QUESTION: How Can I Teach My Toddler Not to Hit or Bite?
TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):
“Sadly, my now-20-year-old did this when she was younger… yes she was breastfed, it started when she was a little more than a month old. She would try to squeeze mine as she fed off the other. I’d move her hand away each time. So she began doing it to her own. Although at first I thought nothing of it, by the time she was two (still nursing) I realized what a bad habit this was. She only squeezed her right nipple as she’d nurse. Over time I’d redirect her physical behavior and try to give her something to keep her hands busy, but soon noticed she was doing it while watching TV, on car rides, or self-soothing to sleep. Unfortunately, she now has one huge nipple and one “normal” nipple. She hates it and is embarrassed by it. Her 18th birthday she decided to pierce her nipples so they were both “hard” looking constantly. Stop it while you can.”
“Honey, ask her doctor. People are so judgemental these days and the first thing most people think is she’s being abused. There are way too many negative Nancies out there and most of them probably don’t have kids.”
“Self-harm releases endorphins that help the individual feel better it becomes a coping mechanism. It can be difficult to treat children who self-harm because it is such an effective technique for the child. Regardless of the reason for the behavior whether emotional or social the harm becomes a part of who they are and how they identify themselves. Find out if there is a certain time that she does this? After not getting her way, ignored etc… It could be a way of getting your attention. It does however need to be addressed with the child’s doctor.”
“She may have an allergy or itchy tater tots… maybe show her how to put lotion on them…they are obviously bothering her. Take her to the doctor if you feel it’s not usual… don’t listen to these yahoos that wonder has she been touched… go the medical route first.”
“My daughter did this for months and it drove me crazy! I always kept a shirt on her but sometimes she would do it through her shirt. I just always told her please don’t pinch your boobies(she calls mine that). She literally just stopped one day. They are also very sensitive at that age, their whole body.”
“You could always put mittens on their hands; it won’t pinch as hard.”
“My 4yo calls them her ‘boobie knuckles’! Maybe a sensory thing? Does she express any other behaviour that isn’t typical?”
“Try giving her a blanket or something she can stroke instead to self-comfort.”
“Bandaids over them? I never had this problem but maybe if she can’t feel them she won’t grab them? Just a thought. Hope everything works out!!!”
“Maybe get her some squishy stress release toys! Right when you see her about to pinch, introduce a toy. Have her distracted with that. She’ll forget about it!”
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