health

Spitting, snot eating, nipple tweaking. And you thought your child was odd.

What are the strangest habits that your kids have had?

My oldest child is a hair twirler. Round and round and round it goes. It’s all sorts of adorable mixed with a tiny bit annoying because it is not his hair he likes to twirl. It is mine.

Which can be kind of inconvenient when I have something to do and he wants to twirl.

Mama, I want to hold your hair, he says standing in the line for the checkout.

Mama, I want to hold your hair, he says as we are about to run out the door.

I know it is a habit mixed with a slight bit of anxiety, so I try to ignore him while re-directing his attention to other things. It is one of those things with kids that on some days you find oh-so-endearing, while on others you just want them to STOP.

Kids are weird and wonderful creatures aren’t they? All complete with their own sets of weird and wonderful idiosyncrasies and hair twirling is just the tip of the iceberg.

Cuticle biting and skin picking.

They nail bite, they nail pick and then they cuticle bite till their stubby little fingers are red raw and bleeding.

Skin picking can also take place on other body parts. One child I know manages to get his toes into his mouth and he eats the skin from them. Talented huh?

Hmmm some skin. Yum.

This habit is one to try and discourage as those chubby little fingers could pick up an infection.

Hair eating.

We’ve all seen those weird tabloid stories of people found with massive hairballs in their stomach from eating their own hair.

So when your child starts sucking on her golden locks, your mind begins to tick over. Uh- no.

This is one that should be gently discouraged as it could lead to trichophagy – which is an accumulation of retained hairs in the stomach and digestive tract.

There is also more serious form of hair pulling, called trichotillomania, which involves pulling the hair from the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, and/or pubic areas.

This disorder should be checked out.

Head banging, head rolling and body rocking.

What the?

It is hard to know what to think when your adorable rolly-polly little fella suddenly starts crashing his head against hard objects.

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It usually happens between nine months and two years and can be as much as 80 times a minute.

Scary. This is of those times we are told to just ignore it, if it harms them then try to remove them or distract them and look forward to when they move on.

Nipple tweaking. Yours.

I am just going to tell this straight. Some babies when they get to distracted breastfeeding stage  - around nine months to the age of two - like to play with their mum’s nipple while they are feeding.

Up that other hand goes. The one that isn't adorably cuddling your waist and straight to the un-used boob.

Some mums, at first, find it cute. After all, if you google it you will read that it's similar to the way kittens and many other mammals encourage the let-down reflex in order to obtain more milk.

Where is that other nipple?

Until they start to do it in public.

Then the cuteness may morph into embarrassment.

Oh, I know it's natural. It’s still mortifying when they reach under your shirt in public to “play".

Giving themselves hickies.

Some kids suck – mainly on their arms – until they give themselves hickies.

Odd little creatures.

Again psychologists say we shouldn’t freak out and in most cases, they won’t do it more than once. You can try giving them other sensory objects to engage them – beaded necklaces for instance. Or just look on in horror.

Eating their own snot.

Yes. Oh yes. They do.

It is up there somewhere.

Those sweet little dumplings who make us melt when they waddle past in their onsies also eat their own boogers. Nice.

Lip licking.

They. Just. Can’t. Stop. They lick and pause, and lick and pause and it drives you NUTS. Slurp. Lick. Slurp.

The fact is, in some cases they actually can’t stop. Compulsive licking can start from having simply dry lips and turn into a behaviour that children feel unable to control.

This is one probably worth getting checked out by your GP as it could be require a dose of steroid cream.

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It will stop. But maybe not before you have gone totally bananas.

Kids don't just do strange things they say then too. Watch this video for some of the strangest things children say. Post continues after video...

Throat clearing/eye twitching.

When my middle son started school this year, he began a compulsive anxious gulping that had us all quite concerned. After several visits to the GP it was diagnosed as a normal childhood tic.

Tics are repeated, uncontrolled spasm-like muscle movements, such as eye blinking, grimacing, mouth twitching, nose wrinkling or squinting.

By the end of term his tic had gone away, though when his routine changed in the holidays it briefly returned. The best advice I had was to ignore it - and it worked.

If your child has tic that doesn’t go away then for your own peace of mind go talk to your doctor.

Spit blowing.

Blowing rasberries. Cute on a toddler not so cute as they get older.

Spitting, bubble blowing with saliva, drooling. So many forms that lovely liquid in your child’s mouth can leave it.

When your child is young, it is usually just the result of teething but you might be disgusted shocked to find out that this habit can return in your pre-school child.

With spitting a chat about 'appropriate behaviour' is the best way to start, but sometimes the bubble blowing or drooling can become compulsive and you might need to seek help for strategies to keep it under control.

I am going to FREAK you out with some of the things I will do.

Most experts advise you to generally ignore bad habits as they are often just a coping strategy for stressful situations or occur when kids are bored, tired, frustrated, unhappy, insecure, or falling asleep. Many of these normal habits are actually calming and soothing to the child - just totally weird to us.

Most of the time children grow out of them. Of course some more extreme habits need better management.

If you are concerned always, always trust your mum instinct and see your GP. There is help available.

What odd habits have your children displayed?

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