I have a 24 month old who began pulling out her hair at approximately 15 months old. She would do it when she got tired at night or bored or aggitated, seemingly to comfort herself. She has also been eating it, though fortunately has not developed a bezoar (sp.?). Her habit comes and goes and she will pull her hair often for about a week, then stop for a while. She will always pull it if she is put to bed without being asleep or if she is left in her crib for any amount of time when she wakes up in the morning. I still rock her to a sound sleep each night to keep her from pulling and eating her hair. I do find hair in her diaper occassionally, even taking this precaution, and am looking for help in getting her to stop.
I told her doctor about it at her 15th month visit and she suggested sewing mittens to her pajamas so she couldn't pull her hair while groggy, and suggested continuing to rock her to sleep and get her as soon as she made any noise upon waking. I thought it a little cruel to sew mittens on so I did not do it, but followed her other advice. At her 18 month visit she was still pulling her hair occassionally, but I had not noticed her eating it for a while so her doctor told me to continue what I was doing and we would see how it goes. She mentioned Trich? but thought she was too young for that, and that the eating was not consistent with that disorder. I am worried that she is going to develop a bezoar mostly, and also about why she does it. She used to pull and run he fingers through my hair while I nursed her between 11 and 14 months, when I stopped nusring her, and this seemed to develop soon after. If it is known that children can develop a bezoar from eating their hair, what info can you give on why they do eat it? Other than this she is perfectly happy and her learning curve is high. She is our only child and is exclusively with me or my husband as caregivers. We also have my 37 year old brother who has Downs Syndrome living with us who is never far from her side, and reads to her. She eats well and has regular bowel movements. My husband believes it is just something that will pass, but I would like to learn how to prevent her from at least eating her hair so she does not develop a bezoar. Thank-you.