For about a year now whenever Megs has long sleeves on you see it in her mouth being gnawed on and chewed to pieces! She walks around with soggy, stretched out sleeves most days, looking a bit of a scrat and driving me absolutely mad as she (a) Smells a bit cheesy and (b) tries to talk around her chewing habit and half an arm when you speak to her.
In the summer it was under control, of course she was mainly in T- shirts, but, it is so much more noticeable at this time of year as her wardrobe is mainly long sleeved stuff and jumpers and now is a daily occurrence.
Last autumn she was given (by Grandma) the most gorgeous red shiny raincoat – unfortunately she barely had it 2 months before it was shredded and damaged and looking like tat from our resident sleeve chewer. So now instead of keeping her warm and dry for another season, it instead features in her “quiet book” for church where she practices button fastening and reminiscing of a beautiful coat!
I spend a lot of the day telling her to “stop chewing” or to take her sleeves out of her mouth, to which she laughs, looks a little awkwardly at me and then continues 5 minutes later. I sometimes wonder if she even realises she is doing it? and always wonder the reasoning for it. I know one of Nathan’s sisters did the same for a while and then like most kids quirks, she grew out of it. I have read around the topic, you tend to as a parent when your kid exhibits unwanted behaviours – but explanations involve anything from self soothing to sensory seeking to too fidgety and need to let it out?! I wondered if it was a nervous thing, but Megsie isn’t particularly a nervous child, but rather pretty boisterous and confident. Maybe it is the self soothe path and maybe instead of thumb sucking, hair curling or a fave toy she likes to chew her sleeves? Maybe taking her dummies away at 2.5 has ruined her? Perhaps she likes the taste of Persil? Or maybe like another source I read its sensorial and I need to give her more stimulation? (because apparently rock climbing, dance, park visits, forest walks, crafts, museums and everything else isn’t doing the job).
…but what frustrates more now is that it isn’t just bound to her sleeves – oh no, she has branched out her gnawing habit to her hair, which becomes crusty, which then makes her scream when I try to brush it each morning. She chews the labels, hands, feet and ears of her soft toys and that is just rather disgusting, to be picking up toys soaking wet in drool and then other day when I picked her up from pre school, her collar was all stretched out down to her belly button as she pulled it into her mouth to salivate on
That’s the result now – Her clothes are all stretched out and stained (particularly on the cuffs) and some even are developing holes…she is beginning to look pretty scruffy with clothes like that and scraggly hair! I refuse to buy her new ones only to be devoured the 1st day of wearing.
I don’t know the reason behind it and its driving me a bit mad to see her doing it… do any of you know why? Do your kids do it? Do you know how we can help her stop chewing everything without damaging her for life? PLEASE HELP me and my sleeve / everything chewing child…its like having a puppy only she answers back!