Habits regular actions that performed without any thought, or very little. Examples of childhood habits common in children include thumb or dummy sucking, nail-biting, and needing a comforter.
Children use such habits to comfort themselves when they are fatigued or unhappy. Sometimes they called patterns of comfort.
These patterns also fade away as children grow older. In other situations, it takes a lot of willpower to break the habit, and sometimes the behaviors continue into adult life.
Thumb and finger sucking
Both babies suck their thumbs or toes, sometimes even before birth. Many babies do more of those childhood habits. Many will simultaneously stroke a doll, blanket, or other material, or twiddle a lock of hair.
We may do it when we feel tired, sky, bored, in trouble, or when a tooth is passing by. The skin on the thumb or finger can thicken by sucking or become sore or blistered. Thumb sucking is a harmless habit in a young child and as it is harmless, there is no need to make any attempt to stop it.
If it is overlooked, obviously by the age of 4 the child will very likely grow out of habit. On the other hand, if the parents try to stop the practice, the child would strongly object to removing his thumb from his mouth. When they make a lot of noise the child’s going to do it all the more.
When thumb sucking continues after the age of 5, it may prevent the front teeth from growing properly into place when the permanent teeth come through. Thumb sucking may need to be enough to understand.
Several parents have clear opinions about childhood habits on dummies. Others say a dummy saves a baby from crying as it soothes him and keeps him content. Others think a dummy is a bad substitute for the affection and attention that should be given while the baby is crying.
Another point of view that dummies should not prosecute for being difficult to keep clean and being able to pass on the germs to the baby.
Dummies are generally considered not to do any harm— unless they contain sweet substances for the baby to suck, which will cause the front teeth to weaken.
Many kids give up their dummy between the ages of 1 and 2-if the mother doesn’t continue to encourage their use.
The Need for a Comforter
Many kids have one favorite cuddly toy or piece of material which provides comfort and safety, particularly during bedtime. However, childhood habits scruffy it the child loves it and will get really upset if it gets lost.
The infant may even really distressed if it smells differently after washing. For several years a few kids like their comforters.
So many kids over the age of 3 bite their nails that this can be considered a normal thing to do. Some kids suck their nails without knowing what they’re really doing.
Sometimes, when they’re anxious or stressed or deep in thought. The only damage it does is to make the nails unsightly. The only thing parents can probably do is disregard it.
Nagging or punishing the child usually doesn’t break the habit because the child never knows when he does it. Many kids tend to grow just out of the habit of chewing their nails. For others, avoiding is an effort, and as adults, a few still tend to bite their nails.
Repeatedly banging the head against something hard, perhaps the end of the cot. Childhood habits may make a lot of noise but it does not seem to hurt the child. Padding the end of the cot, or using cot bumpers, helps both to reduce the noise and the possibility of bruising.
Rolling the head from side to side. The hair on the back of the head becomes rubbed off in the process.
Rocking their bodies to and fro, when a young child in a cot does this, the rocking action usually moves the cot across the room and it them bangs repeatedly against the wall.
The cot may need to fix in some way to stop it from moving. Babies are at least 6 months old before these habits appear. If ignored, habits rarely continue after the age of 3 years. Efforts to stop them are likely to make the habits continue for a longer time.
Some parents are worried about these habits. If seriously worried, they should discuss the matter with their doctor or health visitor.
Handling the Genitals
Babies discover the genitals in the same way as they discover their toes, and they will touch and explore in the same way. Because handling the genitals a natural thing for young children to do, there no reason why they should be made to feel naughty or guilty. After all, parents also touch these areas when the child bathed.
If the parents ignore it or subtly redirect the child’s attention to something else, a child will likely play with the genitals less often. Kids slowly come to understand that the parents disapprove. Children get less interested in sexual affairs anyway from age 6 until puberty.
Masturbation (treatment of the genitals for pleasure) only becomes a problem when excess is performed. This can occur when children masturbate for comfort because they’re deeply unhappy, bored, lonely, worried, or afraid. Telling kids that doing it is bad or wrong just makes them more depressed and guilty too.
Habits and tics that begin under stressful conditions can sometimes continue even once the stress is removed. The great news is that if politely approached and mostly dismissed, most will always self-resolve.
A behavior may no longer be a simple habit if it negatively impacts or inhibits the daily functioning of a children’s social relations.