Posted by: Chan | 2007/07/19

obsession with eating clothes


my 4 year old son has a problem with constantly putting his clothes, blankets what ever he can in his mouth. I am not sure if he likes the feel of the fabric on his teeth or what it may be but it is a little concerning.

Please could you advise me to what the problem could be.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Chan
It is difficult to say why your son likes to put clothes, or blankets into this mouth, but I would suspect that this is a 'source of comfort' for him, like sucking on a dummy in younger children. Oral satisfaction is an important source of comfort to many people, so he may be doing this because he is anxious or stressed. Try to determine what could be causing stress in his life (changes like going to pre-school, birth of another child, etc) and eliminate it if possible. Explain to him that you understand that he is stressed and that you love him a lot. Gradually encourage him to stop putting materials into his mouth. If he should persevere then it may be a good idea to have him assessed by a child psychologist who will help him overcome his anxiety or fears.
Best regards

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