Humping child

Umeima - posted on 04/16/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Ive got a 23 month old and she has this weird habit. When she is tired she hops onto either my leg or rather knee or the the arm of a sofa and starts to hump on it back and forth until she is like in a trance and then falls asleep. It is quiet embarrising since she looks like she is humping my leg or chair. At first I thought it may be her trying to scratch or feeling uncomfortable in nappies BUT Ive throughly wash her and often just let her roam around the house without any nappies to see if it will alleviate any nappy discomfort but she does the same thing. Any ideas what it can be or why she does this and how to stop her- she is to start montessori soon and I cant have her jumping on a teachers knee or anyones knee or leg. I have tried to lift her off me when she does this but she just cries and it is a very effective way of her making herself fall asleep.

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Kris - posted on 02/26/2012

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My 5 year old daughter does the same thing, has been doing it for years. In fact, she is doing it right now. Especially embarassing when it happens on the train table in Sunday School!! She has autism so it may be a sensory thing for her, but I have noticed in the past year that it seems to happen more frequently when she is constipated and needs to have a BM.

Melanie - posted on 04/16/2010

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my doctor says its like masterbation its normal but embarrasing my daughtetr does it on the coffee table and chair im not suppossed to say anything to her but i hate it

Heather - posted on 04/17/2010

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Each of my boys developed different methods of "self soothing" when they were tired. All it means is they find some way to make themselves comfortable/distract themselves while they use up that last little bit of energy. My first son tugged his ears. When he first figured out this "trick" I think he was around 4 1/2 mos old & I called his peditrician cuz he started to do this "out of the blue" and as he did it more often when laid down around nap/bedtime, I thought (and so did my pediatrician) it could be an ear infection because the pressure causes more discomfort when lying down if there's fluid buildup. Went to the doc, nope, beautiful healthy ears. My doc realized it must be a self soothing/sleep habit & sure enough it was. He started to outgrow it when he was around 16 mos. Now my youngest, almost 6 mos, has just started doing a behavior I'm able to recognize as his efforts to figure out self soothing. He lays on his back & bounces his butt/hips up & down. So, yes, this looks a bit odd/disturbing, until you realize what he's doing. He's just bouncing himself the same way that an adult would bounce him if he were being held on their knee. So don't worry, your little one's healthy & developing her own ways to "cope" in the world.

Jenn - posted on 04/16/2010

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One of my daughters rocks herself to sleep sort of on her belly in her crib. I imagine your daughter is doing the same, only on your leg! LOL Perhaps when she starts doing that you could lay her down as she is obviously tired.

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Elba - posted on 10/19/2010

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New member here. Did google search for humping child, and found you guys! My 3 yr old daughter has done this since shortly after she was born. I did many searches but could not find anyone else with kids doing it, because I did not really view it as "humping". Moreso as straining. Searching for that term lead me to many a constipation site, but that's not the issue. Am glad to see that there are other kids doing it. I do agree that it's a coping mechanism to push out excess energy, before falling asleep, rather than cry herself to sleep. That's our peds opinion and it def seems that way to me. She only does it at home though, in order to get to sleep. (naptime and night-time.) She doesn't do it at preschool. I think she realizes it would be viewed as strange.

Brittnii - posted on 04/16/2010

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lol i had the same problem with my daughter only it was stuffed animals. (she likes to sleep with her stuffed animals at night) i came to realize that it was just her way of getting really hyper to make herself fall asleep from the rocking :)) good luck hun! your not alone!

Catherine - posted on 04/16/2010

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I agree with autumn, its a comfort thing and maybe she will stop before she goes to school.

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it seems to me like she is rocking back and forth as a way to fall asleep...like a bottle or special blanket she rocks...just in really odd places.

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