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Son Loves to Touch Ears of Others and Himself

I have never seen this before...my son who is 2 1/2 loves to touch ears! He will touch whomever ear's are next to him or if there is no one around HIS! He has done it since he was just about born. His brother who just turned one even gets it done to him. My mom says it's anxiety but he does it even when he is relaxed it seems. He will just snuggle up to you on the couch and go for your ear. Is this normal? Is this anxiety? I don't mind it really, just wondering what ya'll think about it. Thanks!

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This is the first Request I have posted and was happy to see so many positvie responses. This is a great forum for moms and I really appreciate you all. Thanks!!

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L.,

Its a comfort thing to him. It isn't anything to worry about- he will grow out of it. I have a cousin who did this and it was just comforting to him. Sometimes its elbows, ears, fingers etc. Kids just do what makes them feel good.

Take care,

M.

1 mom found this helpful

My son-in-law, who is in his 30s, has always liked the feel of ears, too. He says he always liked to touch ears, especially the ear lobe, when he was a little boy, too. He is a perfectly normal grown man & great husband & father, so I don't think i woiuld wory about it.

Hi L.. My name is L. and I also have a 5 year old daughter who loves anyones ears. As long as the person allows her to do so. I can tell you she gets this from me, because I to love people's ears! I am almost 39 years old. I guess I never thought of it as an anxiety thing, because I always touch my kids and husbands. I love to feel them when they are cold.I've always thought it was because I love them, not anxiety. The only problem I've had with this I've had to tell her to please stop touching her little brothers ears, or maybe some other little kids. Other than that for us it's just who we are. Good luck!Feel free to contact me any time!!!
L. S

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L.,

Its a comfort thing to him. It isn't anything to worry about- he will grow out of it. I have a cousin who did this and it was just comforting to him. Sometimes its elbows, ears, fingers etc. Kids just do what makes them feel good.

Take care,

M.

1 mom found this helpful

L., awwww so cute. I know you wonder though what is going on. My son loves feet. He will laugh at the same time while he tries to put his mouth over your toes if you have them up on an ottoman. When he starts to go to sleep he has to go through the whole naming of body parts on the face. Then he has to show me where mine nose, ears, mouth etc are. It could be worse. As long as they aren't rough and pulling on the ears(body parts)or hurting others i wouldn't worry about it. My son is now 2.5yo and a few months back he use to walk around with his hands over his ears. I thought he might have an ear infection or something else was bothering him. Dr said he is just exploring and ears are a sensitive part of the body and it gives them pleasure. Its their way of soothing themselves. heehee. Good luck!

SAHM 39 with a super active 2.5yo son and baby due in July.

He would enjoy the plant called "Lamb's ears". very fuzzy and soft.

I was reading all of your great responses and it sounds like you're not alone. It is very cute and you'll always remember your son for doing these special things. As for when he's around other children or if you have to think about daycare you might think about getting him an animal with ears that he can play with instead of the other children. My daughter recently gave up her binky and we got her this very soft monkey attached to a blanket and she loves it. I think it's all a soothing technique and that's always good if they can self soothe.
Good luck and enjoy these times. =)

I used to do the same thing when I was little! The funny thing is, I absolutely hate having my own ears touched, even now! :) Don't worry, he'll stop touching everyone else's ears when he develops a little impulse control.

My son has done this since he was breastfeeding and hasn't stopped, he's almost 5 now. It calms him the way some kids suck their thumb. Our ears have become so oversensitive that I can't have anyone come near them without flinching!!
It's totally normal, so the doctor says, and he will eventually grow out of it!
V.

Hi L.,

One of my nieces did the exact same thing! If you were holding her she would be rubbing your ears, if she were alone, she would be rubbing her own. It was cute, but my sister always thought it a little odd. She is 7 now and I can't remember the last time I saw her touch an ear. I guess she probably grew out of it around 4? One other thing - I used to work with children with special needs and several behavior modification specialists claimed that rubbing the ears stimulates connections in the brain - so it could be a good thing, after all!

My cousin used to do the exact same thing along with sucking her thumb. She is now 16 and does not do it anymore. But from when she was little she did the ear rubbing thing. She preferred other ears but resorted to her own at bedtime or nap time. We all assummed it was a comfort thing. Instead of having a blanket to cuddle with or a stuffed animal she would rub ears. She turned out fine. The only thing is that the ear she normally played with has much more flexablity. The cartilege didn't form to be as stiff as normal. That isn't a big deal to her.

Hi,
One of my friends has a young daughter. My friend has told me that she knows EXACTLY when her daughter is ready for a nap because she starts to touch her ears or her mommy's ears whenever she feels tired. When I first heard that I thought it was odd, but now that I read your post I guess it is not that uncommon. I would not worry about it.

My son who is almost 2 (Luke) likes to take inventory of our face parts. He touches our ears, eyes, nose, mouth as we name them. He enjoys it but it is not excessive. When I put him to bed and lay down with him it is our bedtime ritual to go through the parts of mommies face. Sounds pretty normal unless you think he is doing it to cope with certain situations. If you think it is anxiety then I would bring it up to your dr to see how you can help him. If he just likes ears then it sounds like discovery.
Good luck!

When I met my husband, he would always touch my ears. I didn't understand why he liked it so much because it is not a sensation that I particularly like. Then I met my husband's father and he liked to do the same thing. Now we have a 4 year old son who not only bends and touches his own ears, but likes to touch other people's ears. It is so funny! In our case it seems to be genetic. Everyone has things that they do to give them comfort and relax. My friend's daughter twists her hair and the hair of anyone sitting next to her especially when she is tired. Those of us that are not "ear people" find it hard to understand. But it is quite normal in my family.

LOL awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! You have to admit it's cute. My son holds his ear while he feeds. I think it's just a comfort thing, like some kids have a blankie, he wants to tug on an ear! Just be mindful... only takes 13 pounds of pressure to rip an ear off!

Ditto to what everyone else has said. Don't worry about it, he's just attracted to ears. It could be worse.. lol... just shrug your shoulders and don't make a big deal about it.

When I was a little kid I sucked my thumb and I would hold my ear or whomever else's was near by. If my ear got warm I went on the hunt for a fresh cold one. Anyone sitting next to me when I was sleepy was targeted. The pets ears were not even safe from my grasp. I also loved my blanket with a satin trim. I would hold on to it and run the cool satin through my fingers. This was a comfort thing. To this day I still am comforted by running my pets cold ears through my fingers and tugging affectionately on my loved ones ears. My kids also had their own little comforting rituals. It's basically just like a security blanket. It is calming and probably produces endorphins.

So cute ! My 2 year old son does the exact same thing .... and also for as long as I can remember. He does it most when he is tired, or of we are snuggling reading a story. I don't think it was anything to do with anxiety .... Im think it is a soothing comfort type thing for him. My husbands mother says my husband used to do the exact same thing when he was yonger ! Always playing with peoples ears and faces.

Hi, I don't think this that uncommen actually. My daughter has been doing the same thing since she was an infant as well. And I don't think its anxiety. I strongly think its they're "comfort blanket". Does your son suck his thumb, use a pacifier, have a stuffed animal or blanket he can't live without? If not, then playing with ears is his comfort blanket so to say. I know my daughter doesn't have or do any of that, she just likes to play with ears to relax her. I don't think you should worry about this. I think its cute

I am 15 I found this page researching my ear issue. I believe it is a comfort thing. There is a oddly comforting sensation to particularly cold ears. Some areas like the upper arm and cheek may be easier to cope with as your son gets older. He should get better about it as he grows up but it may not go away completely. I've delt with this my whole life.

My almost 3 year old does it too! Usually with a sippy cup in hand. When he was little I always thought he had ear infections but then I realized it was just a source of comfort for him. My older son had a binky, Mason (almost 3) has his ear. Much better then breaking the binky or thumb. I say enjoy it - it's actually kind of cute :-)

That really is cute. With my daughter it's noses and lips. I've made a game out of it that every time she touches my nose I blow a raspberry. She giggles like made ever time.

My 5-year old son also likes to touch others on the ears and shoulders- it just means that physicality is important to him. That is how he connects with others. When he stopped nursing at 2 1/2, he knew he could no longer touch my breasts but he can touch my ear lobe- that calms him down and it is a safe place to touch. We also discovered that his need to touch has extended to making him very active physically. That is a good thing.

N.- mother of a 5 and 21 year old boys- hoping for another child!

Hi L. -
My now 14 year old daughter did the same thing. I have pictures of her asleep in my arms holding my ear. And she also did it to her Dad, Grandparents and Aunts/Uncles. It's a comfort thing, I think. They just are holding you close. Enjoy your Baby!
Sincerely,
Patti b

Hi L..

My 7 year-old son used to do that. He would rub anyone's ear between his two fingers while sucking on the fingers of his other hand. He grew out of it when he was about 5. At first it kind of freaked me out because he did it to everyone, even people he didn't know very well. But out of my two boys, he is the most affectionate and still, at 7, loves to cuddle. I know of two other boys at my church who do it too, so I think it is very normal. I think some kids just need that closeness and affection. If he continues doing it when he gets "too old for it" in your eyes, just have a gentle talk with him about letting people have their privacy. My son got yelled at a few times from people (kids) who didn't want to be touched. I talked with him a couple of times and he doesn't do it anymore, but is still a cuddle-bug! I love it.

I met a child about the same age as your son that had that same behavior.It seemed to relax him. I don't know if he still does it or not. Unique! J.

My son did it too, usually while he was winding down from the day. He'd kind of wrap his fingers around mine or his dads ear while snuggling, and then his own when he was trying to go do sleep. Started when he was around 1 and lasted until he was about 5. Very affectionate boy. Never found it weird.

I have identical twin boys and out of the blue one of them just started liking ears. Often touching his brothers then his dad's. Then other kid's at his daycare. Usually when he is in a real good mood, during play time, he has to touch another kids ears or when he is content watching TV sitting next to a family member. He'll even tell you, he likes cold ears! The funny part to me, is that he has never seen this behavior from anyone before, but, my mom loves cold ears! I remember being a kid and sitting in the car with her driving, and she'd just reach over with her arm on the back of the seat and casually touch my ears....only if they were cold! This is a relief to know this odd gene (if there is a genetic link to this at all) isn't limited to my crazy family!!!

He sounds very affectionate. I would simply look at this way: Why ears in particular? They are like little handles on the ones we love. If you want to hold onto that person, what better place than the part that sticks out practically begging to be touched.

Well I realize this comes somewhat late, since I wasn't home this weekend to read my e-mails. But I decided to respond anyhow.
My son used to love to play with his father's ears. He would sit on his lap and reach up a hand to my husband's ears and repeatedly bend them in half. He also had a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal that he loved to squeeze the ears on as well. Since my husband didn't mind, we just kind of ignored it. And of course in time it decreased in frequency and eventually it went away altogether.
So at this time in life, the son is 29 and his father has died. Your story brought back fond memories for me of a man who truly loved his son. Thanks for your concern, but in my opinion, the baby will be fine.
A.

I have heard of this from others and it is just his way of relaxing/soothing himself. Hopefully your family members will understand this and not see it as an intrusion into their personal space. As long as he understands that he can't do this to non-family members he will outgrow it.

Hi L.. My name is L. and I also have a 5 year old daughter who loves anyones ears. As long as the person allows her to do so. I can tell you she gets this from me, because I to love people's ears! I am almost 39 years old. I guess I never thought of it as an anxiety thing, because I always touch my kids and husbands. I love to feel them when they are cold.I've always thought it was because I love them, not anxiety. The only problem I've had with this I've had to tell her to please stop touching her little brothers ears, or maybe some other little kids. Other than that for us it's just who we are. Good luck!Feel free to contact me any time!!!
L. S

Don't worry, it is a sweet, affectionate and natural thing. My 3 1/2 year old son holds just under my chin on my neck when we cuddle or if he is tired. He also does it to his nanny and my mom. My God daughter used to touch ears of those she loved when she was little and I have a friend that her 2 year old son can't keep his hands off of her hair, he is constantly stroking it. In my experience it is a soothing and relaxing action that shows love and affection. Enjoy it!

J.

Hello, don't worry about it, my son had done it since he was 3 months old and now he is almost 10 years old. he does it when he is nervous, tired, happy , worry. I tried many things to take this habit away but I realize that this is his security blanket so why take it away from him. The only thing is to make sure you tell him to not do it to others. Mine does it to family members sometimes he might forget but make sure you remind him daily. Don't worry about it, eventually he will stop.

My son-in-law, who is in his 30s, has always liked the feel of ears, too. He says he always liked to touch ears, especially the ear lobe, when he was a little boy, too. He is a perfectly normal grown man & great husband & father, so I don't think i woiuld wory about it.

Sounds like it is comforting for him...much better than a blanket or stuffed animal that could get lost or torn and SO much better than thumb sucking. I wouldn't discourage it. My son always rubbed his ear when he was tired...it was a great nonverbal cue that I needed to put him to bed.

Hi L.,

My daughter used to do the same thing, she loved to "clean" her and everyone else's ears. She eventually out grew it. I think it is a comfort thing.

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