My Child Likes to Eat Fuzz

Updated on April 08, 2013
J.L. asks from Euclid, OH
11 answers

My little boy is 21 months old and loves to eat fuzz. The fuzz off of sweaters, blankets, the carpet, etc.. I used to think it was cute and a little funny. Now I feel like he does it all the time. I think it is a comfort thing. Has anyones elses children done this. And if so how long before they outgrew it.

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answers from Lafayette on

I don't really have any advice. But, i will tell you that my son has eaten fuzz for as long as i can remember. He was diagnosed with PDD(ons) [Pervasive Development Disorder (otherwise not specified)]. It falls on the autism spectrum. But it basically means that he displays characteristics of but not enough to give a viable diagnosis. I assume that his diagnosis has something to do with him doing this. By the way he is now nearly nine and still does it.
I am not in anyway saying that you child has this issue I am just telling you what i have experienced.
It could also be a sensory need that he is trying to fill. Oral sensory or something. Call 1st steps and ask them if you can talk with an occupational therapist about it. They might let you do it without an evaluation. They might have tips or theories on why he does it.
sorry I don't have all the answers, but i hope this is a start.



answers from San Francisco on

My daughter started with this habit around 8 months of age, she is now 4 1/2 years and still eats fuzz. I already mentioned to the pediatrician many times and told them how concerned i am about her getting fuzz acumulated in her stomach and getting an infection in the future. He tells me no to worry about it as long as she eats and goes poopoo normally.



answers from South Bend on

Oh honey, he is going to end up with one heck of a hairball in his intestines. It refered to as the Repunzal syndrome. I would talk to his ped about how to break him of this habit. Good Luck



answers from Indianapolis on

My oldest did the same thing at about the same age! He started pulling fuzz off of the throw pillows on our couch, and was licking the touch and feel books that had fuzzy guys. It didn't last long at all; I'd say no more than 4 months or so. We just told him it was yucky and not to do it, but didn't make a big deal out of it or punish. He was a very healthy little guy, so it wasn't pica or anything.



answers from Cleveland on

Ok so I read your request and was going to reply "oh yeah my son does this all the time, no big deal" Now I have read the other posts and am thinking I need to look into this? However, he eats great, there is nothing he won't eat and also takes a daily vitamin. I know he is very healthy, so is it possible it is a texture thing? My mom tells me I also did this as a child, and according to her I said that I did it because "i liked the way it felt".
I did however put my foot down when I realized he was putting them in his nose. We had a talk about how things don't go in your nose, and so far, no more fuzzies have appeared in the nostril.
I will be curious to hear what happens!



answers from New York on

I haven't had a similiar experience but I have heard about this is my studies to become a nurse. Its a disorder called pica, it is characterized by eating non nutritional items and usually accompanies some type of vitamin deficiency. Supposedly, it's the body's way of identifying the deficiency and trying to correct it. Measures to correct the issue are generally simple, not allowing items that have no nutritional value and replacing that habit with a better one. I would recommend talking to your pediatrician to determine if there is a vitamin deficiency and to discuss what to do. However, it depends on your doctor, some say kids will grow out of it while others will try to find the cause. Good luck!



answers from New York on

My daughter is 18 month and will pluck fuzz off of everything and balls it up and will put it against her nose while sucking her thumb, I used to think she was eating it but I do see her pull it out if she gets it accidentally in her mouth. I can understand your situtation. I have hairballs all over the house. We do think it is cute and I even nicknamed her fuzzphiliac.



answers from Merced on

My son does the same he is 17 months chews the fuzz off of blankets, toys, clothes, pillows, he even chews on shredded tags like on pillows. strings of sweaters etc.. i can't figure out why



answers from Charlotte on

I feel so embarrassed, my daughter did it when she was little and I thought it was the cutest thing, and she still does it today and she is 12 years old, and she's in middle school. She will take the fuzz off of the blankets and she will chew the fuzzies and then she will spit them onto the ground, I find them all over the house, she even likes to rub the fuzzies against her face, when she was little she had this little stuffed tiger, and after 2 months that thing was bald. I can't get my daughter to stop. Sometimes I tell her not to do it, she says she can't help it, because she's been doing it for so long, i'm afraid that she's going to be 20 and is still going to be doing it.



answers from Medford on

my 16 month old little girl does the same thing...she is still doing it and would also like to know what might help stop this since it makes her constipated and cranky. thank you from oregon



answers from Steubenville on

hi J...well i know when lil kids eat odd stuff at times they say it could be a deficiency. But i am not sure about 'fuzz'. I would say not to worry too much, my lil boy did like to eat every kinda flower he seen. he tried daisys, lilacs, butterfly bush, dandilion, even the wish flower, petuna. i was pretty sure i didn't have any poison flowers ( cept lily of the valley,) and i kept him away from them. And thank goodness i only had to deal with the issue in the spring and summer. he did outgrow it, it lasted a couple years, but once he realized they tasted pretty icky, he stopped. Oh, and maybe don't make a big production of how icky it is, ever notice how the more you tell a lil kid their bath water is gross, the more they want to drink it. :) GL and god bless