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Q&A:
What should I do when my 14-month-old grinds his teeth and gags himself?

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Question


My 14-month-old is grinding his teeth a lot, and he also gags himself with his hands and fingers. He has actually made himself throw up, and still continues. Can you give me any suggestions on these two behaviors?

Answer


Many young children do these unattractive behaviors as they experiment with their bodies. Try to ignore these behaviors: The more you respond, the more encouraged he is to continue. At this age, your child wants to test the limits of his power, and getting a dramatic response from you tells him that this behavior is powerful stuff indeed. If he's teething, be sure to give him something to chew on. At his 15-month checkup, mention these behaviors to the health care provider to be sure there is nothing else going on. If your child is otherwise social, engaged in the world, and developing normally, you probably have nothing to worry about.  
 
 
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