Scratching is one of the most common behaviors among babies at 6-12 months. Mischievous and naughty toddlers often do not sit still but use their nails to approach and feel surfaces.
Why does my baby scratch everything, especially when they get injured on the sensitive skin due to scratching?
Let’s find the answer in the upcoming parts!
Is It Normal For Babies To Scratch?
Don’t stress this issue since it is normal if your babies often scratch. It’s just an innocent action that illustrates the newborns’ curiosity and perception of everything around them.
While infants often show accidental scratches on their bodies like hair, ears, or faces, toddlers start grooving anything they can reach at.
In general, baby nails are not strong and sharp enough to cause serious injuries. However, frequent scratching at the same skin spot still possibly causes scratch marks or redness.
Why Does My Baby Scratch Everything?
Wonder why my baby scratches everything? It’s when they learn about the texture, softness, or hardness.
The curiosity mostly stimulates them to touch and feel surrounding objects and surfaces.
All things seem to be new and interesting to a newborn baby’s mind. Sometimes, it’s a sign of emotional disorder or just to free their energy.
Build Perception About Things
This is the biggest cause of constant scratching, which is one of the most natural ways for babies to learn and explore the new world on their own.
Babies from 7-12 months gradually build intuition about the characteristics or features of things.
Scratch alongside rubbing is to feel things directly with their hands, helping babies develop the ability to recognize each object.
They can gradually gain a sense of shape, contour, hardness/softness, and roughness/smoothness of surfaces.
Over time, newborns can even be aware of the difference between items. The more curious the toddler, the more creative and sensitive the children will be in the future.
Parents are advised to let their babies enhance their brains in their own way.
Please bear in mind to keep dangerous objects with sharp corners or electrical cords out of your baby’s hands.
Release Excess Energy
Your baby may, fortunately, have a healthy and stable respiratory system.
They get a significant amount of oxygen when breathing, leading to tons of energy accumulated. Of course, an energetic and happy baby always tends to be more active.
Newborns seem unable to do vigorous movements like running, playing sports, etc. Hence, the movement of hands, fingers, and nails is the way for them to release that amount of energy.
Observe to identify whether your little ones are releasing the excess energy by accompanying signs.
You can confirm that your baby scratches for comfort if he/she often laughs, swings his/her arms and legs, makes happy sounds, and has a bright, optimistic facial expression.
Parents should also notice another case in which an infant repressed negative emotions for no apparent reason.
Frustration, stress, irritability, and boredom make babies, especially toddlers, irritable and aggressive.
With cognitive ability not yet fully developed, babies are easily provoked by anything around them.
They use a physical touch of the hand, such as scratching behaviors, to relieve discomfort.
Besides objects, babies will cry and scratch whoever is holding them. Or else they can scratch their skin so hard that it bleeds.
Why do babies scratch you sometimes? After reading this, you may recognize the cause!
What To Do If Baby Scratched Face Bleeding?
Baby skin is extremely sensitive and vulnerable even with child veins on the face. That’s why even the slightest touch can hurt.
With these bleeding scratches, keep calm and quickly disinfect the injured spot for your baby. He or she may not be able to tolerate the sensations of hydrogen peroxide.
Instead, you can use a warm and clean damp towel.
Wrap a towel around your index finger, then dab it on the wound until the blood is clean. Please bear in mind to move your hand as light as possible.
Additional ointments can be applied to promote healing without any hurt. In addition, you can also stick cargo to limit bacteria or your baby’s hands to worsen scratches.
When Parents Should Notice And Stop Their Baby Scratching?
Scratching could be seen as normal in the child’s growth. However, one way or another, parents had better observe and control it.
When you notice that the baby’s scratching intensity is getting more forceful, causing alarming consequences (object damage, skin hurt, bleeding, etc.), try to stop your kid as soon as possible.
Here are some signs that parents should pay attention to.
Baby Constantly Scratch Their Face And Body
Babies do not only scratch other surfaces but also their bodies. The four most frequently rubbed parts are ears, eyes, scalp, and cheeks.
Parents should pay attention to this situation because your baby may be experiencing health concerns, namely fungal disease, ear infection, or inflammation of the pores.
Noticeably, you had better minimize eye scratches to protect your baby’s retinas.
Fungal infections in the early stages may not show obvious scabs but are only expressed through itchy skin.
The itchiness can be more intense over time. The more frustrated the newborn, the more they hurt the infected area.
As a result, the disease gets more serious. In this case, please take a test at the medical center for your baby to find out the wisest cure.
Do not forget to check again whether the pharmaceutical cosmetics (shampoo, soap, etc.) contain harsh chemicals or not!
Baby Scratch Other People
Scratching other people is a behavior that needs to be corrected, especially when a 6-10 months baby is still in the process of forming traits.
The baby may often cry with moms and scratch them or older siblings at home. Parents may unintentionally ignore this behavioral mistake and even see it as a normal act.
However, this carelessness possibly forms bad habits. They may misunderstand that scratching others is harmless and arbitrarily repeat that behavior.
This destructive behavior becomes harder to quit as he/she gets older. That’s why parents should prevent it from now.
Scratching Alongside Shouting, Crying, Or Aggressive Behaviors
Scratching accompanied by angry emotions (shooting, crying) or destructive behaviors (biting, hitting people or objects around) needs to be controlled.
Your baby from 3-12 months old may just be releasing negative emotions.
Or they are symptoms of some dangerous psychological diseases (autism, behavioral disorders, sensory issues, etc.).
As you know, psychological illnesses tend to stick around and significantly impact children’s lives in the future.
If the situation persists, you should seek a psychologist’s assistance. Especially an autistic child needs to be treated and cared for in special conditions.
In sum, why does my baby scratch everything? It’s a way to learn about this world or let go of their energy.
Parents should also rest assured since babies are mostly developing their brains and cognitive abilities in these months of age.
Parents can, at the same time, let their happy baby freely develop their curiosity while gently limiting strong and uncontrollable scratching.
Please observe to avoid scratches affecting the baby and everyone around.