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Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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Good Morning My lovely daughter is 19 months old - born

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Good Morning

My lovely daughter is 19 months old - born 5 December 2008. she is a very happy and healthy baby, and stays at home during the day - she doesn't go to school. since the age of about 13 months, she started rubbing herself on my leg and now more recently she is using chairs and tables anything that she can rub herself on. I spoke to the peadiatrician about this when we went to see him 3 months ago, when she had a bit of a cold, and he re-assured me that it is just a nice feeling for her, and that I should ignore it and that it would go away. To me it looks like it is just getting worse. What can I do and will this stop, is it normal?

she has no other brothers or sisters and very little interaction with other children. It mainly happens at night time and even though I try to distract her, she will just continue, after I distracted her.

Any suggestions
Hello & Welcome to Just Answers.

All babies and children learn to do what feels good to them - whether thats twirling, playing with their toes, sucking on fingers & thumbs, and masturbating. Some, like your daughter, hone in on masturbating as a pleasurable experience early on and are unlikely to forget it. She'll eventually learn the social norms of when and where she can enjoy that activity, but right now, it's highly unlikely. You'll need to keep distracting her till she can understand the where & when factor.

You can come up with a statement like, "Honey, that's for private time" when she gets a little older, and re-direct her to her room. Not in a 'time out' way, but the same way you would for her to change her clothes.

It can be embarrassing for the parents, but let me assure you, this isn't isolated. There are many children who spend their 3's & 4's with their hands in their pants. It can be a little harder for parents of girls than boys. The only problem is if you suspect that she's being stimulated by another person, and is following their lead. But at her age, this activity is very normal and isn't seen as a sign of suspicious activity.

My best to you.

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