Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Is This Weird?

Posted by Anonymous.

If you'd like to use this space to tell stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal mind, anonymously or otherwise, send me an e-mail and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement.


I love my baby (ok, maybe not a baby…more like a toddler…16 months) but who doesn’t? Every mom has their struggles. Why can’t I get baby to nurse? Why won’t this kid eat anything but bananas? When do I potty train? Why? When? How? Yes I’m a new mom. Yes lots of questions. I think I’m doing a fantastic job, and so is my husband. Our son's vocabulary is amazing…he counts…he’s charming…he rarely fusses…he smiles all the time…he really is a good baby. We are lucky. That doesn’t mean life is dandy in babyville…no wait…it is.

There is just this one problem.

Said baby likes to…well…it’s embarrassing...and…see…that’s the problem…well…he…likes to…HUMP! There I said it. My kid is a humping machine.

He doesn’t hump in public, thank god. He only humps at home. He humps in the morning. He humps at night. Sometimes he humps in the afternoon. Sometimes we go days without humping. Sometimes we go days on end with humping. What triggers the humping is unknown.

HUMPING: How does he hump? Well, he lies face down on the ground and sort of gyrates up and down. There is some moaning (as I’m sure it feels good). There is some mention of names (mama, bubba, grandma, dada). He does not appreciate when you intervene on the humping. Sometimes he holds the dog’s leg and humps…dog does not appreciate this.

Yes it is embarrassing. It makes me uncomfortable when people are over and he humps. Sometimes I can see a hump coming and I’ll stop it if the wrong people are around. Sometimes it makes other people uncomfortable when he humps. I can tell…there is this look in their eyes like…”this kid is some sort of perv. Why is he humping so much?” Mostly from people who don’t have kids. He’s not old enough to understand that this is a private thing to do. So it’s difficult to know what to do. Do I stop the humping?

I’ve tried to research the topic, and what information out there is that this is a common theme within that age group. They say it is not sexual, and they do it because it just feels good. Apparently, some kids hump stuffed animals…thank god he hasn’t figured out that he can do that yet.

I can say with absolute certainty that he is not sexually abused in any way. I know who he spends time with, and rarely is he without me (I know, I know, get a social life…really I have one…we entertain). When he is, he is in very loving arms. My family, my husband, or his family would NEVER hurt him. This thought never crosses my mind, but I know it may cross yours, and that is why I mention it.

This is where you come in. I need your advice. Is this weird behaviour? Is he some sort of sex driven child? Do I talk to a doctor? Should I stop him? Would you be concerned? Does your kid hump? Basically, what are your thoughts on the whole humping situation?

Yes…I’m being serious.


nonlineargirl said...

I think you talk to the child about things we do when we are alone and things we do with others around. I know this may be kind of hard for a 16 month old to comprehend, but this is the age when they love those opposites books, so maybe you can frame it that way. (Up/Down, In/Out, Alone/In Public...)

I think the key is to not make it seem like he is doing something wrong, just that there are times and places for everything. My family is working with our daughter on the idea of sitting down for snacks. She wants to walk around with her crackers or banana, but after a few weeks of our talking about it is getting that she has to sit to eat. Maybe the same concept of talking over time can help.

ALG said...

Post your question on Ask Moxie. She'll give you lots of advice and I'm sure she'll keep it anonymous. http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/

kittenpie said...

Nonlinear up there is right that it's got to be about where you do it. Perhaps teaching that it's okay in his own room or suggesting that he go somewhere else alone to do it if he starts might be one way to suggest the idea of private.

And if it makes you feel any better, I have met a young toddler girl who humped her stuffed bunny several years back. She might have been about two when I met her, I would guess. Red face, heavy breathing, the whole bit.

Anonymous said...

My 19 month old daughter is a humper. She humps the couch, the stuffed animals, her bed. I think it just feels good. It makes her dad uncomfortable to see but he'll get over it. I have heard that this is normal. She doesn't do it when we are out. I have a friend whose daughter would grind into the bar between her legs in a shopping cart at the grocery store.

I'd say, just relax about it and he'll outgrow it.

Her Bad Mother said...

As I said to you in my original e-mail, Anonymous, I've heard that it's normal and that they outgrow out. In the meantime, I don't know what to suggest.

ALG - I've e-mailed Moxie to see if she might swing by with her feedback...

Moxie said...

I'm here.

It's totally normal. If it was a girl I'd tell you to go to the pediatrician just to make absolutely sure it isn't a UTI that's sparking it, but I don't think that's as likely with a boy from what I've heard. Since I'm not a doctor, you probably should call your own doctor and mention it in the context of just wanting to make sure it's not something medical causing it.

Assuming it's not an infection and is just because it feels good, then your only real problem is explaining it to other people. You could go with "Oh, he's just our little weiner dog!" but some people might not think that was funny. Probably the best MO is just to pretend everyone realizes it's normal and just a phase. Maybe something like, "I know! Poor guy. It's going to be so embarrassing when everyone remembers this and brings it up at his rehearsal dinner. Let's hope his wife has something equally dumb and embarrassing to talk about." Or you could go on the total offensive and pretend innocence and say, "Oh, your child didn't go through this phase? I thought it was one of the normal phases they were all supposed to go through? Our doctor was happy to see it because it's such an important developmental step." It's evil, but it'll make people stop talking about it.

He'll probably stop the humping phase just in time to start the nose picking and eating phase.

JMH said...

Must de-lurk to tell you that my 2 yr old daughter is a total humper! She usually humps her stuffed animals or blankets in her bed (never public). But just wanted you to know it is normal and other moms are dealing with it too :-)! I think if she did it in front of people, I would just take her to her room to hump it out. Ha.

T. said...

I laughed my ass off at this post.

Not because I'm laughing at you and your obvious concern. No, I'm laughing because I raised a humper.

And you are the first person I've heard about other than me, who had (has) this problem.

The good news, I took my darling daughter to the doctor. Talk about an embarrassing conversation...

The doctor assured me my child was normal, not some pediatric sexaholic.

However, that was of little comfort when my cute little 18 month old decided to hump the kitchen table legs while my husband's entire family watched, wide eyed and horrified.

More good news, they grow out of this faze (albeit, not as quick as you'd like.)

And my darling ten year old is now a beautlful, non-humping child, whom I only pray will stay that way until she is 30.

Wait till your son finds his hose and decides to take it out in public to stretch...

That's a lot of fun.

Good luck, and just keep loving your little humper.

Jenn said...

I'm so glad you wrote this because a friend of mine is going through this same thing. His daughter humps the bar/strap inbetween her legs in the highchair/carseat. He was totally freaked out about it. And although I have a 1 year old myself, the first time I saw it I was a little taken back by it as well.

Since then (via my video monitor) I've noticed that my daughter humps her stuffed animals in her crib on the occasion. When it happens I turn the video off and leave her in private! LOL

Anonymous said...

My daughter used to do it too - usually when I was holding her and she'd move up and down against my belly.

Anonymous said...

My nephew went through the same thing and my sister had a hard time dealing with it as well. As was suggested earlier, she worked with him to teach him that it was okay during private time only and not when other people were around. He did it frequently but eventually learned to do it only in his room or in the bathtub where he would ask for "private". He is almost 7 now and if he still does it, nobody knows about it.

Anonymous said...

My 2 yr old son does it too but not that often, usually when he's going to sleep. He doesn't do it anywhere else so it's not a problem for us. Kids are instinctive in their behaviour, it feels good, so he does it often, maybe a looser diaper would help?

Anonymous said...

I have also heard that this is completely normal. My son doesn't hump, but he does play with his penis non-stop in the bath, and seems compelled to tug on it at least once every time he's naked. Having a boy was quite a revelation to me: "So men really ARE obsessed with their penises from birth! Fascinating!" Heh. Maybe that's what you could tell people.

From what I've read, masturbation in toddlers really is quite a common phenomenon, but no one seems to know about it until they have kids of their own! The pediatricians really ought to warn us.

Karen said...

He'll either grow out of it, or will someday understand the concept of privacy. My daughter was a SERIOUS humper. Everywhere. All the time. In front of anyone. The doctor, and the reading I did convinced me that "privacy" would not be well understood until she was three or four. And both sources were correct. She gets "private," she's never been made to feel bad about it. Either it will go away, or he will learn where to do it and when.

My suggestion for when he does it in social situations when you would like to keep it on the down low is to change his diaper. As in, "Look at that! He ALWAYS does this when he needs a diaper change!" Whisk him away, and interrupt the session. Since most kids hate diaper changes at that age, it won't seem odd to your guest that he is cranky about it.

Gillian said...

I babysat a boy whose mom was really uncomfortable with it. I would just pick him up and say 'Looks, like you're a tired guy let's change this diaper and let you have a nap. I would change his diaper and put him in his bed. Sometimes he would go back to humping or sometimes he would do his self soothing sleep stuff and fall asleep. Either way it didn't matter because he was in his own bed and could do as he pleased. If you just leave the child in the living room humping away you risk someone saying something critical or mocking that draws attention to the behavior and makes the child uncomfortable. Treating it as if it were just a sign he needed a nap like thumb sucking or rocking or playing with a blankie worked well for him.

Anonymous said...

my daughter is 15 mths and is a humper. i am certain this is normal and, moreover, i feel like it's a nice sign that she is aware of her body, what feels good, feels confident enough about cause and effect to make it happen. she's not hurting anyone, and i just can't make myself feel that my own adult insecurities, totally un-analogously foisted onto her, should be prohibitive. i really like moxie's advice about shaming other parents into thinking it's a crucial milestone. i'm going to take it up.

Heather said...

Thanks for all your advice and words of support. It's not easy raising a humper...and it's nice to know I'm not the only one.

Kate said...

My daughter did this for about 2 years, but we didn't call it humping - we called it "frogging." Because with her little butt in the air, her legs looked like frog legs.

She didn't do it anywhere except her crib - it was a soothing mechanism to put herself to sleep. The only reason we even knew about it was that she had an old crib - MY old crib, and safety standards be damned - and it creaked in time with her frogging. Sometimes she would be too close to the head of the crib, in which case the sound drifting out to the living room was "creak-thump-creak-thump" as she bonked the top of her head on the crib. Whatever. Every once in a great while, she would frog while we were holding her, if she was very tired.

The big difference for us, I think, is that it never looked sexual to us and so by the time we realized it looked like humping we had already called it frogging for a while, so we stuck with that.

She's 6 now. Doesn't do it anymore... and she has moved from a creaky crib into a creakier loft bed, so we would know.

Anonymous said...

My 3 year old daughter does this. She hasnt done this for years, it was just all of a sudden. (that scares me)Sometimes she will moan or say "it tickles, right there, oh yeah" I think she must of seen me and my husband doing some things.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness my child isn't the only one. I read about it when I had my first child, a son (I love "Parents" magazine...they always have helpful articles for all ages). It mentioned that it is a soothing/calming thing some babies/toddlers do to calm themselves or soothe themselves to sleep.

Well my son never did it, but my daughter does it. That surprised me since they say men are infatuated with their boys parts even as babies. She does it every where and has been since I can remember; she's now 2 1/2 yrs. She was even doing it one time when I picked her up from Sunday school. I simply said her diaper must be itching her while trying to hide my embarrassment. The title stuck. We tell my son she's itching, since at times she tries to go after his leg, a pillow near by, or just one the floor like a poor little puppy. My poor son looked so confused the first time. Anything can be a victim of her "itching". BTW..."frogging" was a cute name to call it...who ever mentioned that above.

She doesn't do the panting and all that, the humping is embarrassing enough as it is. I will ask the pediatrician at the next check up to just make sure she doesn't have a UTI and no signs of sexual abuse (cause you just NEVER know when anyone other the you is watching your child).

All is all, it's comforting to know that it's normal. And I plan on referring her to use her room for her private time to do her "itching", that way it won't be for public audiences and so she won't feel shamed.

proud poppa said...

Our daughter will turn 4 in a few months and she is still a hump machine. She has been doing it for as long as my wife and I can remember. It was real cute when she was still a baby as she rocked herself to sleep on our laps. Now...not so cute. She still likes to hump our laps when we are putting her to bed, during prayers and story time. Last year she started humping her giraffe, Raffy. He is a standing stuffed animal made for children to sit on...or hump on apparently. She does tend to hump when she is tired or just wants some calm down time. Sometimes it can be pretty uncomfortable, even creepy...I mean we just wait for her eyes to roll back in her head and her legs to start twitching. HaHa! We asked her doctor, did research, talked to others about it and we have come to the conclusion that it is simply and truly just a normal stage that some children go through, albeit different degrees and lengths of time. We sometimes get irritated by it for many of the reasons mentioned above...displays in public, in front of guests or family, when trying to get them to do something else(do NOT try to yank her off of Raffy), humping the furniture, the dog, siblings or whatever; however, as with most things that children grow out of there will be a day when we just might say "I wish he/she was still 'humping', 'frogging', 'itching'...".

Anonymous said...

My 13-month-old son just started this, too! It's obviously natural, or he wouldn't do it! He's discovering his body and how to move it.

Our prudish society needs to get over it! It's not your kid's behavior that is a problem; it's the reaction of others that is in question. Time to reflect upon yourselves, people!

stephanie said...

I'm so happy to have read all these other parents experiencing the same thing as me. My daughter humps and I never saw it as a problem but other family members and her father were really freaked out and concerned. so to know that I'm not the only one is such a comfort.

Nikki said...

i have an 18 month old son and he is also a humping machine. The only time he humps is if hes really sleepy. That's the way I can tell that he's ready for bed. Usually he'll throw his blanket on the floor and goes to town. But recently he was going to go to sleep with my parents and he was constently humping my dads leg. I think this freaks my dad out and he doesnt understand why he does it. LOL When my dad tried to move my son off his leg to make him stop my son got mad at him and started doing it again. I have talked to his pediatrian about this and asked her why he does it and if I can stop it and she said that its just his way of trying to stay awake when he is sleepy. It's like hes trying to keep his body moving. [Fighting his sleep]. I was concerned that he had might have RLS [restless leg syndrome] [because my mom has it] but the pediatrian told me that right now she doesnt think that is a concern. But to just watch him and if he doesnt outgrow it then they can check him for it. I dont really think that toddlers do this to act sexual. My 18 month old is my first son. I have two daughters that are older than he is and neither one of them humped. I recently had another son who is 3 months old now and I'm hoping that he doesnt start humping. I know how you all feel about it being embarassing. [Sometimes I feel like people don't understand and they want to point the finger at me and say that maybe he's been watching my fiance and me. But I can tell you that is NOT the case.] I'm hoping that he will grow out of this soon!!! Good luck to all the other parents that posted comments here. And to all the other parents that are still thinking that they are alone with this. I thought I was alone until I found this blog.

Tiffany said...

I have a 2 1/2 yr old humper and she is crazy about it. She humps her blankie, my dog, the couch... it drives me nuts!!! She even says "hold on me almost done". My pediatrician laughed and said "Oh, Leila is masturbating? No problem- it's normal". I was mortified. Thank you to everyone who has posted similar situations to mine. I can finally rest assured that her humping is indeed...normal.

Anonymous said...

My niece started doing something something similar when she was 3.

Her hands were constantly down her pants. She'd be cuddling with Auntie and her hands were there, She'd be eating supper with one hand down, playing vidoe games, reading a book, having friends over...you get my drift. It was constant and a bit embarrassing but much less so then humping probably would've been.

My sis talked to the doctor, when we were growing up sexuality was NEVER talked about and she had no idea what to do and the doc just said it's natural and to talk to her about being private.

Sis talked to niece, had to remind her a few times but niece picked up on it really quickly that she had to be in private to do that.

Of course religious grandparents werent happy that sis had told niece it was ok and natural to explore her body..but thank god they're not her parents.

Anonymous said...

while I understand it's normal I do not think encouraging it even in private is in fact ok.
I don't think it will cause problems later on in life for scolding them now at all, when they hit puberty they will realise what there bits and bobs are for and if they have any recollection of being scolded as a child for doing these things they will realise at that age it was inappropriate and understand. I don't think it will damage them at all.
I think encouraging it will cause damage. if they feel too relaxed about it because of your blind eye or encouragement, what if that leads to them passing this on to other children? some children who are sexually abused have been known to show other children things and this is considered bad, if you ask me this is not that different. As well what if they do it in front of someone you don't know well, the wrong type of person? What is that saying? that it's ok? How many times have you heard a defense of a pedophile be that he/she wanted it? and if something does happen to the child, how do they know that, that is wrong when you have spent so much time telling them it's ok?
I have a problem at the moment and I searched online 'child humping' and I was scared and sickened by the amount of forums and blogs I could view without membership, anonymously on this and similar subjects not only that but parents commenting in depth about their child's habits.
we are supposed to be protecting our children not offering them up open and innocently and providing erotic stories out to sick people and that's what could be happening here.
I say it's safe to discourage all of it til the teens and for these forums to get some common sense of safety too.
I'm 28, I'm open minded but in the last 10 years the world has changed so much that we have to make sure we do nothing to cause allowances that lead to other things.

Anonymous said...

My 18 month is a little humper too. One day I left her with her gradnma and she text me to say how she loves that my daughter was a humper too. She herself was (and still is I guess) a humper. My daughter only does it when she is tired, but she tries to hump our legs, the couch, her toys, anything she can to help he fall aslepp. She started doing it around 6 months and has never stopped yet. Like I said though her grandma still does it to fall asleep so I am not sure what to think about it.

Anonymous said...

Look, if its at home, that's one thing, but don't tell me I have to get over myself when your kid starts humping the table in a restaurant that I'm about to eat at! People need to control their dogs and their kids, sad one seems much like the other, but what can I say?!