My 1-year-old has started messing with her ear when she is tired: Thoughts?

I have a question for the "seasoned " moms. I am a first time mom and my 1 year old has started holding or messing with my ear when she is tired and about to fall asleep. If not the ear, she is rubbing on me, face shoulder, breasts. Is this a soothing mechanism? She just started it like a few days ago. Thanks in advance.


Is she teething? Sometimes that can make the ears sore and baby becomes extra clingy as well.

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A lot of children like to touch things when they want to go to sleep it helps them to relax

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My son used to twirl my hair or rub my ear lobe when he was falling asleep

Watch for fever or drainage

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My baby rubs his own hair and twists mine when he’s sleepy! :blush:

My son used to do this, I always thought he had an infection but they told me just helps him of course that’s not always the case he’s now almost 3 and still we have to rub his ear for his routine :joy: lol

Yes! Get her a snuggly blankie that she can mess with. My daughter has a “wubby” she calls it. And its fuzzy soft on one side and silk on the other. The moment we see her walking around fiddling with it and rubbing it on her face. We know shes sleepy lol. Then she goes down easy.

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Yes! Self soothing, a lot of babies do this

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My daughter is 6 months and does this but i think its her teeth she has two cutting through

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Teething or fighting sleep

My daughter used to play with her eye lashes… She’s now 11 and still does it when she’s tired :joy:

My 1 year old does it. He is teething very bad rn.

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Its a soothing thing… Mine started it when she was 8 months old she is now 2 and a half and when she gets sleepy… Or expecially fighting sleep she rubs mine… hers… Daddy’s… Who ever she can get…lol she will sleep between us once in a while… And she will run one of his one of mine and take our hands and put them on hers for us to rub hers as well

My son was obsessed with touching my earrings when he was falling asleep. At first, I let him because I knew he was self soothing and he hadn’t formed an attachment to a blanket or object. After a while, my ear got irritated and he got upset when I told him he couldn’t anymore. If we ever fell asleep in my bed together, I would wake up to him rubbing my earring in his sleep. I would try to transfer the self soothing to something else so it’s not upsetting when you have to stop it.

Might have an ear infection

My cousin used to do that when he was a baby. It was a soothing mechanism for him when he was tired or got scared

I used to twirl my hair or my sister’s hair when I was little

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My two year old isn’t much for stuffed animals, pacifiers, and she doesn’t suck her thumb. Her soothing method when she gets sleepy is just rubbing her arms or anyone’s arms that she’s close to.

Could be a soothing technique, or, depending on where she’s at with teething it could be from that! My son was constantly pulling on his ears and playing with them to the point I had his doctor check him out to make sure he didn’t have an ear infection. Everything looked fine but he thought it was related to his molars coming in! Sure enough, once he had a break in teething he stopped pulling on his ears as much.

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My son has done this since he was a baby. He is almost 3, and still does it when he is tired. Its just a soothing mechanism

My 1 year old has pulled on her ears since about 6 months, I thought it was her ears and she has been to the pediatrician multiple times because of (1st time mom freak out) and it’s just teething every time. Our pediatrician told us to run Benadryl on her gums.

Both my babies actually did that! They’re now 3 and 4 and when they’re tired they play with their ear and fall asleep :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::heartpulse: it’s a comfort thing I guess

My daughter did this as a baby. She’s 4 now and if she’s extremely exhausted she’ll still rub her ear lobes to fall asleep.

Normally any kind of self touch ( like rubbing eyes, playing with hair or face, holding arms etc is just normal self soothing behavior) however if she is pulling on her ears it might be ear infection. My daughter would go from zero to double ear infection very quickly when she was younger and the ear pull was always a tell

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My little brother used to do that all the time and my dad took him to the doctors and he had to get tubes put in his ears

I’ve done this since I was a baby. I’m 28 and still play with my ears, or my husband’s when I’m tired. It’s a comfort thing!

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So I feel embarrassed after reading this comment section… but I have extreme anxiety and I rub and play with my ears ALOT… I dont really know why, it just calms me down

Get her one of those little square soft blankets… My daughter would rub the tag together to fall asleep.

My son does this. He’s 7.5 months to soothe

It will run it’s course,just a new sensation. Try to take her attention some where else. My son use to pat the pillow, after he licked it. He doesn’t even remember it.

With my 1st son that is how he went to sleep rubbing my arm his ear. He out grew that around 3. Now he is 6 and ever since he has to touch me somehow with his feet anything he can.

Its a self soothing mechanism. Embrace it! Physical touch can be very centering for some. Shes learned that early and itll help her greatly as she develops.

Mine used to whirl her hair when tired. My other one that was a thumb sucker would put her thumb in and start rubbing the corner of her blanket. Self soothing techniques are wonderful sleep aids

My son is 1 and he does it too. Nothing to be concerned about :blush:

Yep, she’s self soothing

They do that when tired.

Its a comfort thing. My son has always had to have ahold of my hair when he’s sleepy.

:raising_hand_woman: hair twirlers here.
I do it, so do my girls.
Some will grow out of that and some won’t.
Get her a blanket with silk edges.

Ladies the baby needs to rub her Mom’s ears when he is tired…

It’s a comfort thing. Perfectly normal! Enjoy your baby!!

My grandson does this or puts a hand on our cheek and rubs. It is a soothing mechanism for the baby.

She’s self soothing! :slight_smile:

My daughter is about to be one and does the same thing to a T. Right before she passes out

My grandson likes feel the sleeve of pillow case or he’d put his hand down my clothes and rub my back it use to soothe him

My daughter does this but to her own ear and hair. She’s 2.5 and no signs of stopping lol

My daughter likes to grab the nipple of her bottle to soothe herself

My son likes to squeeze my nose hard and pulls his hair ( trying to make him stop) when he is sleepy. He is nearly 7 months.

Me and my two youngest have an ear fetish. My kids play with my ears when we’re laying down and I play with my boyfriend’s ear before I fall asleep. Yes it’s a comfort mechanism :heart:

It’s a comfort zone mommy, enjoy the love and rubs because soon her comfort zone will change to a favourite teddy/blanky…

My niece did that when she was a baby and it would help her fall asleep so just let your baby be :slightly_smiling_face::heart:

Its self soothing. Totally normal.

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My son does that too, I think its just a way to tell you their tired. When it’s bedtime my lil man comes up to me and starts patting my legs or something sort of like that.

My son started rubbing the tag on his blanket or shirt when he was tired when he was about a year old. He’s almost 12, and I still catch him rubbing a tag when he’s sleepy.

Either self soothing or she may be teething.

let the baby rub and touch .It’s still growing and needs you and know that you are there. Young mothers now days put their young ones in those swaddle things baby’s need to held and loved no matter what age even us grown people still like to be touched or to touch somebody I think it could be part of the love process

Mine rubs her eyebrows!

Sounds like she’s trying to keep herself awake

My son is 3 and does stuff like this. He rubs his hair, his ears, my hair, my ears… it’s soothing to him.

My husband did that as a child - even now at 44 years old I can rub his ear between my fingers and he will be out like a light. He said it was just a self soothing thing and associates it as comfort/safety now.

My daughter would put her arm up my sleeve and rub the fabric. My son rubs his head, my chest, hot wheels cars…whatever he needs that day

My daughter does this for comfort

Baby girl plays with her hair when she’s tired! When she’s tired her hand always go up by her head. Her hair is now long enough that she likes put her fingers through it

Mine did this at around the same age! She sleeps with us and also started sleeping with her hand underneath us! She still sleeps with her hand under us at 2 yrs old!

My youngest started that the night he got home from the NICU at 10 days old. Hasn’t stopped. Sleeps in bed with me (he kicked my husband out :rofl:) and is constantly rubbing my face and ears and pinching my eyebrows. Does it in his sleep.

My son just likes to be held and loved on and sometimes he just likes to know you’re there so he’ll rub my back or shoulder or cheek when he’s sleepy :heart:

Yes probably. Mine likes to pulk her hair and roll… Like legit roll. Lay on her belly and roll to her back and then keep going. Just rolling in a circle lol

My 4yr old has rubbed my arm or chest right at base of my neck since birth while breastfeeding and still does it when tired or has a nightmare. I always joke that I am her woobby. She never took to a pasifer or a special stuffy it was always me :grin::heart: I’ll miss it when she does finally outgrow it

I think so. My boys are just a year apart. One would curl my hair with his little fingers while feeding. The other one would play with my ear while feeding.

Dear god.
Yes. She’s self soothing.

Soothing for sure. My son would play with the tag on his baby blanket. It was so cute.

It’s normal at that age.

I am sorry but this seems obvious, yes she is

Following. My son has been doing the same for almost a year now. He will be 2 in sept

My almost 3 year old sucks her tongue and plays with her belly button. It’s so adorable. She’s been doing it for about 2 years now.

My son did that when he was little, completely normal!

My mum use to suck her thumb and play with her someone ear when she was a baby it was a comforting thing for her
She still did it as an adult, it use to annoy the fuck out of me but I knew it made her happy

Mom to 7. Yes, these are completely normal self soothing behaviors. Be sure to keep baby’s nails trimmed to avoid scratchs in their ear.


My grandson plays with ears when hes tired…it helps him fall asleep

My daughter does it too she’s 1. She starts with rubbing her eyes, then her face and then tugging her ears and hair. I know she’s beyond tired when she does it, so I try to encourage a nap, that only works 2% of the time. She hasn’t reliably napped since she was 6 months old.

Sometimes it stays, Ive been playing with my hair to fall asleep since I was about 1 :joy::sweat_smile: it’s normal

Mine played with my hair or his. Didn’t pull it just held it in his little hand

Totally normal. It’s a comfort thing. Mine did the same thing but they also had their lovies too. They still have their lovies at 15 and 11 :rofl::joy:

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Mom of 7. Completely normal. It is a comfort thing for her. She is self soothing, that’s a good thing.


She needs a comfort item

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My baby is 6 months and has always done it. That’s one of the ways I know she wants to nurse and go to sleep.

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My daughter is 18 months and she’s been rubbing ears since she came out! I’ve been told by many its completely normal it’s a soothing thing for babies

Yeah my daughter grabs the seams on the shoulders of my shirt and twiddles them in her fingers before she falls asleep.

Both of my kids did it, my son still does. I asked their doctor, it’s a soothing technique :slightly_smiling_face:

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Totally normal… It’s a soothing, comfort thing. My son has been doing the “rubbing the ear lobe” since the womb. We have a ultrasound of him holding his earlobe as well. Just a comfort thing for them.

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My niece would do that when anxious to soothe herself.

My 22 month old still tries to rub the top of my boobies lol I know when he does that he’s ready for a nap. Perfectly normal

Absolutely normal and kind of awesome haha my youngest rubs her ear or mine or daddys whenever she is sleepy and its something that kind of helps if grandma or someone is watching her. I call it her sleepy tell haha its so cute she’s almost 3. Have fun with your little one momma :two_hearts:

My 2 year old like rub my boobs or my cheeks lols he’s a little wierdo

If she is messing with HER own ear, you might want to take her to the Dr.
She could have ear pain and have an ear infection.
If she is touching and feeling your ear, face… She is just being affectionate. She is showing you she loves you.

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Both my kids mess with their ears. My daughter will take her hair and twirl it in her ear and my son will rub his ears

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My 1 year old does the same but he is teething… and only does it when he’s teething

It’s common, my daughter started rubbing the silk lining of her stuffed blanket in the corner of her eye. She’s 6 yo now and still does the same thing.

My daughter tugs her ear a bit when tired. Just had her at ped, no ear infection. If your baby was tugging them all the time and fussy then i might think there was an issue. My nephew used to rub my ears and both his parents’ ears when he was tired or being affectionate, i loved, thought it was so sweet. Also rubbing against you is normal. It’s comforting.

I’m 33 and still mess with my ears when I’m sleepy lol… I’ve done it since I was a baby too. I think I turned it ok. :woman_shrugging::joy: