We have 4 months baby. We have recently observed some hair strands. We have noticed that he plucks hair from his hair or mother’s hair and he puts the same hand into mouth for sucking. In this process he is swallowing hair.

This is a bit concerns us. Swallowing hair is dangerous? And how to avoid him swallowing hair?

  • 1
    A lot of the time hairs can stick to their hands without them noticing. Maybe the mother should keep her hair up and out of the baby's reach.
    – Bobo
    Aug 5 '14 at 18:34

Sounds like he's trying to self soothe and needs help finding a healthy way to calm himself down. The hair pulling is likely a form of comfort and sensory stimulation. If you can't replace the habit with something safe, it's worth talking with your pediatrician about, since bezoars are dangerous. Maybe give him something else to chew on that is safer than hair, help him find his hand, or help him soothe himself some other way (music, going outside, interacting with him).


It's fairly normal for babies to try to bite hair but they should not be allowed to swallow it. This can actually lead to a trichobezoar/hairball that forms in the digestive tract and may require surgery. From Wikipedia:

A trichobezoar is a bezoar (a mass found trapped in the gastrointestinal system) formed from the ingestion of hair. Trichobezoars are often associated with trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), are rare,[2] and can be fatal if undetected.[3][4][5][6] Surgical intervention is often required.[3][7]

Further reading:

  • 1
    You are referencing neurotic behavior here, such as a person with trichotillomania who eats the hair, or a cat. A 4 month old baby has finer hair, and is unlikely to pull it all out and eat it, and I would hope parents of a baby pulling himself bald would mention this to their doctor. The most common bezoars in infants are from formula - or even breastmilk. (gastric lactobezoars). Would you also advise not feeding infants formula/breastmilk? Aug 12 '14 at 4:42

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