Silking refers to the habit that some children have of stroking something soft for self-soothing purposes. For example, some babies seem to enjoy holding and stroking mother's hair while nursing or being rocked. Other children may have a favorite blanket with a satin border that they find very soothing to touch and stroke.

In an of itself, silking is of course pretty harmless. Only certain children seem to be temperamentally predisposed to this; they are very aware of textures and may in later childhood object to the "feel" of certain clothes.

What mothers should be aware of, however, is that silking can create a potentially disruptive bedtime attachment in which the child becomes unable to fall asleep without touching Mom's hair if her hair is the desired silking object. Long term that dependency can be pretty frustrating for mother, who will either have to have the child in her bed for several years, or get up to go and provide the silking experience at three in the morning.

So it would be best, if your baby seems to be getting fixated on your hair, to provide some alternative texture item such as a blanket, lest you find yourself stuck in an uncomfortable situation.

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