Post # 1
So we discovered my 3.5 year old step daughter eating toilet paper today, but not just toilet paper off the roll… toilet paper from the toilet. Like used toilet paper. I’ve googled, but I’m thinking this is definitely not normal. She has been regressing, a lot lately. Peeing in the middle of the floor, not going potty even though she will tell you she knows she should and she needs to, etc. We have asked her mother about it and she just isn’t worried. Says its just what toddlers do… Any advice? I’m a little freaking out about the USED toilet paper part. I asked her why she was eating it, and her response? I was hungry. Even though she had just downed 2 big bowls of cereal. I don’t get it, I think it is an attention thing. Any bees with similar experience?
Post # 3
Yep, I would agree that doesn’t sound normal. I would be getting to the pediatrician pronto for advice.
Post # 4
@britt821: 3.5 years old isnt a toddler anymore! I work with children around that age (up through kinder) and can say that its something to be concerned about.
Post # 5
I would skip the pediatrician and get her to a child psychiatrist as soon as possible.
This sounds like the behavior of a child who has experienced emotional trauma of some sort, or possibly some kind of abuse.
If she already has been potty trained and is now “regressing” so to speak, then she already knows she’s doing something she’s not supposed to do… it sounds like a cry for help!
The fact that her bio mother is brushing it off and claiming that “this is just what kids do” is another sign that something very, very disturbing could be going on at home. Yikes.
Post # 6
Kids eat some bizarre stuff, but eating from the toilet could actually have health repercussions, so I agree that this should be nipped in the bud. Have there been big changes in her life, like did you only move in after the wedding, or does she have a new sibling at her mom’s home? Even positive changes can be a lot for little ones to deal with, and regression can be both a way of responding to stress and a call for attention.
Post # 7
Hmm… The regression bothers me more than the eating toilet paper. My nephew (granted he is 20 months not 3.5) likes to bite candles and when he sees one he says BITE! But, he’s very smart and advanced so they don’t worrY about anything but teaching him not to bite weied things.
I’d definitely do some research on this. And you guys and mom should get on the same page about stopping and changing the behavior. If you are trying to stop it and she is ignoring it then tha. Won’t solve anything.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2014 - Enoch Turner School House
I agree, for 3.5, not normal. It would be different if she was 18 months, but 3.5 is too old for behaviour like that. Along with recent regressing, I would be concerned that there is an underlying issue, something that has happened recently in her life, it may be something huge and negative, or simply something normal that she is not dealing with very well, and not receiving support for.
Post # 9
@BelliniChic: +1 As a teacher, this is throwing major red flags to me also.
@britt821: Reach out for help asap.
Post # 10
@britt821: I suggest she needs to see a doctor who will decide if a child psychiatrist is indicated. Can her Dad take her or does he need Mom’s permission?
How long has this been going on?
Do some research on “Pica in children”. I am not diagnosing, but it may be helpful information.
Post # 11
@britt821: the regressing worries me more than the toilet paper eating – although that’s really gross and weird, granted kids will eat weird things.
It sounds like she’s having some emotional issues and is crying for attention, I would get her to a doctor and possibly a child therapist asap.
Post # 12
Why is there used toilet paper hanging around in the toilet that she can get to? In addition to taking her to therapy immediately, I’d not let her potty alone. I’d consider locking the bathroom doors at all times.
Post # 13
I agree with the other Bees this is not run of the mill NORMAL toddler / pre-schooler behaviour
This is rooted in something deeper (Regressing is key here)
Like @julies1949: thoughts on “Pica in children” which can be tied to many other conditions… such as Autism, Depression or Schizophrenia… came immediately to mind.
I hope she gets the help she needs ASAP
Post # 14
Please take that child to see someone.. this is definately not normal.
Post # 15
The first thing I thought about was PICA. I think it sometimes arises when a person is deficient of some sort of nutrient. Not an expert, though. She should see a doctor.
Post # 16
@britt821: She has Pica. She needs to see a doctor and make sure she doesn’t have a nutritional deficiency or some other medical problem.