Facebook Pixel

Can babies get OCD?

By April 28, 2010 - 7:52am
Rate This

As we come from a clean family, we encourage our 18month old grandson/nephew to tidy up after himself.
But nowadays he just tidies up everything. If he see's rubbish on the floor he will pick it up & put the rubbish in the bin.
Can babies at this age get OCD ?

Add a Comment3 Comments

HERWriter Guide

Hi idislikesean

OCD is a mental disorder, often brought on by anxiety, stress or environmental factors.

An 18 month old wouldn't be at an age where this could be diagnosed because not only does a mental health professional need to know what the OCD entails (that's the easy part: I compulsively clean my house, my body, I check doors and windows hundreds of times, I have to wipe my feet 47 times before coming in the door...that kind of thing) they need to know the reasons behind it. What triggers these obsessions and what may have happened in the past to cause OCD.

An 18 month old cannot participate in this.

What your 18 month old grandson is doing is merely mimicking what he is seeing around him. Children learn by observation and instruction and he is merely observing everyone cleaning up and listening to instructions to keep things tidy.

I wouldn't overdo the whole "pick up after yourself" to an 1 year old child. While it's fine to perhaps put a toy or two back in the box, anymore may induce stress and could indeed lead to OCD at an early age.

We all want a clean house but he is a one year old who needs to take baby steps (literally as well as figuratively!) so putting away one or two things is enough. He should get a little praise for his big efforts and in my opinion, all the rest of clean up is the responsibility of his parents, at this stage of his development. Anything more will stress him and cause anxiety. And this is what leads to OCD. Then in another year, increase his "chores" step by step until he can do it on his own, and so on.

You are probably wonderful grandparents but I'd cut way back on instructing him to pick up after himself.

I hope this helps you!

April 28, 2010 - 11:41am
(reply to Susan Cody)

hi my names heidi and i was wondering the same thing about young children getting ocd, because my son is 2 tomorrow and he has some little habbits like picking up rubbish and putting it in the bin, he also gets angry if his socks arent put on in the right way, he plays with little balls and he has to make sure the balls are all in a line and touching? and he always screams at people if they touch his things? and im really worried my brother thinks it could be a sign of austism? my family think i have ocd but im not sure i do i just like a clean house, i was just wondering if u had any thoughts on this, thanks

July 10, 2010 - 3:59pm
(reply to hl23)

Hi Heidi,

I read a great story that helped me when my son was 2 years old (he is not 3 years old). It said, "all toddlers could be diagnosed with OCD!". This was tongue-in-cheek humor, of course, but the point is: toddlers are not like adults. They do not have all of the words that adults have, and express themselves in other ways. Temper tantrums, saying, "no!, no!, no!" a million times per minute. These are normal toddler behaviors, and as parents, we can teach our children better ways of expressing themselves that are socially acceptable.

Kids love putting things in containers, so picking up track and putting in a bin is fun to him...it's a game! Lining up all of his balls perfectly is also a great game, and it sounds like he is developing great skills.

It would be a great idea if you read a few parenting books, as they are extremely helpful. Toddlers are really different "beings" and the books help you distinguish problem behavior vs. normal toddler behavior.

If you are worried about autism in other ways, since your son is turning two years old today (happy birthday!!), he should be seeing his Pediatrician soon. These are great questions for the doctor.

What about your OCD? Wanting a clean house has nothing to do with this disorder, by the way!

I'm happy to talk with you more about your symptoms, your son's symptoms, or suggest any parenting books that you might find useful. There are tons online that are used and really inexpensive.

Hope to hear from you again soon! (I love talking about kids!) :)

July 11, 2010 - 6:26am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Get Email Updates

Related Topics

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!