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Toddlers and OCD Question

Q. My 20-month old son is displaying a behavior that is becoming increasingly noticeable to others – he organizes and “lines up” toys or items he plays with, and will spend up about 30 minutes doing this. Whether it be toy cars, books, crayons -whatever there is more than one of, he will line them up, stack them up, or arrange them – and he will do it over and over in different combinations. People think that it’s funny but I am starting to worry about the time he takes to, for example, line cars up next to one another, wheels in exact aligment. Should I be asking our pediatrician about OCD? Thank you!

Toddlers and OCD Question


Yes, you should ask your pediatrician about this. The play of children comes in many forms and this may be nothing more than a type of play. Do not reinforce his behavior. Do not laugh at him when he does this, or allow other people to do so. Any positive attention to this behavior will only serve to increase it. You would not want to be unwittingly causing the very behavior that you are finding to be disconcerting. Remember this may be nothing more than normal play but anything that concerns you should be brought to the attention of his pediatrician.

Toddlers and OCD Question

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2005). Toddlers and OCD Question. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 15, 2018, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Apr 2005
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Apr 2005
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