5 year old nailbiter - Mothering Forums
The Childhood Years > 5 year old nailbiter
Malama's Avatar Malama 06:33 PM 05-11-2002
Aloha,
My second son Noam, who's 5 seems to have a storng oral fixation still. I nursed him til he was 3 yrs 4 months and thought he'd be over it by now.

But, he bites his nails pretty severly. I also find him here and there with his short collar in his mouth. He's pretty much picking up all sorts of things to suck on.

His life is pretty stress-free... he attends a homeschool at a friend's house 3 days a week, which he loves. He gets a lot of lovin- sleeps with us part of the time.

Any suggestions for gently breaking him of the habit?? I'm particualrly upset about the nails.

TIA
Karen

khrisday's Avatar khrisday 10:39 PM 05-12-2002
Karen,
My first suggestion would be to get him lots of other things he can chew on- fruit leather, jerky (if you're not veg), and even though it may sound funny for a 5 year old teethers and chewy toys, and what about some sugar-free gum? (the Dental Care kind with baking soda doesn't have that nasty aspartame in it and comes in bubble gum flavor), My 6 year old struggles with nail biting as well. If he would be into nail polish, you might try painting his nails to encourage him to leave them alone. One thing we have done (at the suggestion of a therapist) is to tell our son he can bite his fingers as much as he wants as long as he stands on one foot while he does it. (he has trouble with his balance so this is difficult for him) Combining something that is hard to do at the same time works as a natural deterrent, but you will probably have to find something that works for your son as standing on one foot may not be it. I hope this helps.
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