Ugh! DS won't stop biting his fingers/nails - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 6 Old 02-21-2008, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS has developed a bad habit of ALWAYS having his fingers in his mouth. He bites his nails down till all the white part is gone and occassionally bites the skin (hang nails I think they're called) causing bleeding. It makes DH and I crazy especially when we are out in public - who knows what those hands have touched!!! It all started when his baby brother started putting his hands in his mouth all the time and I guess he thought it looked like fun. I don't have a problem with a 7 month old doing it, but when the 3 year old does it it bothers me. How do we get him to break this habit???? We've been battling it for months and can't seem to get him to stop (infact it seems the more we try to get him to stop the more he does it).
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#2 of 6 Old 02-21-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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I'm watching this thread. DS doesn't bite his fingernails but he is constantly picking at them and the skin around them. I'd love to find a way to get him to stop.

My guess is the more you tell him to stop the more he will do it so hat about giving him something lse to do wen you see him putting his hands in his mouth or tell him he has to wash his hnds first- maybe that would be annoying enough to just stop!

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#3 of 6 Old 02-21-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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DD at 2 became a terrible nail biter. I had tons of guilt because she had developed the habit while I was on a 10 day trip in China and I attributed the biting to anxiety about me being gone. I freaked out and bought the bad tasting no thumb sucking stuff and the only thing it did was sting her eyes (more guilt ) I did tons of research and found that the best thing to do is nothing. Ignore it and everything I read said that in most cases the child will stop biting eventually. The more stress they have around the issue the worse it will become. I read cases where children had severe self soothing problems like pulling out their eye lashes and hair. At that point I was committed to ignoring it, showering her with love and security and now six months later she has completely stopped biting her nails. The first time I had to actually cut them I cried. She now sucks on the bottom pieces of her hair and I am fine with it because she does not have bloody fingers. From my experience just wash his hands frequently and ignore it as hard as it is.
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#4 of 6 Old 02-21-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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I have no help to offer, but just thought I'd share my experience. My 3 yo dd did that for about six months. It got so bad that she developed infections at the base of her fingernails on three of her fingers. The infections got bad enough that she then had to be on a course of antibiotics, the first and only time she has had to have them. Unfortunately, she still lost two of her nails, a painful process for her because as they were falling off they would catch on various things (even though I tried to keep them wrapped) and pull. Poor girl. The positive side to it is that after that experience, she completely ceased biting her nails!
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#5 of 6 Old 02-22-2008, 04:22 AM
 
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my 2.5yo son started biting his nails recently. for a while, in stressful situations, he sucked his fingers, but then it changed to biting nails. he bites them when he may be stressed/nervous and, it seems, when he's still (while i'm reading to him).

i just can't help myself and i try to get him to stop. i know in the larger picture it's not terrible. our pediatrician said it's often genetic -- my dad and i both pick at our cuticles.

it's good for me to read about how some of your kids stopped biting their nails. it's inspired me to start ignoring it.
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#6 of 6 Old 02-22-2008, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3littlebirds View Post
my 2.5yo son started biting his nails recently. for a while, in stressful situations, he sucked his fingers, but then it changed to biting nails. he bites them when he may be stressed/nervous and, it seems, when he's still (while i'm reading to him).

i just can't help myself and i try to get him to stop. i know in the larger picture it's not terrible. our pediatrician said it's often genetic -- my dad and i both pick at our cuticles.

it's good for me to read about how some of your kids stopped biting their nails. it's inspired me to start ignoring it.
hmmmm - genetic?? That's interesting! My DH bites his nails (though not infront of our DS now).
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