10 answers

2 1/2 Year Old Bites Her Nails and Skin

My daughter started biting her nails about a month ago. She now bites the skin around her nails as well. I think she was doing it just a bit. Then she got and ear infection and a fever and was doing it a lot more. Now she always seems to be doing it. At first I kept her nails as short as I could. But she still always found something to bite. Now I'm not even clipping her nails, fearing that she'll bite more of her skin, or get her nails even shorter than they are. I'm hoping that it's a fase which will just pass, but I'm not sure. She seems so young to be biting her nails. Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone. I took my daughters to our naturopath today. They both have colds. She thinks that my older daughter has had swelling and fluid in her ears for at least a month. She suspects that her nail biting might be related to being uncomfortable for a long time. The timing corresponds, starting with a cold she had before she got an ear infection, about 1 1/2 months ago. We'll see if her nail biting goes away as we deal with her other symptoms. I will keep all of your suggestions in mind and consider them after we try other remedies and herbs our naturopath suggested.

Featured Answers

Nail biting is a nervous habit. She may be having trouble dealing with stressors in her life. The best way to stop this ,in my experience, is to teach her possitive ways to deal with stress. Doing things like getting more exercise, doing stretches and calming activites that she likes will help a lot. Good luck, Stephanie L

More Answers

Try putting penutbutter with garlic juice on her fingers and tell her its poo. Mabe she will think its grose enough she will stop the biteing. Thats a good cure for thumb suckin 2. Or just try the penutbutter every time she starts 2 bite her nails.

My son who is 3 1/2 does this, drives me batty! I did a reward chart and then a gentle reminder when I caught him, it becomes a habit. He doesn't bite them as much as picks if there is a hang nail or a jagged fingernail. So I started keeping his nails short! Then if I see him I take his hand out of his mouth without saying a word, then I gave him the talk about germs and putting hands in the mouth, well... I will be happy to say that after over two months of gentle reminding and taking his hands out of his mouth it HAS STOPPED! I catch him every now and again picking at them then I just ask him to go get the clippers for me....then we trim off whatever piece it is.
Kids start little quirky things for so many reasons..hang in there.

Good thing you are catching it while she's young. Check Wal-Mart or something comparable. They should have nail polish that tastes bitter. You just put it on her nails and when she goes to bite them she gets a nasty taste in her mouth. After a few days of that she will hopefully egt the idea to stop. If she relapses then you can go through it again.

Good luck.

You may want to look into having an ocupational therapist evaluate her to see if there is a sensor issue that is causing her to want to do this.

My son bites his nails too. I got a bottle of stuff called "THUM" at Target. It was about $2 and has really helped as long as I remember to paint it on.

Sorry if I sent this reply twice, but her goes it...I agree with the suggestion of taking her to see an occupational therapist. There is a wonderful practice in Gunbarrel, just outside of Boulder called Colorado Therapies ###-###-####. They are professional and effective, gentle and holistic minded. I would also consider taking her to see a HOLISTIC Pediatrician. I emphasize "holistic" because they understand treating children from a little different perspective. It could be something as simple as a vitamine/mineral deficiancy or other diet related issue. A wonderful one is Deborah Hamilton out of Boulder go to http://www.holisticpediatric.com/

PS I too have 2 girls one year apart and am studying to be a midwife...bless you....it aint easy. :)

L.

Nail biting is a nervous habit. She may be having trouble dealing with stressors in her life. The best way to stop this ,in my experience, is to teach her possitive ways to deal with stress. Doing things like getting more exercise, doing stretches and calming activites that she likes will help a lot. Good luck, Stephanie L

Avon has a "No More bitting nails" nail polish. It worked for a friend of mine. I guess the tast is rank, give it a shot.

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