2 Year Old Chewing on Hands

Updated on March 13, 2008
B.W. asks from Castle Rock, CO
13 answers

My 2 year old daughter is constantly chewing on her hands. She used to be a thumb-sucker but stopped that on her own. Has anyone ever had this problem? Is there anything I can do or do I just have to wait it out and hope it'll stop on its own?

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A.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My 2 year old starting chewing on her fingers about 6 months ago. Most of the time she just needed something to do--so I would give her a carrot to chew on instead. Sometimes I would cut her fingernails and that seemed to help also. She does it very rarely any more. Hope this helps!

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K.G.

answers from Casper on

Hi I work at a daycare and the kids that come there do the same thing and we are just trained to just ask the child not to do this and to replace it with something else like a puzzle, toy, or just distracting them with other things besides that. It is working. Hope this helps

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A.G.

answers from Norfolk on

I had a cousin who did this when she was the same age and she grew out of it but I would bring it up with her pediatrician, not a family practitioner, just to be sure.

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T.P.

answers from Denver on

Hello B., If her chewing is a stress response you may be interested in reading this book: "How to Talk So Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk," by Faber and Mazlish. They offer lots of ideas which may help your daughter to express herself to you. ~T.

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R.S.

answers from Denver on

Any chance she's getting her two year molars? My daughter (28 months) started chewing on her hands a couple of weeks ago, and sure enough, two bottom molar teeth are coming through. Just a thought!

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A.E.

answers from Denver on

My daughter used to get her entire hand in her mouth. It was pretty icky however once she got into preschool, she was too busy with her hands and the habit simply fell away. We didn't bother her about it unless she was trying to talk to us with her hands in her mouth! For your daughter, it may have simply become a habit and it'll go away once she's in school and too busy with her hands.

C.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My son is two now and used to chew on his fingers all the time. He stopped on his own. I learned from a parenting video that I watched that it's nothing to worry about at this age if she is still doing it when she's 5 that might be an issue, but I would wait a while and see if she stops on her own.
Another thought is that her hands might itch, do have dry skin in your family? just an idea maybe try some lotion on them.

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K.B.

answers from Denver on

My daughter is doing the same thing, and I am interested in hearing what other people are recommending. So far using the "Thum" solution on her fingers hasn't worked since she ends up rubbing it in her eyes while sleeping.

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S.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi B.,

My 5th child started chewing on his hands and finger when he was getting his molars. He constantly had his hands in his mouth. If she has not got her molars, I would try a little Orajal on her gums, just to see if she stops while her gums are numb.

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K.G.

answers from Pocatello on

Does she already have her 2 year molars? My son started doing this a few months before he turned 2, and then his molars came in and he stopped. He never acted like they bothered him, he just chewed on his fingers and hands a lot. Just a thought, I'm not sure how long ago she turned 2 :-).

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A.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My 2 year old starting chewing on her fingers about 6 months ago. Most of the time she just needed something to do--so I would give her a carrot to chew on instead. Sometimes I would cut her fingernails and that seemed to help also. She does it very rarely any more. Hope this helps!

S.M.

answers from Fort Collins on

She's Probaly just teething it happens at all kinds of ages so she'll stop soon enough don't worry about it honest!

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D.B.

answers from Denver on

The lady at vitamin cottage told me to put two squirts of Rescue Remedy in a cup of water for my daughter when I told her of these type of symptoms when my son was born. BTW: About me: Daughter 3.5 and son 5 months old ... we have kind of close ages in both our children : ) and live in Westminster too. D. (____@____.com)

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E.N.

answers from Denver on

my son is 6, in first grade & he stopped chewing on his hands 3 years ago & started chewing on his sleeve, one sleeve is always wet, stretched out, really gross & fithly cause its wet & gets into whatever he is doing, we will do it for a week at a time, then like the last 2 weeks it stops, then comes back...I have no ideas, and he isn't consious he does it....
but it definalty happens in cycles and more in the winter cause he has sleeves to chew. I mean I was video taping him skiing & he was skiing down the mountain, grinning like a fool and chewing the whole entire way.....didn't even know it & was surprised when he saw the video.....
or I will pick him up from school and he will be chewing, but he never does it around me or at home.....
We talk alot & he pretty much initiates telling me when something is bothering him, a friend said something or he feels he needs something......
his response? "It tastes good" when Ioffer him food, he says he is not hungry.
Thoughts???

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