12 answers

My 2 Year Old Daughter Chews Her Nails

My 22 month old daughter has started chewing her nails constantly. She throws giant tantrums if she sees me coming with nail clippers & she wakes up if I try to trim them while she is sleeping. She is chewing them really short & her fingers look painful and sore. I have tried telling her no & pulling her fingers out of her mouth, but she becomes very irritated and more determined to do it. I wouldn't mind puting something on her fingers that would taste bad to deter her, I just want to make sure it is safe and wouldn't burn her already irritated fingers.

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I don't really understand what the big deal is. I chewed my nails to the quick until I was about 10 years old. At that point, I decided I didn't like the way my hands looked and I quit. She'll quit when she's ready or if it becomes painful. There are many other battles you will have with her over the years; why not let this one go!

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I don't really understand what the big deal is. I chewed my nails to the quick until I was about 10 years old. At that point, I decided I didn't like the way my hands looked and I quit. She'll quit when she's ready or if it becomes painful. There are many other battles you will have with her over the years; why not let this one go!

Hi A.,

My daughter started biting her nails around 18 months, her pediatrician told me to just ignore her, so I did and by about 22 months she stopped.

R.

There's something that you can buy and apply (it looks like a nail polish) if you would like your kid or baby to stop from thumb sucking. It taste bitter & it won't come off easily. Ask a pharmacist cause I forgot the name for it. I hope it works for her. Good Luck!

They used to have that stuff that just tastes bad but you can use hot sauce too.

My son use to suck his thumb, so I went out and purchased something called bitter nails, you can find it in the nail polish section. You have to apply it about three times a day, my son stopped sucking his thumb within three days. I also tasted it and it taste horrible but it works.
good luck

My son started chewing his nails at a very early age (he's now 11). We reminded him constantly and had a reward system for having white showing on his nails - that worked for a few months. Then we tried the bad tasting clear polish and he just picked it off. Last summer someone recommended Control It Nail Biting Cream (available on Amazon.com) which is what finally worked for us. If he gets too tired he will start to chew and we just apply it a couple times until he's rested again. Good luck!

Have there been any changes in your home life? New people, new environment, family stress, divorce, death, new schedule, new foods? Anything? It could be symptom of life changes and stress.

Is there anyone in her life that she could be copying?

My daughter started biting her nails after we moved. What helped her was to give her her own nail clippers, the gerber brand for infants. I showed her how to use them and how to open and close it. It also has a very specific spot it goes in that she can easily reach. That fixed it for us. Her nails were bothering her and I wasn't being fast enough. My daughter was a little older though and I don't know what your daughter's fine motor skills are like.

Such things can develop in to habits and be very hard to break. If it's a symptom of life troubles help alleviate the symptom by working on the cause as well as the behavior.

The painful and sore look is a concern. You may want to double check with her doctor about what's safe, and to check for ingrown finger nails (which may have started it and caused her to be over sensitive) and signs of infection.

I was so glad to read this because my daughter is the exact same age and started doing the same thing. Of course i thought the worst and she had some nerve/anxiety issue. Kept trying to remind myself its probably like every other stage shes been into....doing it because she learned she can! SOunds like its the latter!
I have no great tips, just wanted you to know your not alone!

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