25 answers

Trying to Break Daughters Habit of Licking Her Mouth, It's So Chapped and Red

My daughter is 3 years old. She has developed this habit of licking all around her mouth. It's all red and chapped all the way around! We keep telling her to stop licking when we see her doing it. But she doesn't even relize when she is doing it. Is there something I can put on her that will protect the chapped area, maybe keep her from licking, but that isn't toxic if she licks it? Is A&D cream, petroleuim and lanolin, going to make her sick if she licks that? Maybe something that tastes bad so she will break the habit. Help! She looks like a clown!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all the thoughtful replies! All of it helpful and valuable information. I liked the idea of giving her her own little lip gloss, it's a natural herbal one. I gave it to her and told her, every time you feel like you want to lick your mouth, just take out your lipstick and put it on. She is really into it. It is working great, I catch her lick for a second and then go, oh, stop and put the lip balm on. She keeps it in her pocket. The redness is gone. I am putting the aquafor on at bedtime to keep her face from drying out again. Thanks!!

Featured Answers

I give my kids their own special chapstick....they make nemo and princess ones...I also put a little bit of oil of olay on them after bath or before bed if it's really bad...

1 mom found this helpful

Baby Aquaphor is the BEST. I smear it all over my kids' lips, chin, and nose every morning and night, and that is the only reason why they don't have chapped faces. It is FABulous. Good luck!

When my brother was little an allergist suggested we use Neosporin on his lips and nose. I've been using it ever since when I've had a raw nose from a cold or chapped/cracked lips. If I put a lot on before I go to bed, my skin is significantly better in the am.

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My daughter used to do the same thing. We used Aquaphor and it worked great. I would put a thin layer on several times a day and then I'd make sure it was really coated before bedtime.

1 mom found this helpful

I give my kids their own special chapstick....they make nemo and princess ones...I also put a little bit of oil of olay on them after bath or before bed if it's really bad...

1 mom found this helpful

The whole reason for licking is because the skin feels tight and dry, which begets more licking. Lanolin is perfectly safe. You use it on your nipples while breastfeeding and the baby can ingest it. Avoid chapstick. Most of those products have alcohol (any word ending in -ol)and will only dry the area out more. Try putting on lotion after her bath. The pores are open and will absorb more to keep skin moist.

1 mom found this helpful

My 4 year old was doing this too. He did it because his lips were chapped due to a stuffy nose. Chapstick is what we use. He has chapstick by his bed and one in his school backpack. I have chapstick everywhere in my house, in my car, my purse, so i am always applying to his lips. My husband and I explained over and over and over again that licking his lips dry them out even more and making them hurt even more. It didn't work. One day I lost my patience and yelled at him. He stopped.

I wouldn't use A&D - that stuff isn't for oral use. Lanolin is great. I use that on my baby's mouth & nose when he is dry & chapped. I prefer good ole chapstick though because it is inexpensive, easily to carry with you, and easy to just whip out & use.

One thing that may help is that i would apply chapstick, aquaphor, lanolin - depending on the severity of his lips, while he was sleeping. That way it stays on his lips healing them all night long. Good luck.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,
Try blistex in the little round blue container. It's fantastic for the chapped lips. I can't guarantee she'll stop the lip-licking, though, but maybe she'll stop when the lips are moisturized. Ask your local pharmacist for suggestions as well.
Good luck!

I have a 8 yr old son who does this. We just went through this with his lips, cheeks and chin being so chapped that he ended up with a bacterial infection in the skin. However I used A&D ointment (non zinc) - the gold color. On the box it even says that it is good for chapped lips. Sometimes using regular chap stick will make matters worse, I would be careful with regular chap stick. With in hours his face looked so much better. I had tried everything before that...and I mean everything but A&D was my savior. Good luck! Another tip...if you can put on a nice cool (luke warm) wash cloth before applying the ointment or cream. This helps to soften up the skin so it can be absorbed quicker and better.

My son was the same way and at times he still does it. I spoke with my pediatrician who advised we ignore it and gave us cream to apply during the day and at night as well. The more attention you give to it the more she will do it. Yes it does get pretty nasty looking, trust me I know where you are coming from. My son is now almost 12 and is finally changing. I do find that when he is in trouble or upset he will lick around his lips, but even that is becoming less of an issue.
Hope this helps.

My daughter did the same thing and her doctor said it's a zinc deficiency. She is now on zinc and the licking has stopped. Hope this helps.

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