HELP!!! - Daughter Is Constantly Smelling Fingers

Updated on October 20, 2009
A.W. asks from Jackson, NJ
4 answers

Does any one have any daughter is constantly smelling her fingers. It seems like everything she touches....she then smells her fingers. Not only is this grossing me out....she could potentially get sick. Has any one ever delt with this and if so...what did you do??


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answers from New York on

It's a phase. Try to ignore it if you can and have her wash her hands regularly. If she's still doing this in a year, talk with the pediatrician about it. Otherwise, she's most likely exploring the world. It's gross to us as adults, but interesting to her!



answers from New York on

It's a nervous habit and she may not even be aware that she's doing it. I did the same thing when I was roughly the same age. My mom made such a big deal out of it that I took it underground, so to speak, and only did it when I was alone. To this day I can't explain the compulsion, but eventually I stopped doing it. I didn't consciously make the decision to stop; I just did.

Your daughter will likely outgrow the habit as well, but to help her along explain to her why it's not a good idea and tell her that whenever you see her doing it you're going to remind her to stop. When you catch her doing it, gently give her a one-word reminder. Whenever I caught my daugher biting her nails when she was 6 I'd quietly say, "Fingers". It brought attention to her habit and she quickly took her fingers out of her mouth. It took a lot of reminders, but she did stop.



answers from Syracuse on

it's part of her identifying the object. I am 30 years old and i have always done this and still do. My strongest sense is smell and i find out more about something by smelling it than i do touching it or seeing it. also, by smelling things it joggs your memory. For me i have a stronger sense of recalling my memories by smelling something than i do looking at a picutre. Smells are probably really important to her. She will always remember the smell of her house or her grandma's or something really special to her and when she smells it later in life it will bring back a wave of nostalgia.
I bet you she's just not always smelling her fingers but brings just about everything to her nose. If germs are the problem than i would carry around some hand sanitizer and have her rub it on every now and again.



answers from New York on


I think my son went through a similar "PHASE" I can't remember how old he was (he's 8 1/2 now). He outgrew it. I think you just have to ignore it... or try to make her have something in her hands, so she isn't touching as much and smelling. I agree about the germ thing, but the more attention you draw to it, the more and longer she will do it.


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