Nail biting

1 to 3 years

Created by Neha
Updated on Jan 03, 2014

Hi parents, My 3 year old daughter has developed this habit of biting nails. We have tried stopping her many times. We used to pull her hand out of her mouth, tell her that it is not a good habit, scolded her. But she is not changing her habit. Please suggest how to change this habit?

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| Jan 06, 2014

Hi Neha, I had a similar problem with my 4 year old. She would constantly bite her nails and was moving to picking and swallowing her toe nails! Repeated reminders did not work as it was something she used to do subconsciously. So, I showed her some photos of fungal nail infection, wherein the nails had chipped off, looked yellowish and even worse. That gave her a fright and she immediately stopped. It will work for your daughter too. it may sound a little harsh but this is a habit that needs to stop immediately. Great suggestion by Shikha too :)

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| Jan 03, 2014

Neha! Please notice is ur child copying somebody at home/school. Or this cud be response to some stress going on in child's mind. Please talk it out to ur child n discourage her by telling the ill effects of doing so like stomach infection, unaligned teeth and spoiling nails's shape. U cud show pics of spoiled nails or unaligned teeth on internet to reinforce the message. there is also a possibility that she could be doing so bcos of boredom so it is advisable Please divert child's attention by giving her some work or giving something else in hand. Doing so repeatedly would help her get rid of this habit. The same message should be repeated by all family members to have an impact but in a lighter tone. Scolding, punishing wud make her further tense and thereby reinforce this habit as a child is doing it subconsciously .hope this works!

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| Jan 03, 2014

Hi Neha, my 3 year old daughter too had this habit few months back. It is very easy for kids at this age to catch these habits as they are keen observers but more difficult for us as parents to make them get rid of it. Even my daughter would not listen so I applied little bitter guard juice on her fingers n nails, and finally got she got rid of this habit. Hope this helps you too...

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