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nail biting and stutter - 2 year old

(7 Posts)
legallyblond Sat 20-Oct-12 21:13:04

Hello

V long time since I've posted (about 6 months).

I am (I hope) being precious / jumping the gun... DD (she turned 2 last week) has, for a few weeks I guess, been nail biting. Badly!

I started telling her off, but we then worried it could be anxiety - nothing major happing at the mo, but its been a big year... moved to a new city, moved house twice and DH, who was full time at home, now working 3 days a week (childcare = grandparent 1.5 days and live in nanny 1.5 days)... so, we then totally stopped telling her off and just started talked, asking if she is alright, happy or sad, worried about anything etc, saying we love her... still biting!

She has now started hiding in order to bite her nails!

Do many toddlers do this? Is she now going to be one of those kids/adults with red raw nails all her life...?! What is the best tactic?

Another reason we wondered if its anxiety is that she also has developed a bit of a stammer. For instance, she'll say "my, my, my, my turn on the swing", or "I like, like, like, like going to Granny's house"...

Until the nail biting, I assumed the stammer was just becasue she has just learnt/is just learning to speak and struggling sometimes to string the sentence together.

Any thoughts? Should I be worried at all? Time to paint nails in that nail biting stuff or go to a speech therapist?

DD really is otherwise an exceptionally happy, confident thing, so in a sense I am not that worried, but still...

Any thoughts / advice welcome.

Thanks smile

ZuzuandZara Sun 21-Oct-12 00:21:29

I have a 2 year old nail biting stutterer! (One of a twin, the other neither bites or stutters!)

The stuttering, I believe from a bit of research is perfectly normal for this age. I think their brains are going faster than their mouths and the result is a stutter. I am monitoring and will seek advice if it doesn't seem to resolve as her speech develops.

Bloody nail biting. My daughter used to do it, stopped and has started again. Like you I don't know whether to ignore or tell her off. I've tried a bit of both and now I just pull her hand out her mouth every time I see her biting with no words. I also cut her nails regularly so they don't get chance to grow and I can get any tags before she nibbles them off!

However, the twin that bites and stutters is generally a lot more 'highly strung' than her sister. Things really matter to her - colour of bowl, teddy being in the correct place, high chair being pushed up against the table. Her sister couldn't give a monkeys about those things.

I'll watch this thread with interest.

ZuzuandZara Sun 21-Oct-12 00:26:29

ps there's a thread further down about stuttering in slightly older children, with some great advice.

Wetthemogwai Sun 21-Oct-12 00:32:48

I have a nail biter! She's 18mo and I'm fairly sure it's come from me biting her nails to trim them (never trusted myself with scissors!) and she now thinks its a game. I've stopped biting her nails but not my own but not sure where to go now. <awaits useful advice>

legallyblond Tue 23-Oct-12 23:12:31

Thanks all.

Would it be way too early to think about a speech therapist now? Is it normal for them to grow out of it?

The nail biting is getting a tiny bit better. She gets a balloon if she "tries" not to nail bite. I/we ate trying to be more reassuring than ever and ask DD if she is worried about anything (I think she gets talking about thinks like that - when she moved house she was able to explain that she was worried it would be dirty (we had builders in). Still not sure whether ignoring the nail biting is best of not....

Interesting re your twin DD Zuzu. DD is v confident and happy but she has always had a very strong sense of things being right and getting upset of they're not - e.g things being dirty or broken, or a dab of sauce in the "wrong" place on her plate gets her v cross!

ZuzuandZara Wed 24-Oct-12 15:07:02

legally, I don't think it would be wrong to see a speech therapist at all. Nothing wrong with chatting through your thoughts and concerns with a professional. It doesn't mean though that there is a problem!

There is a speech therapist at the family center who happened to be at one of the groups I was at the other day, I spoke to her about my daughter, she wasn't concerned and said 1. Don't finish her sentences 2. Don't tell her to relax, take her time, deep breath etc and 3. Don't ask her to many questions. All seemed pretty common sense.

I think the behaviour bit can be pretty normal for 2 year olds too. fgs sake it doesn't matter if you get the blue bowl not the yellow bowl, or your highchair is 1" away from the table at one end and 2" away at the other end, or teddy's not sitting straight or...or...or.. oh hang on a minute, yes it does matter, you're 2.

I'm rambling. 2 year olds. I've got 2 of 'em.

ZuzuandZara Wed 24-Oct-12 15:08:30

That first bit doesn't sound right. I mean whether there is a problem or not, there is nothing wrong with consulting a professional. They might just put your mind at rest.

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