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How do I stop a 3 year old biting his nails so much he makes them sore???

(8 Posts)
tiredoftrains Wed 02-Apr-14 17:07:44

DS is driving me mad at the moment, biting his nails/cuticles so badly they are really sore, he's even just drawn blood on one!

No idea how to stop him-if I tell him off he just gets worse, but he must be too young for that awful tasting nail polish stuff?

Irritating thing is he always stops when he has a cold (moves onto picking his nose instead! hmm

Any advice gratefully received...grin

EverybodysStressyEyed Wed 02-Apr-14 17:10:36

I hope someone comes on to give advice

3yo dd is the same but even bites her toenails! Then gets upset because they hurt and bleed. I've tried explaining but thy are short termist at that age!

Feelingbettertoday Wed 02-Apr-14 17:39:27

Can't help as my son is 5 and still doing this, but waiting patiently to read more.

GreatUncleEddie Wed 02-Apr-14 17:42:02

No you can use the polish stuff. But try to remember that if it hurts that much he won't bite, not because he has any sense or forward planning (!) but because it will hurt. It always looks worse to us that it feels to them.

Innogen Wed 02-Apr-14 18:15:04

I'd use the nail polish

hotcrosshunny Wed 02-Apr-14 19:12:29

Nail polish didn't work with me.

My ds started biting his nails when he he was nervous or worried. He was 2 and it was when he was being left for bedtime.

So we stopped leaving him.alone at bedtime and tried keeping him occupied. I would distract him quite a lot or give him something to fiddle with. He's 4 now and hardly bites. Now he's that bit older I can reason with him - tell him that it hurts when he bites his nails and to let them grow a bit. Sometimes he forgets and bites absently mindedly but is much better now

YoDiggity Wed 02-Apr-14 19:20:08

Yes, use the polish and put it on him at night when he is sound asleep so he can't give you a hard time about putting it on him, or beg you to leave it off. It will be very hard but if you persevere with this it will surely work in the end, as it tastes disgusting.

There was a thing on the new recently about a man who bit his nails so obsessively that it killed him. He quite literally could not stop until he'd chewed the ends of his fingers off and gave himself such bad bacterial infections and septecemia that he died as a result.

And coupled with the fact that severely bitten nails make others feel nauseous and repulsed you really have to do whatever you can to nip it in the bud asap.

tiredoftrains Wed 02-Apr-14 21:35:32

Wow thanks for all the replies except the one about the guy killing himself by biting his nails!! grin

I'll give the polish a go then, think he'll quite enjoy having it applied tbh, but wasn't sure if it was a bit harsh for a 3yo (think I'm too soft).

Hope it works for him, I used it when younger and managed to get used to the taste and carry on sucking my thumb, much to everyone's disgust!

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