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What can I put on my DS's clothes to stop him from chewing them?

(17 Posts)
AliPfefferman Sun 08-Oct-17 12:06:00

My DS is 8. He's had an on and off habit of chewing his clothes for years. Any loose-hanging piece will end up in his mouth: his school tie, the collar of his raincoat, or his sleeves if they are a bit long. He doesn't try to do it if he's wearing a close fitting short-sleeved top, and he doesn't chew anything other than clothes. But of course he must wear a tie to school and weather-appropriate outerwear, so it happens a lot. He will keep chewing until his clothes are soaked and torn and it doesn't faze him. He's already ruined one tie and the other one isn't far behind.

I'm inclined to think DS is not chewing out of anxiety, as he is a very relaxed child and the habit comes and goes with no connection to life events. I think it's just a habit, and since he's 8 he doesn't care about things like germs or ruined clothes so he keeps doing it. We remind him constantly but within 10 seconds he's back at it. I did tell him if I have to buy another new tie it will be taken out of his pocket money but I think that's a bit abstract for him.

Would it be awful to put something a bit unpleasant-tasting on his tie and if so, what could I use? I would never do something like chili pepper, and even the stuff you buy to stop nail-biting is quite strong. Just something that would signal his subconscious that this is not a good thing to put in his mouth. Hopefully it wouldn't take long to break the habit.

Any thoughts on this or other ways to curb the chewing? It's driving me mad!

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Mon 09-Oct-17 17:51:26

No idea on that one sorry. Hopefully this will bump for you though smile

MiaowTheCat Mon 09-Oct-17 20:20:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsPassepartout Mon 09-Oct-17 20:27:23

Have you looked into sensory chew toys? Something that would let him chew on things without ruining his clothes?

Hopefully some linked below.

Grimmfebruary Mon 09-Oct-17 20:30:06

My dp's 7 yo ds does this and it drives me crazy. I've offered to buy him a dummy if he needs to have something in his mouth and that usually stops him.

Maybe soak the tie in the nail biting stuff? That stuff is bloody awful 😷

LaughingElliot Mon 09-Oct-17 20:51:29

I think it’s cruel to put something foul tasting on his clothes. Clearly he has sensory issues. Get him a chew necklace or toy.

Skala123 Mon 09-Oct-17 20:57:04

My DD has always done this and it’s definitely anxiety related. She is also a relaxed happy child but it gets worse at the start of every term. I also noticed on sports days loads of kids were chewing their clothes when waiting for an activity to start.
DD suggested putting stop n grow on her school cardigan as she was embarrassed that it was chewed and I bought her a new one and she really didn’t want to ruin it. It did help but she will still chew stuff occasionally. However you could try it for specific things such as his tie?

Flisspaps Mon 09-Oct-17 21:06:03

I bought my two DC a sensory chew necklace (DD has suspected ASD, DS is just a chewer) and school asked them to take them off sad

QuirkyGoose Mon 09-Oct-17 21:11:41

DS now chewing gum at school, teacher suggested it as less conspicuous than chew toys. DS also wants to chew fabric, but he dos get very anxious.

SparklingBollards Mon 09-Oct-17 21:17:46

I'm in my 30's and do this. I chew my collars.

Obviously I have no advice on helping him stop, otherwise all bar my best clothes wouldn't have holes in them. blush

I would suggest distraction if you're sure it's not worry/sensory stuff. (With me it's worry) When you catch him doing it, ask him to do something else, can you wipe down that work top for me, can you fetch me X.

SunnySomer Mon 09-Oct-17 21:17:49

My DS did it with his collars. I was sympathetic when things were stressful (eg we moved house and he changed schools), then when it was getting ridiculous we identified a Lego set he really wanted, then each time he came home from school with a dry collar he got 50p towards the Lego. He’s quite motivated by this kind of goal, so really concentrated on not chewing until the habit was broken.

SparklingBollards Mon 09-Oct-17 21:18:41

*Obviously I have no guaranteed advice on helping him stop

bouyou Mon 09-Oct-17 21:20:30

Oh I haven’t read the full thread, but posted something similar a while ago. Answer was chewigem jewellery.

He has the dog tags. School were supportive. Really made a huge difference.

bouyou Mon 09-Oct-17 21:22:00


oneplusoneequalsfour Mon 09-Oct-17 21:37:44

My son chewed the collar on his coat and made a hole in it, I painted it with stop n grow nail biting solution. He went to chew it and stopped straight away when he tasted it. He hasn't done it since. If he needs to chew then a chew toy together with the solution on clothes to break the habit and encourage use of the toy.

Noteventhebestdrummer Mon 09-Oct-17 21:54:54

I bought loads of ties cheap in the second hand uniform sale and asked DS to chew his tie not his blazer or jumper. About 30 ties later he had stopped chewing.

Voice0fReason Mon 09-Oct-17 21:55:05

Stop n Grow doesn't work very well for fingernails, let alone clothing!
It isn't very effective at all.

Get a Chewigem.

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