How do I keep his fingers out of his mouth?

Dawn - posted on 11/01/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son is 3. He has developed a habit of putting his fingers in his mouth. For the most part, he does it when we play on the computer or while watching tv. It sometimes looks like he is playing with his back teeth. He has been potty trained since age two, and only used a pacifier as a small baby. The only thing new in our lives is that he began going to preschool this fall, two mornings a week. He gets frustrated when I remind him to keep his hands out of his mouth. I just encourage him to remember and suggest he hold his ear, or the chair or to put his hand under his chin. Any idea why he may be doing this and how I can help him to stop?

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Claudia - posted on 11/01/2011

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Buy an Aloe Vera plant. Cut one smal piece of the plant and rub the inside of the plant on his nails and under his nails. It is extremelly bitter and nasty, but very safe. My son calls it the yaky stuff. He will need to drink water or even brush his teeth to take the taste out of his mouth. Works for my son. Now all I need to do is tell him that is he put fis fingers in his mouth again, I will put the nasty medicine on it, and he stops.

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My son (3) does this on and off..now that you mention it,it's usually when he is watching telly too.

I just make sure his hands are as clean as possible and let him at it.

I don't like it but he is my 2nd and I realise that most of the weird habits they pick up,they do eventually grow out of.

Usually faster if you don't harp on them about it.

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Kelina - posted on 11/04/2011

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my son started doing this when my daughter was about 6 months. I stressed about it for so long and one day lost it and told him i was going to bite his fingers off. lol it worked! it took him a couple of days to remember but now he doesn't put them in his mouth anymore. occasionally i will have to remind him what happens if he puts his fingers in his mouth and they come right out. Now before any of you start thinking i abuse my kid I would never actually bite his fingers off. but apparently for some strange reason he believed me that day.

Kathleen - posted on 11/02/2011

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I told my son to take his fingers out of his mouth/nose when he put them in there. However, if he's messing with the back of his mouth, check his molars. My son's 2yr old molars JUST finished cutting through a few months ago. When he started with his fingers back in his mouth. So that maybe a factor.

Dawn - posted on 11/01/2011

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Thank you. I will try and ease off the verbal reminders. I have also tried giving him raw carrots to munch instead of his fingers. :)

Denikka - posted on 11/01/2011

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My son (2.5 yrs) goes through periods of doing this too. I don't make a big deal out of it, usually don't even say anything. I just grab his hands and hold them for a little while or get him to do something that requires his hands for a few minutes. I've found redirection to be very helpful.

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