Baby is a scratcher. Need help!

Dolly - posted on 09/06/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My kiddo is almost 5 months. He scratches his face and scalp to the point that he bleeds. He's so strong, he's a tank! He looks like he's been in a fight with a cat. I keep his nails short. I've tried gloves, but he's a thumb sucker and he likes to chew on his hands. He can't wear the gloves for long becuase they get soaked from all his drool.



Anyone had a similar problem or have any ideas to prevent him from scratching? Everytime he does, he opens up old wounds. I'm very concerned.

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Katie - posted on 09/06/2009

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My son also scratches, and although it started due to eczema on his forehead, once that cleared up (2 mo ago), he had already developed a habit. Now he only scratches his face (especially eyes) when he is tired, and it seems to be working as a good indicator that it's time for a nap.

The best tips that helped us were:

- putting on gloves (we used socks) when he seemed especially prone to scratching (although we did have the same problem you're experiencing with the drool soaking them through -- we just took off the socks after a while, when he seemed to stop scratching for a bit)

- moisturizing his face with a cream (not lotion, due to the drying effect, albeit slight, of alcohol as an ingredient) several times throughout the day -- we made it part of the diapering routine. Our pediatrician had given us a list of acceptable creams (without added fragrance, etc. We used Cetaphil.) While it was especially bad, I even added a coat of vasoline after the coat of cream, to lock in the moisture. I'm not sure if that's recommended though. It seemed to work for us. Moisturizing in general is key -- we hadn't been as consistant with it in the first couple months of scratching, and I think that delayed the eczema healing, promoting the development of a habit to scratch. If your son has dry skin on his face, this will be the most important element of your campaign to stop the scratching!

- keeping the fingernails as short as possible. It's a pain to have to clip so often, but it's an ongoing issue, given his continuing inclination to occassionally scratch.



Your description matches what my son had exactly, although I don't know if your son has the dry skin as well. If he does, ask the pediatrician to take a look at it at your next check-up, or just start moisturizing now to nip it in the bud (after you call in to double-check with the doc.)

Good luck!

Coral - posted on 09/06/2009

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I had a simular prob and as Sharon said dry skin and allergies were the cause of the itching as soon as we got that sorted he stopped scratching, becareful of purfumed products even if they are 'designed' for baby. If it doesn't improve he may have baby eczema, so you may want to have it checked out. Good Luck :)

Sharon - posted on 09/06/2009

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If he accidently scratching his face, then make sure the edges of his nails are not sharp but if he is intentionally scratching himself then he may have dry skin or an allergic reaction to something that you are using i.e. soap, detergent, lotion, food, etc.

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Jin - posted on 12/30/2015

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I raise 2 yrs old nephew and because of his mild eczema his skin gets crazy dry followed by rashes (poor little dood). I used almost every cream including boy's spanish nanny recommeded creme from mexico (rule of thumb.. please consult a physician if you don't know where that thing or it came from) but nothing seemed to work or some made it worse.. My sister somehow found a lotion called "Aton 02" from Korea specially made for babys with eczema and now that thing is in the mail. But for 2 yr old boy waiting for his goods is not an option, so called every store in my town looking for that lotion and found one place who carried not exact Aton 02 but a similar product from the same mfg. I went ahead and purchased it while the original Aton 02 is in the mail and used it on the boy.. the result... that thing is so moisturizing my nephew looks he is fresh out of the shower and best of all it eased his rashes which caused his scratching. But he still scratches at night so now I am looking for something which can alternate his finger nails to prevent from scratches.

Dolly - posted on 09/06/2009

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Quoting Dolly :

Baby is a scratcher. Need help!

My kiddo is almost 5 months. He scratches his face and scalp to the point that he bleeds. He's so strong, he's a tank! He looks like he's been in a fight with a cat. I keep his nails short. I've tried gloves, but he's a thumb sucker and he likes to chew on his hands. He can't wear the gloves for long becuase they get soaked from all his drool.

Anyone had a similar problem or have any ideas to prevent him from scratching? Everytime he does, he opens up old wounds. I'm very concerned.


Thank you for your help mommies!  Yes, he does have dry skin.  I've been using baby oil on his scalp 2x a day.  It still gets flaky.  Sounds like I need to try something else, like cream or vaseline.  I'll start in the morning.  Thanks again!!

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