My 2 year old is biting her nails...

Karen - posted on 02/24/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Any advice on how to break a habit with a 2 year old? She's been biting her nails for three months now and all my gentle reminders are not helping. I prefer to stick to more positive methods of parenting, but we do give the occasional swat to put a point across. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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Louise - posted on 02/25/2011

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Keep her nails cut very short and gently file any rough edges. Are you really sure she is biting her nails and not just getting her back molars through. Children age 2 to 21/2 tend to chew fingers because there gums are sore due to the last baby teeth coming through.

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Holly - posted on 03/07/2011

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i am facing this problem with my 22month old daughter i have tried putting things on her fingers,telling her its dirty or no but i just dont know why she is doing an how to get her to stop.

Karen - posted on 03/02/2011

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Louise: I haven't had to cut her nails in months, they haven't been long enough. I appreciate the reminder, though, she's been waking in the middle of the night, that may be why.

Becky: I had heard that about weaning a child from sucking their thumb or nursing, I didn't think to correlate it with this. I will discuss that with my husband.

Meagan: I have noticed that children pick up on our habits. Nobody bites their nails, but now that you mention it, we've had problems with our kids taking after Daddy's habit of using his teeth as tools, and he does clean his fingernails with his teeth. Maybe that's where she got it.

Thanks, ladies for the wonderful advice!!

Meagan - posted on 02/27/2011

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I just started facing this, and I realized that her habit was copying MY habit. So, does anyone in the house bite their nails? If so, that's probably where she got it from. What I did, which was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life (lol) was stop biting my nails. And then as they grew I showed er how pretty and long they were, and so she stopped biting hers too. I also painted our nails (you can buy non-toxic nail polish for kids.) and cut them, filed them, just basic manicures. Worked wonders!

If it's not a similar habit, why not try having at home manicures too? It'll keep her nails short, and pretty, and pretty is usually a great motivator for little girls!

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I heard you can put a sour or bitter taste onto something that you want them to stop putting in there mouth. If her fingers taste nasty it could get her to stop. I don't know if this works, its just something I heard.

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