As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to help your child succeed. But when it comes to stopping them from chewing their fingers, you may not know where to start.
Wondering about How to stop my son from chewing his fingers! But it’s not even that hard as breaking a big rock!!!
The first step to solving this problem is to understand why your child may be doing it. There are many reasons a child might chew their fingers, including anxiety, stress, or boredom. Once you know the cause of the behavior, you can work on finding an appropriate solution for them.
Why does your child chew his fingers?
Understanding thy myth behind chewing fingers is important before concluding the answer and thinking of implementations.
There are some myths that are being told.
- “Chewing fingers is a habit”.
- “It’s not good for teeth”.
- “It’s just the way it has been passed on from generation to generation”.
I think these myths should be busted as they have no relevance now as days and age have changed, so changing thyself is highly recommended.
Why does my child chew his fingers?
– Anxiety – Boredom
Chewing fingers, nail-biting, or thumb-sucking in children is very common and begins when a baby is about 3 to 5 months old. As they start growing teeth, it becomes difficult for them to soothe themselves with their hands and mouths. In the process, the baby starts chewing on their fingers to alleviate the pain of their growing teeth.
In the case of adults, it may be caused by anxiety or stress. If you have been feeling regular bouts of anxiety lately, this could be a sign of something more serious. In such cases, it is advised that you seek help from a doctor as soon as possible instead of trying to solve the problem on your own.
But, there might be chances that your child helps you to stop chewing fingers by himself/herself.
How can I stop my son from chewing his fingers?
Here are some tips that you can follow if you are wondering about how to stop my son from chewing his fingers.
P.S: These are not meant to be foolproof, but they have worked for many parents in the past.
1. Make it a habit
Start making your child aware of the fact that what they are doing is wrong by telling them to stop every time you see them chewing their fingers. If you continue to do this, they will learn over time that what they are doing is not right and eventually stop putting their fingers in their mouths.
2. Ignore it
As tempting as it may be, you need to try and ignore your child when they put their fingers in their mouth. If you laugh, make a big deal about the situation, or even scold them for doing it, your child will become aware that what they are doing is wrong. If this happens, they will keep putting their fingers in their mouth because they know that you will get angry.
3. Redirecting the child’s behavior
If your child is chewing on their fingers because of anxiety or boredom, you might want to try and redirect their behavior. This can be done by distracting your child with toys, books, or even a trip outdoors.
4. Deterrent treatment
This seems one of the best ways to me. You can check out deterrent treatment products online. MAVALA stop nail polish is the same product that I recently got to know about. It helps your kid to not put fingers in the mouth plus, and allow nails to grow.
This nail polish is bitter yet harmless that encourages your kid to avoid putting fingers in his mouth.
5. Talk to their pediatrician
Before trying these methods on your own, you should always speak with the pediatrician about the best possible solution for your child’s fingers chewing habit. They can assess your child and tell you if they believe there is any reason you should worry about it as well as recommend a solution specifically catered to them.
6. Use a reward system
Finally, you can always try implementing a reward system to encourage your child not to chew their fingers. For example, every time they manage to go through an entire day without putting their fingers in their mouth let them pick a small toy or treat it as a prize. After some time, the behavior will slowly stop and eventually disappear completely.
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Using muzzle for babies
When all else fails, you might want to try using a muzzle. Trust me, I know it sounds horrible, but this will be the last resort to stop your child from chewing their fingers. This is especially useful if they are putting their hands in their mouth only when the parents are not around or at night while they are sleeping.
– Try using a muzzle when you are with your child
You can try putting the muzzle on when you are around to prevent them from chewing their fingers and eventually they will stop.
– Put it on when they go to sleep
Sometimes kids chew their fingers while they are sleeping and this is why you could consider putting it on while your child is asleep.
– Keep it on for a few days and gradually remove it
The muzzle should be something you use rarely so you might want to keep the child’s fingers inside for a couple of days and then slowly start removing it until your child does not need it at all.
There are many different things your child can do to express their anxiety or boredom, but there is a reason why they choose to chew their fingers. This behavior might be annoying and frustrating, but you have to keep in mind not to scold them for it because you might make the situation worse.
In most cases, the simple answer to how to stop my son from chewing his fingers is,
- Keep their hands busy
- Do boredom-busting activities
- Use reward system
All that is needed is a little bit of patience and a reward system to get rid of the habit.
Mo is a home-based Mommie and a passionate journalist. She loves to help other moms to spend a good life.