Children bad habits

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Children bad habits

Postby vfong1 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:18 pm

My DD has bad habits of nibbling finger nails and put things in her mouth to chew.

How do I help her to kick off this habit?

vfong1
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Postby schellen » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:04 pm

We promised our DD that she will get nail polish like Mommy if she "preserves" her nails. And with nail polish on, she won't nibble cos she knows she will "eat and swallow" the polish. However, we used this method when she was younger and going to childcare so we could paint her nails. Now, she is in P1 and doesn't have this habit anymore but she knows that she can still ask for pretty nail polish during the holidays.

By the way, how old is your DD? If old enough to understand, maybe you can reason with her why it is unsafe/unhygenic to have such a bad habit.

schellen
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Postby vfong1 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:08 pm

schellen wrote:We promised our DD that she will get nail polish like Mommy if she "preserves" her nails. And with nail polish on, she won't nibble cos she knows she will "eat and swallow" the polish. However, we used this method when she was younger and going to childcare so we could paint her nails. Now, she is in P1 and doesn't have this habit anymore but she knows that she can still ask for pretty nail polish during the holidays.

By the way, how old is your DD? If old enough to understand, maybe you can reason with her why it is unsafe/unhygenic to have such a bad habit.


She's 2.5 years old.
Last edited by vfong1 on Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby schellen » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:29 pm

Since she's only 2.5, you can't really prevent her from putting things into her mouth cos that's how kids her age explore and discover things about stuff around them. This is not really considered a "bad habit".

Just make sure she has the "right" things to chew on, like her toys that are safe for kids her age, and have been cleaned. I would sterilise the teething toys with the bottles back then, and machine wash whatever else I could, and sun dry them.

For things that you don't want her to chew on or put into her mouth, keep them out of sight and reach. That's what we did too. Before my DD was born, I went around the flat to put fragile and tiny things away, and only brought them out when she was older. Also, crawl around at her level so that you can spot other "potentials" and "get rid of them" for now or forever.

It may also be that she is teething so it'll be good to keep one or two clean teething toys in the fridge to chill (not the hard plastic ones but the gel-filled ones). This way, it numbs the pain a bit and still gives her something safe to chew on. Having more than one on standby is so that you don't have to hurriedly wash and sterilise if you need one urgently. If you don't have this or you run out, wet a small, thin washcloth (the kind you use to wash her face with) and wring it out. Shake it out and give it to her to chew on. It won't keep its coolness as long as the gel-filled toys but it'll help a little.

Remember to check all her toys regularly, especially when you're collecting them for cleaning. Check for torn, broken, fraying parts. Colour on hard toys should not be coming off. If it is, discard the toy as it is not safe.

When she is older, and has outgrown the putting things in mouth stage, maybe about 3.5-4 yo, and she still does this, then you can consider it as a bad habit. At that time, maybe you can reward her with tiny nail stickers for good behaviour or explain to her why it is not good to put inedible stuff in her mouth.

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