I tried the bitter medicine on his nails but it doesn’t seem to work- he still bites his nails and the taste doesn’t seem to bother him anymore. What are some other suggestions for getting him to stop biting his nails?


Posted anonymously, 10th April 2014


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  • Maybe put something that he does not like to eat on his fingers and make sure it gets in under his nails as the taste will stay there. You can also show him how germs live in under the nail, try and find something that he can watch that will sure do the trick.



  • reward when they don’t bite them. put a star chart on the fridge a star a day for not biting their nails. 5 stars = a small prize. crayons , coloring book etc



  • My thoughts would be to try rewarding positive behaviour – often – or just leave it and let him grow out of it of his own accord. Good luck!



  • I was a thumb sucker and nothing my mum tried worked, I just stopped of my own accord when I was ready.



  • I to am a nail biter and agree that stopping them when they are young is key. I have been biting mine for over 40 years and have kicked many bad habits, but not this one. My daughter was a nail biter and when she was about 5 I showed her my stubs and told her this is what yours will look like and she stopped. Then my son started and was really bad, his would bleed and I tried everything I could think of to no avail, then someone said to try rubbing crushed garlic and woohoo it worked. He was about 3 when we kicked the habit.



  • I agree with Band-Aids. I want use to bite my nails when I was younger and mum put a bandaid on my fingers. One actually fell off when I was napping and mum told me I swallowed it! I was so scared I never bit my nails again!



  • Put some mittens on him, you can get little cotton ones.



  • I have been a nail biter on & off all my life, but what has helped me on many occasions is clear nail polish as it makes the nail thicker to bite & deters you from biting!



  • I was a nail biter when I was younger and all that my Mum tried did not stop me I would make my fingers bleed but once I hit a certain age I just stopped you can try putting something on them that he hates but I would not suggest things like chilli as they will rub their eyes and things and this would cause way to much pain and even worse



  • I have been biting my nails for years such a bad habit try anything to try and stop him



  • oops mean picture below …so sorry



  • Shelly1989 gave a wonderful reply. I too was going to mention taping the ends of his fingers like in the picture above. Good luck and hoping you have some success.



  • Chewing gum can help, also Munching on pumpkin seeds or dried fruit can satisfy the gnawing impulse. You can also give your child an emery board so he can gently file away when his nails call his name. Protect the nails by covering them with cool neon bandages during times when he nibbles (such as on long car trips). Keep fingers busy with clay or Lego pieces. It can also help to give him hands soothing attention with a scented lotion.
    Hope I’ve helped.

    Image source Google.



  • I would try lemon juice or a hot chilli sauce, that will stop him


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