From a very young age, Kaylee has been biting her nails (fingers and toes) and we have tried our hardest to dissuade her from the activity. Over the past year her nail biting has progressed to chewing her nails and the surrounding skin which leaves her fingers and toes raw and sore. I've worried about infection and how this might progress as she gets older. Once reprimanded for a chewing event, she can go weeks/months without another incident but then she finally gives in to the urge and once again I find the havoc she's played on her fingers and toes.
On Monday, I mentioned her habit to Jadon's eating therapist, Ms. Caroline and after some discussion it sounds like Kaylee's habit is driven by a need to chew rather than a coping mechanism for stress. In addition to her fingers and toes, she chews fabric, string, hair and any number of other things. We left Caroline's office with a rubber chew tube and we were directed to the internet to order "Chewelry." Yes, jewelry made for kids who have a need to chew. We have a couple chew tubes, bracelets and necklaces headed our way. I hope this redirects her chewing and takes care of the problem until she gets older.