It is absolutely normal to wake up one morning and find that your baby has scratched her precious face at some point during the night. In fact, babies even scratch their faces during the day when they are playing or eating. However, there are eight tips that you can try if you want to stop your little one from harming her sweet face. After all, you definitely don’t want one of those scratches to ave a scar that will be on your child’s face for years.
One of the first tips to try is to make sure that your baby’s skin is properly moisturized, so she won’t be feeling the need to scratch her skin. For example, if your baby’s skin is too dry or itches because it needs more moisture, then you can solve the problem by applying lotion to your baby’s face. You just have to be careful not to get the lotion in your baby’s eyes, nose or mouth. It is also helpful to choose a lotion that is made for babies that do not have a strong smell. If your baby’s skin does not respond to lotion or if your baby has a rash on her face, it may be time to call the pediatrician to see what options you have.
Take a moment to check your baby’s fingernails. You might be surprised at just how fast a baby’s nails can grow. Clipping your child’s nails will make it less likely that your little one accidentally scratches her face if her hand happens to brush against it. It may be a good idea to schedule a weekly nail clipping session, so you don’t forget to do it. If your baby’s nails still have sharp edges, you can lightly file them to keep the edges smooth. Smooth edges will not tear the skin in the same way that rough edges will. The trick is to keep your baby still while you clip and file the nails and then to check to make sure each nail is smoothly rounded.
Another suggestion to try is to buy your baby a pair of mittens. The soft mittens will allow your baby to move her hands, but the mittens will protest your baby’s face from scratches because the hands are covered. It is very important to keep mittens on your baby’s hands the day before and the day of a photoshoot. This will ensure that your baby’s face is not scratched for pictures. Just be sure to buy mittens that are the appropriate size for your baby’s hands, so the mittens don’t keep slipping off. The mittens should not be so tight that her movement is restricted either. You may have to try on several pairs of mittens before finding a good fit.
Keep Hands Busy
One tip you may find helpful is that you need to find a way to keep your baby’s hands busy. For example, you might give your baby a plush stuffed animal to hold and rub, or you might give your baby a toy that has lots of objects to manipulate to keep her hands moving. Look for toys that light up or play music. If your toddler’s hands are busy playing with a toy, then you might find that your baby doesn’t have time to scratch her face. Keep in mind that a busy baby is learning, so there is an added benefit to trying this tip!
Watch for Imitation
Here’s an idea you may not have considered. Depending on the age of your baby, your baby could be imitating you. Try to pay attention to your behaviors and actions. If you happen to spend time scratching your face or skin in front of your baby, then your baby might be picking up on those behaviors and trying to mimic them. If this is the case, you will have to become more aware of your own actions so that you can stop your behaviors and the behaviors of your baby.
Check for Calming Tendencies
Observe your baby try to determine if your baby is scratching her face as a strategy to calm herself. Babies usually try to find ways to soothe themselves when they are upset or angry. These self-soothing behaviors may take the form of rubbing a collar, rubbing the eyes, or scratching the face. Your baby doesn’t mean to harm her skin; she may simply be trying to calm herself down with repetitive behavior such as scratching at her face.
Break the Cycle
If your baby continues to scratch her face, you may have to step in to break the cycle. The way to do this is to watch your little one throughout the day. Each time you see your baby scratching her face, you must intervene to remove her hand from her face and stop her from continuing the behavior. After you do this repeatedly, your baby will learn to stop touching, reaching for, and scratching her face. It will take repeated attempts before your baby gets the message, so you will have to be patient. However, your little one will learn that you want her to stop this behavior.
Wait for the Phase to End
It is important to keep in mind that this is simply a phase that your baby is going through that will not last forever. It is very likely that your little one will stop scratching her face if you can wait for the phase to end. As your baby learns to control her movements and as her fine motor skills continue to improve, you will notice that your baby spends more time grabbing toys and books instead of her own face. Therefore, it makes sense to work with your baby to help her learn to control her movements and practice her fine motor skills. You can give your baby rattles to hold, which will help your baby increase her grip and learn to clasp and unclasp her hand.