My 2.5-year-old son recently had a cold and his upper lip got sore. He took to biting it. His cold is now gone but he keeps chewing his upper lip and it hasn't healed yet. We keep putting salve on it to try to heal it but he keeps chewing it off. Any suggestions?
My daughter did this a lot too (and sometimes still does when she is stuffed up). We put an organic salve on it that had a strong eucalytus scent (I'm sorry, I don't remember the name at the moment of the specific brand we used when she was doing this all the time). It helped with the chapping, made me feel better that she wasn't eating petroleum based products, and because of it's strong and not favorable flavor, she didn't like how it tasted and stopped chewing on her upper lip. If you can find a salve he hates, you might have the same lucky outcome (we hadn't thought out the bad-taste part, it was just a happy accident for us).
Are his lips pretty chapped? I would keep putting salve (I assume that is like vaseline, or chapstick or something?)on his lip and probably around/under his nose - that skin is probably roughed up from having to wipe his nose so much.
Ask him if it is hurting or bothering him? Even if it is not visibly chapped, it could still be bothering him. Make sure he is getting plenty of liquids to hydrate his lips as that will help with the healing.
How long has it been since he had the cold? I am sure it will work its way over.
He may have started it during his cold but discovered its soothing effects, like nail biting. Does he normally have issues with anxiety? When he's doing it, ask him if something is bother him, or what is he worried about, etc. And then I would just distract him with something else.
And, when he's doing it, say "oops, looks like its time for some lip medicine (salve)" with the idea that he will learn to ask for it himself when his lip is bothering him.