How do I get my 5 year old daughter to stop sucking her thumb?

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Karin - posted on 03/13/2009

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I tried everything for my now 7 year old dd. She sucked off all the bad tasting things. I tried gloves, tape, stickers, nail polish (make them pretty). What worked for me? She really wanted a leapster. I told her if she could go 1 month without sucking her fingers I would get it for her. She was 5 at the time and I told her it was an expensive toy and I wouldn't get it for her if she was going to ruin it with her "germy" fingers. We talked a lot about how her germs were getting on everything with her sucking her fingers. Well she went the 30 days (we had a calendar) and I got it for her. She played with it every change she got for about a month and she never touched it again. But, she stopped sucking those two fingers. A good investment if you ask me. :) Good luck.

Julie - posted on 03/13/2009

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May I ask why you want her to? My daughter is now 34 and we've talked about this very issue... I buckled to per pressure and parents' pressure and would spank her and put tobasco sauce on her thumb - you name it - we tried it.



It did nothing more than hurt her heart...



Let her suck her thumb .... in time she will wean herself from it -



And, don't allow others to ridicule her...



THERE IS NO PROVEN FACT THAT IT WILL CAUSE BUCK TEETH either!

Shari - posted on 03/13/2009

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My daughter sucked her thumb till she was in 1st grade.  At that age she only sucked it when she was asleep.  One day she found a minnie mouse  purse she wanted, so I told her that if she quit sucking her thumb then we'd get it for her.  She was so excited and tried so hard to stop, but as soon as she was asleep in it would go.  So, she came up with putting a sock on the one hand she used for thumbsucking..  It worked.  She wanted to stop and was so proud of herself for quitting.  She loved her new purse also. 



Also, the longer she goes the worst damage to the teeth and bite.  She had to have braces twice.  First in 3rd grade to help the roof of the mouth to widen because the roof of her mouth was long and narrow like her thumb.  Her teeth was also pushed forward and her mouth was too small anyway so she had extreme problem with overcrowding.  The thumb wasn't the only culprite, her genetics played a part too.  She got braces put back on in 8th grade.  We couldn't believe when the orthodontist told us she needed two phases of this treatment.  So, try to encourage her anyway that works.  The sooner the better. 

Michelle - posted on 03/10/2009

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I will pray with her! I think that is the best and only solution and it will also teach her to always ask Jesus for help when she needs him. I do not think it is a secrutiy issue it is more a habbit. She has sucked her thumb from the moment she was born.

Candy - posted on 03/08/2009

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I was a thumb sucker for much longer then I'd like to admit . No one could stop me. It was the only thing I could count on for security and comfort. My teeth haven't been damaged, never needed braces. See if you can get to the source, I like the idea of praying to God about it.

Anne - posted on 03/07/2009

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Do you have Prayer at some times during the day when it is just you and her? You could use this as a "Teachable Moment" and explain that God can help her to stop sucking her thumb. When our oldest daughter was almost 3 she still took a water bottle  to bed. We had talked about Praying about her stopping and asking Jesus to help her. About a week later at bed time it was her time to Pray and she started "Dear Jesus Please help me to not need my bottle any more, not to night Jesus but some night soon." About a week later she gave the bottle up on her own.  Yes your daughter is older and her teeth could be effected, but this is not the worst habit she can or even may have in her life time. Above all the more you make it a big deal the more it will because a power struggle between the two of you. 

Melissa - posted on 03/06/2009

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I also used THUM with my son. I found it at Walgreen's. Also, his dentist advised to ignore the thumb sucking & praise him when he wasn't sucking his thumb. He is only 3 1/2 but this has worked well. He will occassionally put his thumbin his moth but he immediatley takes it back out.

Dawn - posted on 03/06/2009

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you can try THUM. as long as she's old enough to know not rub her eyes. i found it at walmart...just ask at the pharmacy counter. i think it has cayenne pepper in it or something. it tates awful.

Michelle - posted on 03/06/2009

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Thanks for the advice and I think your right. She will quit when she wants to. We have tried to tell her about buck teeth and braces but she just does not care. She stop when she stops I guess. Thanks for all the advice from everyone

[deleted account]

I sucked my thumb until I was 8 years old (WAY to long). My parents tried, hot sauce (I sucked it off) they tried vaseline (wiped it off and continued) and THEN they rubber-band a sock onto my hand. I am SO lucky I don't have bucked teeth!! My mom sat me down and told me that I needed to stop, asked if I wanted to suck my thumb in front of my friends at slumber parties and showed me a picture of a bucked tooth person, freaked me out enough to make ME try and quit. If your daughter does not want to quit she won't. The sock worked for me, BUT I also wanted to stop!

Tamika - posted on 03/05/2009

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try to tape her fingers especaially at bed time my sons dentist told me my 5 yr old suck his two fingers it helped him to stop for a while but i wasn't consitated on it so he started back

Michelle - posted on 03/05/2009

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Thanks Sacha, I have tried the hot sauce but she sucks it right off. It is such a habbit for her. Do I just wait until she grows out of it? Everytime she is doing it my husband and I tell her to stop but it goes right back in.

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