Thumb Sucking

Erin - posted on 10/30/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi, my daughter has been a thumb sucker since she was a month old. She just turned two and she is constantly sucking on her thumb. Her doctor told me to just pull it out everytime I saw her sucking on it, but that just turned into a game for her. How do I keep her from sucking on her thumb so much? It is to the point where her thumb is red and raw but that doesn't stop her from sucking on it still.
Thanks for any help.

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Marla - posted on 11/12/2010

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My son was a thumb sucker too. Until one day at grandma and grandpa's a month ago, he sucked it so much he gave himself a blister and that popped open and broke the skin. so we put on a CLOTH BAND-AID. Ya know the ones that aren't plastic? They stick to it like nothing else, and taste awful. After 2 days of wearing a cloth bandaid, he stopped!! he would remember and point to his thumb and say, owie. you can change the band aid but make sure there is always one on her thumb. Give it a try! It might just work for you! He also learned to fall asleep without his thumb.

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I have a nine year old that still sucks her thumb. Thankfully only when she is tired or sick now. But we have had a heck of a time getting her to quit. Luckily, my 2 year old has never been a thumb or pacifier sucker! So far it has not affected my nine year olds teeth. Although both her Doctor and her Dentist have told me not to push it, she will quit when she is ready. I am not too worried, the older she gets the more she realizes it is "childish" and that her friends would laugh at her if she knew. I think that, in itself, is what is ultimately going to break her from it. I wouldn't worry too much. I don't think it's as big a deal as some people make it out to be, unless it is affecting their teeth extensively. And most of the time it usually doesn't.

Eileen - posted on 03/24/2011

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You could try something terrible tasting. They sell stuff for this very thing. My 4 year old still sucks his..it's calloused. His teeth are fine, so I don't bother with it too much. He said he will stop when He is 5. I did the same when I was a kid, but I said 4. I stopped on my 4th birthday. I don't think it's a huge deal. Ignore often gets good results.

Gina - posted on 11/15/2010

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My son does this as well, however it's only when he is tired or sleeping. He started at around 8 months and has built up a callous on it. Doesn't seem to bother him. I was never a thumb sucker but my husband did until he was 8. I am SO hoping ths is not going to be the same for our son! We went to the dentist and she said it wasn't affecting his tooth developement. His Ped told us there isnt much we can do and since he only does it at while sleeping, just let it be for now.

Jeneva - posted on 11/09/2010

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My son is a thumb sucker too. I talked to the pedi about it and she said there isn't much you can do. I mean, it isn't like you can take away their thumb. The best advice she gave (one of hers did it too) was to just try and get them involved with as much activity that requires both hands as possible. Drawing, painting, riding some kind of toy, climbing, whatever. You can also try negotiating with something they want (but don't need). For instance, if you don't suck your thumb for the whole day then you can have ____. However, that will work better when they are older (works great on my 3 year old).

But in the end, they will have to decide when to stop. Some kids stop early, some really late. I can't tell you how many random people have told me stories of their 5, 7, 10, 15 year olds who still occasionally do it. Don't stress over it unless she gets an infection or something. My son now has a callous on his knuckle from it but that's it.

Katie - posted on 11/01/2010

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My daughter has the same habit. We are not sure how to fight this battle because it is the only way she soothes herself. No irritation on her thumb, but her nail is a little funky. Have you asked your doctor when it is time to make her stop?

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