Yep, I have a thumb sucker.... please help me

Becky - posted on 04/30/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I have a 2 1/2 year old son who is utterly devoted to sucking his thumb- day in, day out, asleep, awake, somewhere in between.... no matter what I do he won't stop. I pull his thumb from his mouth and he pops the other hand in. I try to reward him with treats or special things to do for not sucking his thumb, but nothing has interested him enough to get him to stop. He went to his first dental visit where the dentist said he has to stop now or risk causing permanent harm to his upper jaw. I need help!! Any suggestions???

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Constance - posted on 04/30/2011

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It is his security. What makes him feel safe. If you can find a something new that gives him that feeling.

Karli - posted on 05/01/2011

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I've heard that putting witch hazel on his thumb might work. It taste very bitter but totally harmless. google it and see what others say about it.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/01/2011

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yes...suggestion #1 ..you're in a power struggle..it isn't your body and no matter how hard you fight him on this ..you are going to lose

stop making it such a big deal and he will probably stop resisting so much

DeDra - posted on 05/01/2011

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I DO know adults who STILL suck their thumb! Their parents never stopped them, thinking it would go away on it's own & it didn't. They just became more sneaky with it, not doing it around friends who would tease them. I'm not sure what steps you can use to stop it, but I do know that the bitter polish helped me stop biting my nails when my grandmother used it on me as a child.

April - posted on 04/30/2011

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I've heard about putting something that tastes bad for a child (nothing dangerous of course) on a child's thumb so it discourages them from sucking it, it was the same method they use for a constant nail biter.

I don't know if it's effective but that is what my friend did to stop her child from sucking her thumb.

Hope you find a solution soon, good luck! :)

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Merry - posted on 05/06/2011

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Eric usually sucks his thumb the instant he finishes eating because he feels full and just wants to relax.

Jennifer - posted on 05/05/2011

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Kids do not simply suck their thumb just because they're hungry. I'm pretty sure most, if not all, use it for comfort much as some children might use a blanket or a pacifier. My 19 month old has been doing it since she learned how to self-soothe--this is the method she uses to do it! She started around 2 months old and started using it to fall asleep mostly and now she uses it if she gets upset after you scold her (as an example) or if she's tired. She definitely uses it for comfort. She can have just eaten and, if she gets upset, will start to cry and then stick her thumb in her mouth and stop.

Jennifer - posted on 05/05/2011

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i sucked my thumb tell i was 12 and teen sleep overs started then quit on my own :-)

Abhilasha - posted on 05/05/2011

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Dear Becky,

Hi
read about your concern, being a mom of 4 yr old I understand your concern. As your son must be understanding communication tell him stories about kids who sucked thumb and what happened to them and express tht you really dont want anything like that to happen to your son then start giving giving him meal more often kids start sucking thumb when they hungry and in order sooth their hunger they suck thumbs. Most of the habits in the kids are general body response to natural needs and these can be taken by slow n steady moves.... not worry much u ll win over it with time patience is the key to motherhood hope this trick works for the little bundle of
joy of urs... putting some with bad taste will only make him do it with more force. instead try to keep him busy in other activities

happy parenting

Jennifer - posted on 05/03/2011

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LOL well I hope my daughter will because she sucks her thumb quite a bit for soothing herself. If I get onto her about something and she gets upset about it she'll wimper or cry until she sticks her thumb in her mouth lol or what not. And she almost always does it before going to sleep lol.

Merry - posted on 05/03/2011

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That's what I heard exactly Jennifer! My son is 2 now and I can tell he sucks it less and less now. Now it's mostly only if he is tired or relaxing with me on the couch! I'm sure he will stop on his own if I leave it be :)

Jennifer - posted on 05/03/2011

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My 19 1/2 month old has been sucking her thumb since she learned how to self soothe around 2 months. On one of the information sheets that her pedi gave to me a while back said that thumb sucking is not harmful to the child and that, when the habit goes unnoticed, it usually goes away on its own and that most stop by the age of 3. My older daughter didn't suck her thumb, so this is new to me as well, but I trust my pediatrician and I will try to let it run its course, and see if she stops around or before she hits 3.

Victoria - posted on 05/03/2011

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I was also a thumb sucker growing up. I even sucked until I was much older than normal kids, and needed braces as a result of it. It didn't cause any permanent damage or anything like that, just needed braces. My parents tried the old tabasco sauce, and the bad tasting anti-thumb sucking stuff from the store, but every morning I would wake up with the thumb in my mouth. I stopped eventually, and so too will your son. Don't stress about it too much, just start saving now for the braces!

Karen - posted on 05/03/2011

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Try telling him that if he sucks his thumb, he has to go to bed. Be consisent and it will stop. I had 3 that were thumb suckers. Then when they were old enough and wanted to stop (about 5-6) I told them to sleep with their pillow on their hand. They did stop.

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I have not tried this product, but you might want to read about it. Maybe it can help your son. www.thumbguard.com

Dawn - posted on 05/02/2011

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My son sucked his thumb even while in the womb. I thought he was never going to stop! But one day when he was about 2, he got a really bad cold and couldn't breathe through his nose, so he couldn't suck his thumb whil sleeping. He stopped right then and there, and never did it again! I'm sure he will stop when he's ready.

Merry - posted on 05/01/2011

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What other adults do in their private time is not my concern :) I also know one adult who sucks his thumb, but his teeth are just fine, and I see no harm in it, it's not like he does it while driving or at work!

Merry - posted on 05/01/2011

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That sounds awful Karol! I can't imagine doing that to a kid. I mean it's their thumb, I don't fel right about dictating what he does with his own darn thumb! Besides, in cultures where k
Babies are breastfed hourly or more, for three years or so, those kids don't suck their thumbs! So obviously the natural place for them to comfort is at the breast, so if I'm not going to let him breastfeed hourly for years and years the least I can do is slow him to comfort himself with sucking the next best thing.....

Karol - posted on 05/01/2011

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When I was a child I sucked my thumb. My parents did terrible things to make me stop. Even going so far as to cement metal spikes in my mouth. None of it worked. I su led my thumb til the other kids in pre k made fun of me. No one has ever walked down the isle or graduated college with their thumb in their mouth, so relax! Oh and the same dentist that put those things in my mouth told my parents I would have a disfigured jaw and crooked teeth, I have a beautiful smile and perfectly straight teeth!

Merry - posted on 05/01/2011

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My son sucks his thumb as well, I've decided I'll never make him stop, and he can suck it as long as he feels he needs it. I don't take it out of his mouth because forbidden things are so much more appealing to kids. He sucks it when he is tired or relaxing so I see no harm. I've heard the bigger deal you make of it the re they fight to keep going. If you just let nature run it's course most kids quit on their own by about 3-4 years.

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