my 21/2 year old sucks her 2 fingers and holds a blanket how do I stop this bad habit

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Krista - posted on 04/13/2011




I sucked my thumb until I was 12 and got braces on. I believe a big part of finger sucking is to create healthy space for yourself. Of course at this age, some of it has to do with soothing the gums for sore teeth coming in. Did you breast feed or are you currently breast feeding? There maybe other things you could introduce that would provide teeth relief, if that is part of the problem, like homeopathic teething tablets, cold wash rags, ice chips, or juice popsicles. I would encourage other ways to self sooth, like teach her to take three deep breaths, rub a little stuffed toy, or go sit down in a special chair that is quiet and away from the noise of everyday craziness.

Kathy - posted on 04/13/2011




She does this to releive anxiety. This is normal behavior. You can encourage her to stop sucking her fingers by telling her stop every time you see her doing it. She probably doesn't even realize she is sucking her fingers. As for the blanet, put some rules on where she is allowed to take it. The blanket isn't allowed out of the house unless she is spending the night somewhere, she is going on a long car ride, or for special occasions. As she gets older, she will develop different coping skills. Good luck!

Matly - posted on 04/13/2011




My 2 1/2 daughter sucks her fingers and holds her hair St nap and bedtime. At the last dental visit they noticed a narrowing of her upper palate and spacing of her front teeth due to the sucking. Needless to say although I had wanted her to stop a year ago, now it needs to stop now.

3 days ago I made her a "special sleep shirt", I sewed the sleeved closed so that she has no access to her fingers. She gave very little protest at bedtime, naps have been hard. The dentist said that it takes 30 days to break the habit...27 to go. I think it helped that she heard the doctor say that she needed to stop as well as coming from me.

Good luck!

[deleted account]

You can't stop a habit like this, some kids suck there thumb some there fingers it is a comfort thing. At 2 and 1/2 there is to much trama that would happen if you tried to stop her now. She will grow out of it sooner or later, my 4 going on 5 year old sucks her thumb, we tried around 2 to break her of the habit, hot suace, nail polish, tapped gloves to her hands at night, non of it worked she just seemed more determined then ever. I will say you can regulate when and were she does it. First it was only in the car and at home, then only when she was tiered or in her bed. Now she is only allowed to suck her thumb in her bed. Eventually she will have to deciede she is done hopefully before the braces come on. Good luck!!

Gwen - posted on 12/30/2009




I wouldn't even worry about it. Just make sure she leaves blankie at home so you don't get in the habit of dragging it along w/ you all over the planet :-)

Christine - posted on 12/30/2009




I wouldn't make a huge deal out of it at this age. But you could start limiting the blanket to just bed and nap, if the finger sucking goes with the blanket than this will also be limited to that time. The more you push for the stopping the more unsettled she will be, make it gradual, it will make her feel like she has some control. I know everyone says that finger sucking causes issues with teeth but I know for a fact that isn't always true, I was a long time finger sucker and I never had issues with my teeth nor have I had a dentist ask 'did you suck your fingers as a child'.

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