Thumb sucking

AJ - posted on 10/26/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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How do I stop my 14 month old baby girl from sucking her thumb?

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Marissa - posted on 10/28/2015

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Wait till she is 2, then gently remove her thumb from her mouth and say "Keep your thumb away from your mouth, please." My husband and I did the same with my (step) son. Unfortunately his mother still allows it at her house, but he is three now, and does not do it at our house at all. Good luck!

Dove - posted on 10/26/2015

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At 14 months... you don't. If she is being by herself and clingy she may be feeling sick or teething... or just going through a phase. Extra snuggles and encouraging her in calm activities may help and distract her a bit.

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Sarah - posted on 10/26/2015

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Sucking her thumb is a method of soothing and security for her. If she is a shy girl, and gets anxious easily; then that thumb makes her feel better. Just like my kids and their pacifiers, I could see them relax while they sucked. It doesn't last. I am a school nurse and I cover many schools and many grades. Of the hundreds of students I see I have two or three thumb suckers in kindergarten (and most have questionable pasts of neglect or abuse). I do rarely see a junior high or high school student suck her thumb and that is usually a kids out of foster care. I suspect the thumb sucking is related to significant pathology.
Don't worry she'll quit, if not for you, when she starts to care what her peers think. Now, I know there is all sorts of thoughts about how it affects their teeth. How many kids make it to adulthood without braces? I know, because I did the research; 15 percent. I have four and 1 of the group has beautiful teeth and a perfect bite. The rest, despite ditching the pacifier at 2 or 3 still needed orthodontia.

AJ - posted on 10/26/2015

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Thanks Sarah.. it's getting worrying because she prefers to just stay by herself sucking her thumb instead of being active n playing around..
And she's become very clingy too

Sarah - posted on 10/26/2015

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This can be a very difficult habit to break. I am not a proponent of putting icky tasting things on her thumb, IMO that is unkind. When you see her sucking her thumb, gently remove it from her mouth. She likely will suck her thumb in her sleep. 14 months is a little young to expect her to quit. My kids were pacifier kids and I know when then got that "yummy" (that is what we called it) in their mouth I could see them relax as they sucked on it. Sucking is a self soothing method and it is useful. I know you want to get her to find other methods to soothe herself before she goes to preschool or kindergarten. I do think you just reminding her to not do it and praise her when you see her without her thumb in her mouth will help. Wish I was more helpful.

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