Anyone got suggestions on how to stop finger sucking?

Lesley - posted on 04/30/2012 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My wee boy is 4 and still sucks his fingers when hes tired he has done so since i took dummy from him at 6 months old and i cant get him to stop

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Heather - posted on 05/03/2012

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We tried everything to get my daughter to stop thumbsucking. There is a plastic sleeve for both thumbs & fingers that works well. Kids can't take it off without an adults help. In the end, what worked for us was her new baby brother. ”Big sisters don't suck thumbs.”

Sophia - posted on 05/02/2012

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I used to bite my nails (my daughter got rid of her passy at about a month and a half old) and I tried everything. What finally helped me was apple cider vinegar.

Bettie - posted on 05/02/2012

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Just wanted to say do not use nail polish remover it is not made for that purpose and is toxic! Nail polish remover is the same thing as paint remover please read the labels on anything you use before applying to something that will be in the mouth. Also remember those fingers also go in the eyes and nose so be sure to check the label to see if it is safe to be swallowed or come in contact with the eyes. Also bandaids can be a choking hazard so keep a close watch to make sure they are not fraying or come off in the mouth.

Try bitters or natural items like lemon juice. Also try getting them to substitue something else like gum if old enough or sucking on a carrot stick if old enough. If all else fails consult a doctor they may have an underling issue like digestive problem or mabe stress or anxiety. (My son has autism and chewed his fingers to deal with things he didn't understand or stress)

Michelle - posted on 05/02/2012

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Walmart sells the biter stuff. Its over the counter just ask the pharmacist. Good luck:)

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Williams - posted on 05/05/2012

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My son is 3yr, he started his index and mid finger when he was almost 2months old. None of the "gross" stuff worked, I even tried diaper rash cream, vinegar, etc-- He was only a few months I tried wrapping his fingers and/or hands and he would get them loose. Now, I just try to make sure he doesn't scuk them at the "wrong time" and always wash his hands! He strangely to me is very finicky about his hands being dirty or gritty. I have to make sure I have sani-wipes and sanitizer for him. After he eats he will NOT sit around with dirty mouth and hands. He wont even lick his fingers after eating. I say just let them be unless it poses a real threat to their health/growth/development. He doesn't have any mouth rashes or anything and he speech is impeccable.

Holly - posted on 05/03/2012

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I was a thumb sucker and I quit myself around the age of 9 or 10.........I had been at a sleepover and I was the last to fall asleep and I didn't want to be the last one awake and everyone find out that I sucked my thumb so I called my mom to come get me and said that I was homesick......from that point on I said I was breaking the habit so that it couldn't control me......and I have been thumb free since......it wasn't easy but the person has to want to quit and it's doesn't happen over night.....it is a weening process......and they need some kind of replacement......like a stuffed animal to hug or something to do with their hands......my daughter now sucks her index and middle fingers and she is two.....I feel like she will stop when she is ready so I don't push the issue.........she already knows that if her hands are dirty she wants me to wash them so she can suck her fingers......smart girl......least she is a clean sucker......:)

Anna - posted on 05/03/2012

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I have no idea but it is very important to stop it. I have a friend who will turn 30 this year and he still sucks his thumb.

Laurel - posted on 05/03/2012

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My daughter is 3 1/2. She NEVER sucked her thumb until her brother was born last April and started sucking his at 2 months. Then she started.It's frustrating. I don't understand why, if she's never done it, she would start now. She can be I'm dead sleep, I will pull her thumb out of her mouth and she'll wake up screaming. I'm not worried about my son, he only does it when hes about to fall asleep and once he's asleep he takes it out. But my daughter....it's all day long. She chooses her thumb over food sometimes. The dentist told ne she'll take it out when she is ready..but I think she needs to stop now. Tabasco or lemon juice, none of it works, she just washes her hands and goes at it...maybe I shouldn't of pushed on the washing hands thing and she wouldn't wash everything off.

Janelle - posted on 05/03/2012

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This is a security thing for him. Maybe try getting him a blankie or a stuffed animal so that he can switch from his fingers to something else? Have you talked to your doctor? They could recommend something too - and may even tell you that it is not something to worry about quite yet.

Lyndsey - posted on 05/03/2012

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use a chili sauce like tapatio to put on thier fav finger to suck when they taste it they wont like the spice and theyll stop

Shannon - posted on 05/03/2012

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I clicked on this article or post because I have a 2 year old who sucks her thumb and she's been doing it since she was 4 months old. She ditched the soother and moved onto the thumb litterly over night. I hope some of the tips and advice you all provide can be something we can try. I notice she does it when she's tired or bored.

Amanda - posted on 05/02/2012

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i have a six year old that still sucks his thumb i cant get him to stop eithor so we compromise i remind him during the day not to suck his thumb and at night i let him and then after he gets real good at not sucking during day which is getting better then am going to make him stop at nite hope this helps i have tried all the things they make to put on the thumb and he just washes it off so it was a waste of money this is slow going but is working

Ashley - posted on 05/02/2012

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take him to an orthodontist ther is a thing they can put in his mouth to where he can not suck on them. i am having to do that with my 2yr old when he gets his back teeth!

Isobel - posted on 05/02/2012

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That sense of soothing isn't very soothing when other kids are torturing them for it...and yes, it DOES deform the palate, I had two dentists specifically note that he was a thumb-sucker by the shape of his palate...I don't doubt them. AND when they cry to you about wanting desperately to go to sleepovers but being terrified of being mocked...then come to me and tell me to shelter them from the entire world while they "figure it out".



band-aids also work.

Gemma - posted on 05/02/2012

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I am a thumb sucker (I am now 30) It has done my speech and teeth no damage. I have a 'perfect bite' according to my dentist. My middle daughter is also a thumb sucker. Her teeth seem fine so far, no gaps or lopsided growth. Also for a 21 month old her speech is better than some 3 year olds. I wouldnt worry about it. (It also saves you the job being woken through the night to find their dummy for them! ;p )

I really dont understand why people fuss over these things so much. My mum tried everything with me (which makes me laugh as she sucks her thumb at night still at 50+ that does sound weird i know!)

There are a lot worse thinbgs your kid could be doing than sucking on his/her fingers/thumbs. Let kids be kids and stress over the important things that happen.

Vivian - posted on 05/02/2012

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Bitters, nail polish remover, tabassco, lemon/lime, Black licorice flavor, just brush a little smidge of any one of these yucky tasting agents on the nail each day and he'll stop sucking in a few days. Worked for me when I was a kid and my Mom weened me, worked for me to ween my daughter. There's nothing wrong with thumb sucking, it is self soothing, and better than a pacifier. However, thumb sucking needs to stop at an early age. Best wishes.

Ciao

Kathy - posted on 05/02/2012

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I feel it is very unhealthy to be sucking on their fingers. There are so many illnesses going around...

Tiffany - posted on 05/02/2012

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My friend just had this issue with her daughter and she had her wear socks over her hands to bed. If she didn't take them off during the night she earned stickers and once she got so many she earned a treat of her choice. Worked for them. Good luck!

Bobbie - posted on 05/02/2012

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Security and an additional helping of calm is what he is getting from it. When a child creates a habit of any kind such as rubbing the silky part of a blanket or sucking fingers or thumb , it is his way to "pacify" himself to control his emotions. The best advice I can give you is to allow him his fingers as long as he wants them and shield him from others in the family making comments about removing them from his mouth, or the habit needing to be broken. Let them know you are working towards that goal with him and he needs times. Then have him learn coping skills during the day by himself, For example, he gets upset with not being able to put two toys together and becomes angry. Rather than intervene and say anything to him or help him in any way, let him work through it. When he sees you staying calm and letting him figure out the little things he will gain much in self calming skills. When he learns that he can work through his own small upsets and calm himself he will move forward in feeling his emotions are handled and will require less and less comfort rather than continuing the additonal comfort of his fingers to sleep.

Kathy - posted on 05/02/2012

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We had 3 thumb-suckers in our family....My step daughter stopped, because I didn't allow her to do it. My niece still sucked her thumb after she was married, and so did my nephew. He still does and he is 31. And yes, they all had teeth problems....it deforms the mouth, and they needed braces...

Grace's - posted on 05/02/2012

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My 4 year old still sucks her thumb but knows that she's only "allowed" to suck it in bed. If she sucks it any other time I just remind her that she should only suck her thumb in her bed. I tried the foul tasting nail polish type stuff, as well as putting band aids on her thumbs, but they made the problem worse. The less attention you pay to it, the quicker it will go away. By telling my daughter she should only suck her thumb in bed, she understands I'm not trying to stop her from doing it completely.

Srilatha - posted on 05/02/2012

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does he sucks his thumbs ya other fingers? if its other fingers dnt have to worry.. nd keep him busy all the time possible,,,

Jessica - posted on 05/02/2012

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I used bandaids with a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar and persistence. My daughter was 7 when we did this.

Susie - posted on 05/02/2012

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Unless his dr says there is something wrong with it, or if it is really bugging you, I would just leave him alone about it!!

But it you want to stop him, you can try makeing a poster, with his name, and each day he goes without sucking his fingers, then you add a sticker like a gold star, and if its a day that he had sucked his fingers, but not as much, add a different color star, and at the end of the week, or mth, give him some sort of treat! works great for potty training, may work for this too! good luck

Hallie - posted on 05/02/2012

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I sucked my thumb till I was nine and yes it causes teeth problem but I feel that I like a security gotthem it makes them feel safer and calmer so why take that away??

Bethany - posted on 05/01/2012

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Ive heard you can get some disgusting tasting stuff to put on ur finger nails to stop nail biting, maybe you should look into something like that

Michelle - posted on 04/30/2012

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That's the problem, you can take away the dummies but they always have their fingers.

My cousin (now 19) still sucks his fingers and he has done a lot of damage to his teeth. The thing that stops him sometimes is putting bandaids on the fingers he usually sucks. The only problem is when they fall of or he takes them off he goes back to sucking them.

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