Help, my Son is 3 and a half months and has discovered his thumb

Dianne - posted on 10/16/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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how can i distract him from sucking it, he doesn't seem to like the pacifier, very worried as i sucked my thumb till i was 9 years old and i was very lucky to have spared buck teeth, but i do have problems with the nails on my thumbs

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Dianne - posted on 10/16/2009

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Thank you all very much for your replies they were very constructive and helpful. I just remember being traumatized by my blankie burning ceremony (it accompanied my thumb sucking) and my 3 sisters swear that they found it easy to take away their children's pacifiers. I am not a fan of pacifiers but didn't also want the potential dental problems that could arise from thumb sucking, guess i will let nature take its course. Thank you once again.

Megan - posted on 10/16/2009

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My sweetie found her thumb at about 2 months. She never would take a pacifier. I originally thought "you can throw a pacifier away but the thumb is there and that's it" but I finally figured out that it doesn't really matter. If they want the thumb they're going to find it at night when you aren't there to take it out so why stress about it. Most likely if braces are needed later in life it will have very little to do with the thumb sucking. He'll stop when he gets too embaraced. No worries.

Ashley - posted on 10/16/2009

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My son had discovered his thumb around the same age I would just pull it out of his mouth and tell him no you have to be very patient with these things. But i did it for about a week or so and he is 7 1/2 months now and doesnt suck his thumb

Tiffany - posted on 10/16/2009

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I don't think you should distract him from it... Our pediatrician told us not to worry about thumb-sucking until permanent teeth come in. My oldest daughter is 4, she started out with a pacifier, but once she found her thumb at just a couple of months old, that's all she wanted. She does still suck her thumb, but only when she's tired. My youngest daughter is now 3 1/2 months and just discovered her thumb as well. She's some how even figured out how to get her hands out of the mittens to suck her thumb. It's a comfort thing :) I agree with the mom who said to let him suck his thumb and be happy. Good luck!

Stina - posted on 10/16/2009

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my 6 mo dd started sucking her thumb around that time and I was thankful. Of my 3 children, she is actually my first thumb sucker. I personally think it's better than a pacifier because she is in control of it and I'm not the one putting something in her mouth to try to soothe her. But that's me. I personally am not a fan of pacifiers- although I had to use one with my first two- # 1 for medical reasons and #2 because she actually would overeat. the pediatrician told me to feed her till she seemed full and then offer the pacifier- she would let me know if she was still hungry, but if she wasn't hungry and just wanted to suck, she would take the pacifier. So I totally understand the use of pacifiers now.



but I'm not bothered by my littlest thumbsucker. If she persists into her toddler years, I may come up with some way to encourage her to quit- star charts, quality time.... but for now, as a baby, It's not a concern.

Hanna - posted on 10/16/2009

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Oh btw check out the raising children website about dummy independance (dummy is what we call a pacifier in Australia) or google dummy independance. I taught my son how to use it and never got up at night to replace his pacifier.

Hanna - posted on 10/16/2009

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Try a different shaped pacifier. My three month old has started sucking his thumb too. He would not take the pacifier either. Then I found it was the shape of the pacifier. He hates the ones with a tapered end and only likes the round ones and only a certain brand! Unfortunately they are the most expensive ones. With this said my 2 yr old is having a hard time giving up the pacifier. So thumb sucking or pacifier addiction, pick your battle! At least the pacifier is orthadontically designed.

Lexie - posted on 10/16/2009

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My 8 month old does the same thing. I think it is a blessing now because I don't have to worry about looking for a pacifier and she has it at all times! She only does it to go to sleep. Now in a year from now, I will try to change it, but for now...it is perfectly fine!

[deleted account]

I had that same problem with my son 15 yrs ago, and what I did was everytime I saw his thumb in his mouth or him trying to put it in his mouth I took both of his hands and did a lil mommy and baby song (ie. the wheels on the bus, patty cake) and in a wk or so he stopped he totally forgot about the thumb to mouth connection. Let me add that we also did not use a pacifier either so that wasn't an alternative option for us.



Good Luck,

*S*

Sharon - posted on 10/16/2009

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My boy did this at 3 months too - and was sucking it all the time. he's now 9 months and sucks it only when he is exhausted. Dont worry, and if you really cant stop him later, you can jsut use that nail paint that tastes yucky that people use to stop biting nails. The benefit of thumb sucking, is that he wont need you in the night to put a dummy back in.

Brittany - posted on 10/16/2009

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My daughter descovered her thumb around the same time, a mth and a half later shes still sucking it! i cant seem to get it out her mouth. i give her toys that are for teething so she wont suck on her thumb as much. its helping alot but, i still cath her with her thumb. i used to suck my thumb and then i got braces at 17 and i loved them.

Chrisstina - posted on 10/16/2009

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my son constantly had the thumb in his mouth and when i started workin at the prison i saw grown women with their thumb still in their mouth i learned though if you talk to your child about how they are feelin and give more hugs they stop usin the thumb to comfort themselves. he stopped at 5. good luck!!

Jamie - posted on 10/16/2009

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I didnt want my daughter to suck her thumb either b/c I had seen my cousins suck theirs until they were 10 or 11 and I didnt want my daughter to do that, so when she was born I had a pacy ready. She took it and then the nurse showed her thumb to her when she was a day old which upset me. I know using the pacy for you didnt work. What I did every time she put her thumb in her mouth was pull it out and say no. Most ppl will say babies dont understand that. let me tell you she started catching on and now is 9 months old and doesnt even do it anymore. Good luck with it

Theresa - posted on 10/16/2009

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Consider it a blessing that he can sooth himself. Sounds like better sleep is on the way for both of you. Most docs say that as long as a child stops sucking their thumb before adult teeth come in there will not be any damage to teeth.



As he gets older be extra careful to keep his hands clean so as not to pick up extra germs as he sucks his thumb.

Brandy - posted on 10/16/2009

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My daughter refused the pacifier from birth and sucked her thumb from 5 days old. She is 17 months old and now she will drink her bottle then suck her thumb for about 5 minutes and fall asleep and that is it. When she turned one, we would just pull it out of her mouth any time we saw her with it during the day (which wasn't very often by that time) and it didn't take long for her to realize she didn't need it much anymore. I can see why some babies don't like the pacifier. I wouldn't find sucking on a peice of rubber soothing either! lol. I wouldn't really worry about it. My fiance sucked his thumb til he was 5 all through the day, so I really doubt that extended thumb sucking is hereditery because my daughter would still be doing it if it was.

Jennifer - posted on 10/16/2009

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The only good thing that I have seen work is putting booties on his hands. I had to do that with my oldest daughter. Good Luck!

Michelle - posted on 10/16/2009

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Why do you want to distract him from it? Are you worried about needing braces later? My experience--both my sister and my youngest child were thumb-suckers and they were the BEST babies, always very happy. My sister never needed braces. My youngest daughter did but I think she would have needed them anyway. A pacifier wasn't any easier to take away from my middle child than the thumb was for my youngest. My opinion and advice (for what it's worth)--let him suck his thumb and be happy. Best wishes to you!

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