How can I get my 4 month old to stop sucking her fingers?

Loreal - posted on 07/03/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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She sucks her index and middle fingers and I am trying to break the habit. Her little fingers are puffy and I do not want them to get swollen (any more than they already are). I have tried the mittens but she found out how to take them off. I would like to think there is something I can do about it, but so far, I do not think there is. Please help.

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Michelle - posted on 07/04/2010

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Try her with a teething ring/toy that she can suck on. It won't be that long before you need one anyway. She may prefer that as it's a toy rather than a pacifier.

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Michelle - posted on 07/04/2010

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I agree I think it is a stage all kids go through when they discover they have hands, and she will probably stop when she starts on finger foods. Wouldn't be a bad idea to give her something else to suck on too though - something else to discover :-)

Angela - posted on 07/04/2010

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I thought sucking fingers at 4 mths was a stage they all go through. They´ve just learned that they have hands and have the coordination to get them into their mouths, and anything they have in their hands heads that way too.

Cheryl - posted on 07/03/2010

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You can try pacifiers if you want.. I would just hold it there in his mouth.. he didn't like it but I just kept at it a little every day until he took it, one of my others sucked on his finger till he was, well I probably shouldn't say, but let's just say when we got braces on him he stopped finally.. I wish I had worked wi him wi a pacifier I think it would have saved us 1000's of dollars in dental work.. work with a pacifier on her and think of all that money you will save.. I would rather have had it for his college fund!!LOL

Kristin - posted on 07/03/2010

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At 4 months, she is sucking for comfort. She is self-soothing. As she gets older, she will have other methods of soothing herself. I would wait a while. The puffiness isn't permanent and she isn't going to hurt herself.

When she is a little older and has a favorite toy or blanket, then just redirect her to that item and remove her hands from her mouth. At this point, she knows that they are always there for her. Be patient, it will be okay.

Jody - posted on 07/03/2010

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Hi Loreal,
My son is 6 and has just recently stopped sucking his thumb with some help. My pediatric dentist put me onto something called 'Thumbguard'. I googled it and found I could buy it over the internet. It took some time to show up (coming from America I think) and was expensive (around $150) but it worked. You get two plastic guards so you would be able to use on only 2 fingers so not sure if that would help.
I would recommend the Thumbguard though. You need to use it for for a while because it takes some time to break the habbit. I still catch my son occassionally in the middle of the night sucking but he is not conciously aware of it. Habbits are hard to break. Doesn't happen often and we just put it on again for a few nights.
Good luck
Jody

Iridescent - posted on 07/03/2010

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You can try to get her to take a pacifier instead, but at this point there is little else you can do. Once she's older (at least 18 months) you can put guards on her hands to stop it but they do take time to work. We just got through using them this spring on our girls. They make them for thumbs and for finger sucking.
http://www.thumbguard.com/

Erica - posted on 07/03/2010

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Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to stop her. My sister used to suck her thumb and my parents tried EVERYTHING to get her to stop. They even put hot sauce on her thumb and fingernail polish remover and some special stuff they used to sell back in the 70's to get kids to quit sucking their thumb.

My son sucks this index finger and his thumb. His index finger is red and puffy, but there's nothing I can do to treat it, it doesn't seem to hurt him at all. I hate that he's a "thumb sucker" cause there's really nothing you can do to break the habit. At least with pacifiers, you can take that away. Maybe try switching her to a paci. My son never would take one.

Good luck!

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