How do you get a toddler to stop sucking fingers?

Jenny - posted on 11/26/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My niece is 3 and is still sucking her fingers. Her mom and I have tried the stuff you put on thier fingers and she sucks it off. We have tried rewarding her for not doing and time outs when she does and nothing seems to work. Any ideas?

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Niki - posted on 09/04/2012

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Amazingly, while everyone is saying to relax and don't stress because it's a soother - I'm doing the opposite BECAUSE HER DENTIST stated that if she doesn't stop soon, by the time she is 5 she will need reconstructive surgery because she has already "reformed" the shape of her skull (meaning the roof of her mouth) to the point that there will be problems. Yes moms, I know it's a soother, but when a dr. has stated that it's doing more harm than anything - and I also don't want my child undergoing surgery for her mouth because i was carefree and let her suck her fingers as you're all saying.

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Regina - posted on 11/30/2009

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I am a mother of a 19 year old and a 3 year old. My oldest started sucking her thumb prenatally and continued to do so until age 3. My family continually expressed their concern about it being unhealthy. My mother went so far as to put socks on her hands as an infant to prevent it from becomming a "habit". Eventually, against my better judgement and the advice of my pediatrician and pediatric dentist, I decided maybe I should make her stop. We did all the things that you described doing & eventually we broke her. Even now, 16 years later, I know that was not a wise decision. Please, heed my advice: DO NOT STRESS the baby or yourselves about this. It is actually a self soothing technique that she needs and is perfectly healthy. She will not suffer any ill effects until she gets her permanent teeth. By that time she will probably stop on her own because her classmates will not find it socially acceptable. By the way, my daughter had to have braces anyway, so what did I really accomplish?

Tracey - posted on 11/26/2009

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Hi,my little boy is five and he sucks two fingers mostly when he is tired.I,It doesn,t bother me and he is doing it less and less.I am confident that it will eventually stop.As louise says it gives them comfort so i,d try not to worry about it too much.She will stop at some point.Take care x

Louise - posted on 11/26/2009

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Hi, My little girl has just turned three & I've truly never even thought about trying to get her to stop. It doesnt worry me in the 'slightest' as I know it gives her great comfort & I dont care if anyone thinks she should stop as it's not hurting anyone so bugger what society deems. She will stop in time.... Louise

Louise - posted on 11/26/2009

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i av 4 kids and 1 of mine is a finger sucker! just keep putting strong flaverd stuff on the fingers so that they dont like it! keep doing it and they will stop! it will take a wile! x

Nicole - posted on 11/26/2009

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She will grow out of it, it just takes time. I know you would like it to stop sooner than 6 years old, but thats about the time other kids will make fun of her and she prob wont like it and stop. Its kinda an no win one. When I was little I sucked my thumb till i was almost 7, my parents did everythin you could tink of to get me to stop but nothing worked til i went to school and kids called me a baby, I didnt like that at all so I stopped.

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