How do you get your child to stop sucking their thumb?

Ashley - posted on 09/19/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

49

24

8

I know it is kind of early, but my daughter is 15 months old and sucks her thumb. I know it is bad for her teeth, but just need some help on the best way to get her to stop sucking her thumb.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

17 Comments

View replies by

Nikki - posted on 02/02/2014

1

0

0

Not all children grow out of it. I sucked my thumb till I was eight and as a result needed braces and my parents tried eveything....

Catherine - posted on 04/01/2012

7

0

1

I have a twin sister who suck her thumb! If you start breaking them from it early such as putting onion juice , vinager, or something your child doesnt like should help break them! The longer you wait the harder it is to break them from it. My daughter is 3 months and to keep her from getting into that habbit we gave her a naynay since its way easier to break them from one of them than it is their hands! You may try keeping a glove on the hand your childs sucks or a bandaid or even an oven mit! Let me know if this helped!

Sharon - posted on 09/19/2009

1

9

0

My MIL got my son to stop just by consistently removing his thumb whenever it found its way to his mouth. In the course of one year, he stopped.

Gina - posted on 09/19/2009

46

17

3

I can't remember how old my brother and I was when we finally stopped sucking our thumbs. We were probably around 5 or 6 years old by then. My mum was able to distract us during the day but the night times was the worst. So my dad came up with this idea to put socks over our hands and tape our wrists so we couldn't take them off. After having done that for a few nights we finally stopped the habit of sucking our thumbs. It worked for us.

But I guess every children is different. I agree with some of the above comments. Good luck. :)

Tami - posted on 09/19/2009

13

10

0

I had a friend who's daughter sucked on her thumb & she started distracting her with other things whatever she would see her put her thumb in her mouth. She would either go start playing with her, loving on her, giving her a sippy cup of cool water, etc. she did a lot of different things that got her attention off of her desire to suck her thumb. After a few weeks of repetative distractions, she finally stopped all together. She didn't have to use any chemicals or additives. Maybe it will work for you & if your child goes to daycare, inform the caretaker to do the same if possible. Good luck.

[deleted account]

It's recommended to ignore thumb sucking before age four. After four you can try the reward system if they go so long without sucking the thumb. There is also a med called stop-zit, no prescription required, you can use on the thumb. However, it's only recommended for children over four. You can also try putting a glove or a splint on the finger off and on to deter the thumb sucking. Dentists can place a reminder bar in older childrens mouths to deter the sucking motion. And the sucking needs to stop completely before permanent teeth erupt or it will cause an overbite "buck teeth".

Holly - posted on 09/19/2009

6

5

1

My daughter used to suck 2 of her fingers. We tried the bad tasting stuff and it never worked. We finally bought her some pretty "princess" gloves (the thin, stretchy kind) and she started to wear one glove on the hand that she sucked whenever we were at home. Eventually she only had to wear it at night. Nighttime was the hardest, because she often sucked her fingers just as she was falling asleep. It can take a long time to break the habit. It took a good 6 months before we could get rid of the glove for my daughter. I hope this may help you!

Jodi - posted on 09/19/2009

2,694

52

168

It's really not too early if you ask me, babies loosing the sucking impulse around 3 months, though some continue to suck after that, it's no longer an impulse they can't control. That being said, I was a thumb sucker and my mom would give me things to do that I NEEDED two hands for, such as painting, coloring, play-doh, digging, helping with dishes, anything to distract me from my thumbsucking when she saw me go for it. There are a lot of things she can help you with around the house that she'll need two hands for. Combine this with lots of praise for not sucking, and it worked for me, I was two btw, so not terribly older by too much. Good luck!

[deleted account]

If your child can understand, gently remind her that she doesn't need her thumb and give her a different lovey to distract her from her thumb. I wouldn't recommend hot sauce, etc. That is just setting yourself up for a difficult time. Most likely your child will out grow it.

Cheryl - posted on 09/19/2009

2

1

1

This is how she soothes herself. Why does she have to stop? My daughter stopped on her own in 2nd grade.

Laurween - posted on 09/19/2009

5

22

0

Use a special nontoxic, bitter-tasting nail coating, such as Thum. Apply it like fingernail polish to the thumbnail each morning, before bed, and whenever you see your child sucking his or her thumb. This treatment is most successful when it is combined with a reward system.

Kitty - posted on 09/19/2009

4

4

1

This is what my aunt did with her girl, and I'm trying with my three year old. I have a chart for stickers. He gets a sticker for every day he doesn't suck his thumb, but every day he does, one gets taken away. When he gets 7 stickers for no sucking of the thumb we go get a prize. I have noticed he is very aware of himself sucking his thumb now, but we haven't made it a week yet. But the more encouraging you are the easier it is. Just try not to get upset or over whelmed. She will give it up when she is ready.

Salenia - posted on 09/19/2009

14

19

1

It's hard to get a child to stop sucking their thumb. I personally was 18 when I finally quit. When I got older, I only did it at night when I was going to bed. As for bad for the teeth, I've never had dental problems. Never braces, retainers, nothing. I have perfectly straight teeth. Your child will stop when they are ready, it's a comfort thing. Good luck.

Karen - posted on 09/19/2009

1

9

0

Quoting Ashley:

How do you get your child to stop sucking their thumb?

I know it is kind of early, but my daughter is 15 months old and sucks her thumb. I know it is bad for her teeth, but just need some help on the best way to get her to stop sucking her thumb.


Im sorry, I don't have an answer for you but if you find out, i would love to know. My almost 4 year old is still sucking her thumb and everyone I ask has the horror stories of how their 17 year old daughter will still occasionally suck their thumb when she is tired or upset.



Good luck

Amy - posted on 09/19/2009

21

34

0

My grandparents told my mom that she was going to get buck teeth from sucking her thumb. You could try telling your child something like that. Or putting hot sauce or something bitter on the thumb like Magan said. Being encouraging when your child doesn't suck their thumb. If they're older and still suck their thumb, you could try taping an oven mit or a sock over their hand. Hope something works!! I know I'll probably be trying some of these in a year or so since my daughter recently found her thumb and won't take a nuk instead.

Magan - posted on 09/19/2009

27

36

2

I've heard of putting something that tastes bad on it like hot sauce or somehting bitter.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms