How to break the finger-sucking habit

Amy - posted on 09/01/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My son is 9-1/2 and still sucks his finger! Unlike a pacifier, I can't take it away. We've tried yucky-tasting stuff, physically removing it for him, scolding, even a "finger-sucking patch" (it looks a lot like those tattoo bandaids, only we told him it works like the nicotine patch to help him stop sucking his finger). Nothing helps. The more we get on his case, the more he insists on doing it. He starts public school for the first time next week and I'm afraid he will get made fun of.

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Christine - posted on 09/04/2009

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i asked our orthodontist to have a little talk with my daughter------she sucked her two middlfe fingers. the first time it didn't work, but sometime during the next year he had another talk with her---he is a really kind man--and she went home that night and never sucked her fingerrs again. i'm not sure what he told her her. in bed that night, she told me it was hard not to suck them, but she was able to stop.



she had a lisp from sucking her fingers, which i thought was kind of cute, but it went away after she stopped sucking her fingers. however, she does have a cross bite and a collapsed roof arch---probably from sucking her fingers. 9 kids and every single one of them has had or needs braces. i wore braces as an adult. i was 40, pregnant, and had acne--how's that for a combo?!

Kristy - posted on 09/01/2009

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I have twin boys that will be 10 in a week and one of them was a thumb sucker. I also have a brother-in-law that was still sucking is thumb at 20+ so the remark about growing out of it is up in the air. We followed a recommendation from our kids' dentist and it worked (we started when he was 3 I believe, so results may vary) At bedtime and anytime when he would be more likely to suck his thumb (in front of tv, reading book, etc) he would have to wear mittens (we bought him a new pair) on his hands. Eventually he got used to not sucking his thumb and then we gradually took away the mittens. If we would see him slip it back in, the mittens went back on. It worked for us. We also used a toy of his choice as a reward for when the sucking was done. Again the age could make a big difference on the result, but good luck!

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[deleted account]

There is some stuff out there call thumb and you paint it on their nails and skin around. My 2 yr old used to always have his dirty hands in his mouth and this stuff really helped. it is awful tasting and stays on for a long time. It really helped us! I bought it at Walgreens

Krista - posted on 09/02/2009

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I have the same problem. My 10 yr. old step daughter still sucks her thumb. We had taken her to the dentist and they put in a habit-appliance that looks like a 3 sided triangle that spins when she trys to suck her thumb. She wore it for about 6 months and then her mother took it off and eventually she went right back to sucking her thumb. It didn't work for us but it may be something worth looking into for you! Hope this help,

Krista

Dana - posted on 09/02/2009

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ALSO, I DON'T LISTEN TO HER IF SHE TALKS TO ME WITH HER THUMB IN HER MOUTH! I TELL HER THAT BIG GIRLS DONT TALK WITH THEIR THUMB IN THEIR MOUTH AND THAT PEOPLE CAN'T UNDERSTAND HER. SO NOW BEFORE SHE TALKS TO ME, SHE MAKES SURE HER THUMB IS NOT IN HER MOUTH! I WISH EVERYONE GOOD LUCK WITH THIS - AND I AM ALSO UP FOR ANY SUGGESTIONS ON GETTING THEM TO STOP!

Dana - posted on 09/02/2009

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LOL - MY DAUGHTER SUCKS HER THUMB UNTIL THE TASTE GOES AWAY! LOL! SO IT MAY WORK FOR SOME BUT I DONT THINK IT IS STRONG ENOUGH TO STOPA STEADY THUMB OR FINGER SUCKER!

Dana - posted on 09/02/2009

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MY DAUGHTER IS A THUMB SUCKER AND HAS BEEN SINCE THE WOMB. I WAS CONCERNED SO I TALKED TO THE DENTIST AND HE TOLD ME NOT TO TRY TO BREAK HER OF IT BECAUSE THE MORE YOU TRY TO TAKE IT AWAY - THE MORE THEY WANT IT. I KNOW WITH MY DAUGHTER, IN PRE-K LAST YEAR, HER TEACHERS REMINDED HER OF NOT HAVING HER THUMB IN HER MOUTH DURING SCHOOL AND IT GOT TO THE POINT WHERE SHE JUST STOPPED IN SCHOOL. NOW SHE ONLY SUCKS HER THUMB WHEN SHE IS TIRED OR NOT FEELING WELL! SO, DON'T WORRY. HE WILL BE FINE! HE WILL BE SO INVOLVED IN WHAT'S GOING ON AT SCHOOL THAT HE WONT EVEN THINK OF HIS FINGER. AND THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER KIDS THAT DO THE SAME - SO I DONT THINK THAT TEASING IS GOING TO BE AN ISSUE! GOOD LUCK!

June - posted on 09/02/2009

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Both my kids nursed their thumb and fingers. My daughter did not stop until she was grown....but my son "wanted" to stop when he was 6. I taped popcicle sticks on the two fingers he nursed on and helped him kick the habit. I nursed my thumb until I was 11 and my dad tried everything to stop me....so I didn't try to "make" them, but encouraged them when they could understand. Every child is different, so you will have to try all options!

Teri - posted on 09/01/2009

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maybe the stress of you buggin him about it is making it worse. Maybe you could ahve a chat about it and tell him that you'll stop bugging him about it if he tries to limit his time sucking. these are comforting gestures -- so it might be worth knowing what is causing him stress.

Chalet - posted on 09/01/2009

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My 2 year old sucks his two fingers and has ever since the very hour he was born. He does it when he is sleepy or upset or unsure of the situation. We too have tried all sorts of "yucky" things including a "dot" of hot sauce and he LIKED them all!!! When we ask him to take his fingers out, he does. Any suggestions that you Mommies have tried would also help me as well......

[deleted account]

I would let him grow out of it by himself. I was a finger-sucker myself and unlike the rumors that it will mess up the teeth, my teeth are in great shape. If he does it during school and gets teased, it will help him to keep it during private time. But I'm sure that he'll be having so much fun at school that he won't have time to suck his fingers.

Christina - posted on 09/01/2009

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theres this stuff called "Thum" that Walgreens carries. have you tried that? i heard that people use that when they wanted to get themselves or their children to quit biting their nails, but it is used for thumb sucking & i have heard it works.

[deleted account]

Maybe you should just let go and he will grow out of it, especially if you say the more you get on his case the more he does it. I don't think he will be made fun of. One of the most popular guys in my school used to do that. The other option is if the other children will pick on that he will stop or keep it to alone time. Osnat http://www.blogger.com/home

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