How to stop thumb sucking?

Nikki - posted on 11/04/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My son would never take a pacifier but he has always sucked his thumb even in the womb. Any ideas on getting him to stop? His front teeth are already begininng to buck. Help please!!!!

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Barbara - posted on 11/04/2009

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Just my personal opinion, but allow the child to suck his thumb. If he continues to do it after the age of 3 then consult your dr. or dentist.

Kristina - posted on 11/04/2009

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I sucked my thumb when I was a child, and my first daughter sucked her thumb as well. I stopped by age 5 (starting school) and my daughter stopped around a year old. I think they out grow it themselves. Just encourage him to. He will eventually stop on his own. It is comforting to him. It "pacifies" him when he needs security. When he finally outgrows that need he will out grow the sucking. There could be worse things! : )...good luck! p.s. I have 3 other children that I encouraged to suck their thumb because my first daughter that did suck her thumb was so content. The other three never did suck a pacifier or their thumb and were not nearly as content. ???

Nikki - posted on 11/04/2009

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Quoting kelly:

i know it sounds a little harsh but have u tried putting something on his thumb to make it taste horrible? something he doesnt like. eventually he will get out of the habit of doing it hopefully. you didnt say how old he was but is he old enough to understand if you tried explaining what is happening to his teeth while he is still doing it and maybe offer a treat if he doesnt suck his thumb for a certain amount of time?
if it was a dummy, its much easier to get them off as u can say another baby who needs it more needs it now he is a big boy, but unfortunately u cant use that with thumb sucking! best of luck to you x x x



He is 19 months and maybe I am just worrying too much.  He usually only does it when he is sleepy.  I've tried hot sauce and vinegar.  He would just make a face and stick it right back in there.

Ashley - posted on 11/04/2009

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There is this stuff you can get called "Thum" especially made for this! You may be able to get it from WalMart, but I'm not sure. It is in a fingernail polish bottle and you just brush it on his thumb(s). It's supposed to taste bad so they'll eventually quit trying to put their thumb in their mouth. I have a friend who uses it on her grandson. Good luck!

Sara - posted on 11/04/2009

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My dentist told me that we don't have to worry about the effect on his teeth till around 5 or 6. I got a different opinion from a different dentist though. We tried the nasty stuff for his thumbnail, he liked it. Especially if your son is quite young, his tastebuds are not developed enough to deter him. 5 days before he started Kindergarten, we finally used blue painters tape and taped the entire thing up really good so he couldn't pull it off. I don't know who cried harder, him or me listening to him. We switched to a bandaid during the day. He still often goes to put his own bandaid on when he feels the urge to suck. It has been 6 weeks or so.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/04/2009

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My parents stopped me by putting somthing NASTY on my thumb nail that was harmless,but I hated the taste - I tried the other thumb for a short time but it wasn't the same... Most kids will stop by the time they are 8 or so on thier own... You can also find great infomation on helping him quit from your pediatrician!

Catrina - posted on 11/04/2009

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i stopped my son right when he started by putting something he didnt like the taste of on his thumb...it didn't take him long to quit.

Kelly - posted on 11/04/2009

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i know it sounds a little harsh but have u tried putting something on his thumb to make it taste horrible? something he doesnt like. eventually he will get out of the habit of doing it hopefully. you didnt say how old he was but is he old enough to understand if you tried explaining what is happening to his teeth while he is still doing it and maybe offer a treat if he doesnt suck his thumb for a certain amount of time?

if it was a dummy, its much easier to get them off as u can say another baby who needs it more needs it now he is a big boy, but unfortunately u cant use that with thumb sucking! best of luck to you x x x

Kelly - posted on 11/04/2009

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i know it sounds a little harsh but have u tried putting something on his thumb to make it taste horrible? something he doesnt like. eventually he will get out of the habit of doing it hopefully. you didnt say how old he was but is he old enough to understand if you tried explaining what is happening to his teeth while he is still doing it and maybe offer a treat if he doesnt suck his thumb for a certain amount of time?

if it was a dummy, its much easier to get them off as u can say another baby who needs it more needs it now he is a big boy, but unfortunately u cant use that with thumb sucking! best of luck to you x x x

Tessa - posted on 11/04/2009

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My 4yr old still does too... We've started putting soap on it to get him to keep it out of his mouth.

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