Thumb sucking

Ernestine - posted on 07/20/2013 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 3 1/2 years old and it semms like she is suckig her thumb now more than a year ago. Nothing major has happened in the household in the last year. Looking for suggestions to stop the thumb sucking. Any suggestions?

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Faye - posted on 07/25/2013

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Does she have a blanket/stuffy she also holds at the same time as sucking her thumb? My daughter had the habit of sucking her thumb as she would hug the blanket. One week (she was almost 4) the blanket went into the wash, but never made it out of the dryer. {I rolled the rest of the load around the blanket as I took the load from the dryer.} I hid the blanket and she then had no choice but to stop the thumb sucking. I too was worried and had been reminding her not to suck the thumb as she had developed a callus on that thumb.

Andrea - posted on 07/24/2013

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My son also sucked his thumb. My husband and I tried everything from bitter solutions to thumbguards. He had started to move his pallet forward and the dentist was suggesting some sort of implanted very harsh measure to stop him. While on line looking for some other option, my son in my lap, he pointed at a small pic of a kid down in the corner. So I clicked on it and it brought up a bunch of pics of kids with terribly deformed front teeth from thumb sucking. Horrified, he asked what happened and I told him it was from sucking their thumbs. He never put his thumb in his mouth again. He did however, need to outlet that nervousness and he started scratching all over like he was a crack addict, but it didnt last long. We found little games for him to keep his hands busy. He was almost 4 when he qiut thumbsucking.

Chelsea - posted on 07/29/2013

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You could try having her wash her hands every time you see her thumb in her mouth. Explain that it spreads germs and we don't want her or other people getting sick. She'll probably get tired of constantly washing her hands. I've used this as a preschool teacher and nanny and it seems to work better than anything else I've tried.

Amanda - posted on 07/27/2013

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Its funny cause my aunt was telling that she use to suck her thumb and her dad(my grandpa) put shose polish on her nails for three days. The smell alone was enough to stop her from sucking her thumb. I have friends who used worcestershire sauce, or tobasco sauce. I had one friend put mits on her kid and it dried her mouth out before she could even fall alseep so she took it out of her mouth. I also hear that rubbing garlic or onion or ginger on them stops them too because the smell and taste is unpleasent and its safe for them to put in there mouth if they try. Its werid that people are so worried about putting stuff on their fingers, yet my mom had lead paint on her walls, ran behind the mosquito fogger, was spanked, had her mouth washed out with soap and she is fine so are her sisters. People worry so much about what their kids put in there mouth, but give them their car keys or phone to play with, that are covered in germs or wear fake nails which have been proven to cause skin inffections if your child is sratched because of the bacteria under the nails. Most kids grow out of it but some don't. Problem is they may get teased down the road by their friends.

Simone - posted on 07/26/2013

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I was a thumb sucker. My mother tried various things including unpleasant tasting paint stuff but I just sucked it off. At around age 8 I wanted my ears pierced so she made a deal that if I stopped sucking my thumb during the day for 6 weeks I could have them. That ended my daytime sucking but my thumb went into my mouth while I slept every night until age 13 and I even woke up occasionally with it in there right up into my early 20's. I have never required orthodontic work and my smile is fine. So like most others, I say don't worry. There isn't much you can do except distract her wherever possible or simply not do anything at all. It isn't about her environment. It's more like a mini addiction.

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Melissa - posted on 07/29/2013

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3 year olds have just become very aware and that can be scary and overwhelming, She will give it up when she's ready most do not still suck their thumb when they go off to college.

Tara - posted on 07/28/2013

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My friend put Stop the Bite on her boys thumbs for a few weeks. Its designed to stop nail biting but the bitter taste worked for him too.

Bernadette - posted on 07/28/2013

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My two year old son has sucked his thumb from the day he was born, and yes it seems like he does it much more now than he used to as well. Nothing has happened though, I think it has just become such a habit.
He used to really only do it when he was tired or upset but now he seems to have it in there any time he's not doing anything. I haven't yet tried to stop him, so can't give any advice there, but just want to say it doesn't necessarily mean that something has happened to your daughter to make her thumb sucking worse, but probably just that as time goes on the habit becomes more deeply ingrained and she has developed a bit of a dependence on it. My four year old daughter is also like that with her teddy bear
She decided it was her favourite when she was about six months old and while she used to take it everywhere and get upset if she couldn't find it, she could leave it behind
We perhaps didn't discourage leaving it behind often enough though as she now has to have it by her side at all times and she cries if she's told to leave it at home or not take it outside. It's getting a bit full on how dependent she has become on it.

Shannon - posted on 07/26/2013

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Our 16 year old daughter would suck her thumb when she was stressed out or tired as well. We didn't make a big deal about it because we didn't want to make it worse. My mother in law was constantly telling us that she was going to ruin her teeth and it would cost us thousands of dollars to fix them. Still, we didn't stress about it and noticed the older she got the less she was doing it. She's just turned 16 and has the most beautiful, amazing smile and no orthodontics were needed. Most of the time bringing it to your child's attention is only going to make things worse.

Cher - posted on 07/26/2013

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My daughter sucked her thumb until she was between 5 and 6. Most of the time, it was a subconscious thing. She didn't even realize she was doing. She did stop on her own. Just keep reminding her to stop and then the habit will break.

Good luck!

Caroline - posted on 07/26/2013

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Unfortunately, I'm not going to be very helpful except to say not to worry. My 14 and 16 year old daughters still suck their thumbs when their tired .... however, so does my 45 year old husband so I'm not sure they had much chance in giving up lol. We tried everything but nothing worked, in fact, the stress of telling them to stop sucking their thumbs caused wasn't worth it. My children's teeth are not badly deformed, they have slight overbites but nothing drastic and neither of them have had traumatic occasions which caused them to thumb suck, they just find comfort in it. Good luck ... if you find anything that works, let me know!

Tina - posted on 07/22/2013

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My daughter sucked her thumb when she was overly tired until she was almost 6 than just stopped on her own.

Katy - posted on 07/22/2013

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My 5 yo still sucks her fingers. She stopped for a few months and then started again. I am hoping that once she starts losing teeth she will stop. We just remind her to stop when we catch her doing it. It's mostly when she is tired. I sucked my thumb until I was 5 too. So i am sure my daughter will grow out of it.

Cheryl - posted on 07/20/2013

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I would love to hear suggestions as well. My daughter is 26 months old, and she has been a thumb sucker for quite some time now. She uses it to soothe herself to sleep or nap, and I've also noticed that she will tend to suck her thumb when she is hungry. Even though she doesn't suck her thumb all day, she has developed a big, ugly callous on her thumb! I've heard of buying some type of paint/polish for her nails, but I can't help to wonder if that is safe or toxic for her. I worry about her teeth too, and her dentist told us to try to remove her thumb at night by replacing it with her favorite toy to sleep with instead - by cuddling it tight and constantly removing her thumb, she should associate her favorite toy with security. That hasn't worked yet for us...my little girl still wants her thumb!!! Other suggestions from moms would be nice. Thanks!

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