Thumb sucking

Jennifer - posted on 07/09/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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So heres the scoop... I have an 8 yr old step daughter who won't quit sucking her dumb thumb. We have tried to break her of it without any luck. We only get her every other wkend during the school year and she stays with us a week at a time during the summer. So the real problem now is that my 5 month almost 6 month old son is picking up the nasty habit! I am highly upset! I have read that it is ok to let a child under 5 suck their thumb but ya know I beg to differ honestly! Once they begin the habit its hard to break so why let them do it to begin with! right?

So I am looking for suggestions to break her of the thumb sucking so her new lil brother doesnt get the nasty habit to!

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2 Comments

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Jessica - posted on 07/09/2010

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I was a thumb sucker and gave it up by myself at about 2, my mom says. My little one sucks on his when he needs to (which isn't very often). I figure once he gets older and starts to understand more I can start to encourage him to quit it. My belief is she probably has the problem because no one cared to help her stop when she was younger.

[deleted account]

well, thumb sucking is a mechanism that allows kids to calm down and be reassured. It's not that hard to break the habit when kids are young. my son was already sucking his thumb in the womb. We decided to break the habit at 18 months. He is now 20 months old and we just remind him to take his thumb out of his mouth and he does. most of the time he catches himself and stops on his own. try to keep your son's hands busy with a toy or game and anticipate his needs... When he's tired, hungry or upset, he will be more prone to doing it.

I am not convinced he got the habit from his sister. I think it comes naturally in most cases... As far as the little lady goes, I think she might have some anxiety issues that keep this habit going. I think you guys need to sit down with her and explain to her that sucking her thumb is not a proper way of dealing with her emotions at her age. then you can discuss with her what she thinks might help her relax.. like reading a book, singing, drawing, writing in a journal, etc. i think she just hasn't learned new techniques to wind down and still relies on her thumb to comfort her.

you can also remind her to take her thumb out of her mouth when she does take it. pay attention to the circumstances where she is more prone to sucking her thumb.. if she's tired, upset, etc... that way, you both can help her cut out her habit while addressing the actual cause.

good luck!

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