Thumb sucking yay or nay?

Erin - posted on 02/10/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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my son is going to be 4 months old at the end of the month and he has recently started sucking his thumb quite frequently. I am a new mom so I don't know how to feel about this. On one hand I'm thinking it's not so bad, it soothes him and helps him sleep. On the other hand I'm afraid it means he's hungry and I'm not feeding him enough. We nurse a couple times a day and he gets bottles the rest of the time. Any info or insight on this topic would be appreciated. Thanks ladies :)

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Crystal - posted on 02/12/2010

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there is nothing wrong wit a little thumb sucking it teaches them to self-sooth themselves. But around a year should be stoped there are several easy things to do to stop it. Or you can stop it all together now lol its really up to you and your personal preference....My son has a passy and when he looses it he will put a finger or three lol in his mouth to make up for it its thier comfort and safety net

Cassie - posted on 02/11/2010

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hello erin, my son has just turned 1 and he sucks his thumb at night when he is going to sleep i think this is fine at this age it is a comfort for them and when u think you need to stop it the chemist sells a product that you can put on there thumb that taste awful but harmless and helps them stop it i will be getting this product for my son at 18mnts if he is still doing this. he is slowly stopping himself tho. i can not think of the top off my head the name of this sorry good luck :) x

Kristie - posted on 02/11/2010

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i guess i should have added this to my previous post. you should not let you baby have their pacifier until they are 2-3 years old. that is way too old in my opinion. my first son was completely broke of his pacifier at 15 months and i will take my next sons by the time he is 18 months (he is a little more clingy) personally there is nothing wrong with a baby that age having a pacifier. but by 2 you have a small boy. not a baby. the pacifier wasnt hard to break at all. we started taking it away during the day around his first birthday and only allowing him to have it during his naps. he started to not even notice. and then one night we just took it away, no binkie at bed time. it took him 4 nights to adjust and he went to sleep without crying. and might i add our first son was EXTREMELY attached to his binkie. if i can break him anyone can break their child of the pacifier.

Ashlee - posted on 02/10/2010

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My daughter was sucking her thumb when she came home from the hospital. She is two now and has just stopped in the past couple of months. She even sucked it so much when she started getting teeth her thumb would swell and even got infected. It is a comfort for them but probably not the best thing for them to do. Her pediatrician told me that most babies that suck there thumbs when they're born also did it while they were in the womb. It was difficult to get her to stop but if not the thumb it would be a pacifier and you will still have to take that away eventually!

Jessica - posted on 02/10/2010

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My daughter would never take the paci...which I personally don't like as hate to see kids with the permanently in their mouths. However, she did suck her thumb and we are breaking her of that now. Slow going but really only does it when she sleeps or is sitting still. Am pregnant with my second and will try to do a paci this time but have decided that would take away soon after bottle. My sister did this and seems to have had very good luck. I tried to put something on my daugther's finger called "THUMB" that was suppose to stop them from sucking due to the taste, I tried it and it tasted terrible. But she would just suck it until it was gone and then continue sucking. Just have to watch her and keep saying no....although when she is sleeping there isn't anything I can do. I was a thumb sucker myself and never had issues with my teeth, I stopped in elementary school due to the other children's teasing.

Heather - posted on 02/10/2010

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I personally do not like my son to suck his thumb. I was a thumb sucker until I was about 12, and know how hard of a habit this is to break! Also, thumb sucking messes up your teeth, and even though babies do not have teeth yet, they are still at risk for being crooked when they get them in! My teeth are pretty crooked and I do not have the money to get them fixed, and we never had the money when I was growing up to get me braces. So that is something to think about on that subject. However, babies that young can not comprehend the meaning of "no, dont do that" so in my opinion, there is nothing you can do about it until they are a little older.

Karen - posted on 02/10/2010

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i beileve that its an important step in a childs life to find something they can use to comfort themselves without assistance of a parent, something they dont need to cry out for. if its sucking the thumb, or learning to pat themselves, self comfort is needed all through life, so to learn to do it at an early age instills it as an easier to do task later in life. so im all for thumb sucking, they know what they like, y not let them do it

Natalie - posted on 02/10/2010

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My first child, my son, sucked his thumb when he was only 2 or 3 moths old. He never wanted the pacifier and there was nothing i could do to make him stop.
It's soothing to them and they always have ti with them.
I enjoyed it for a while b/c at nap time he couldn't lose his paci.. he can't lose his thumb, lol.
He's now 4 and he still sucks it when he goes to bed at night. I guess it helps him calm down from the day.. I am reminding him to stop sucking on it but it doesn't help much. I'm planning on trying out some methods soon to get him to stop.

My daughter,, now 2, took the pacifier from the start, never used her thumb. We took the paci away from her when she was 20 months old and that was the end of it. A lot easier to get rid of it b/c once it's gone it's gone.

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2010

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My two older children never sucked their thumb. But my youngest started as soon as he realized he had a thumb. I thought, thank goodness, something that helps him be calm. But now he is almost 4, and still doing it. He is going to have a serious overbite. We are trying to stop him now, but it's not working. I say, try a bink, and see if it works for now. At least later on you can take the binky away, you can't remove a thumb.

Melissa - posted on 02/10/2010

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Well I personally hate pacifiers, cuz i think they look stupid when you see 2-3 year olds walking around with a pacifier. your baby is maybe doing it because he is teething, my son did, and once he had the coordination of putting things in his mouth, the only he chews on is teethiing rings. Its up to you really, but i know pacifiers can be a very hard habit to break as well, so its just a matter of which your comfortable with dealing with. I just let me son do what he wants and at 8 months he doesn't do either but suck on his toys. As for a pacifier being easier to take away, i dont know about that, because your baby can still just go for his thumbs, so i figure it would be better to try not giving him anything but teething rings to chew on. My doctor had told me that sucking was just a natural thing that babies need to do, so hopefully he'll grow out of it. Good luck

Kristie - posted on 02/10/2010

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my sister and i both sucked our thumbs as children and our teeth are perfectly fine. but i personally for my boys used pacifiers. that way you can take them away, the thumb sucking you have to break. so its up to you. but they cant "lose" their thumb where we are ALWAYS losing pacifiers and dropping them and having to wash them. but i still prefer them. but i think either is fine!

Heather - posted on 02/10/2010

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i was first time mom also, and wasnt't sure on the whole thumb sucking thing. but i decided on the orthadontic pacifiers because i was afraid of how her teeth would grow in. so everytime i seen her thumb in her mouth i took it out. the pacifier is still had to break, but i'd much rather break that since you can get rid of it.. you can't get rid of his thumb!

Jessie - posted on 02/10/2010

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I lean more towards the pacifier but really it's up to your little one. If that is what soothes him and he doesn't want a paci I don't think it would be fair to not let him or make it difficult for him especially since it is his thumb. I think I'd just deal with it, plus if it's teeth your worried about normally kids have to have braces anyway. Plenty of kids of sucked there thumb got over it and been fine. As far as the feeding thing I wouldn't think it was b/c he is hungry, my little girl uses her paci right after she eats. She fusses after shes done until you give it to her and she won't take the bottle when she is done so it is a soothing thing for her. Good luck!

Amy - posted on 02/10/2010

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I don't think there is anything wrong with thumb sucking, however as mentioned before, it is extremely hard to break a child. My kids both took the paci (ONLY THE NUBI) but they were both able to break themselves of it. I WAS VERY BLESSED! If he is willing to take a paci, that would be my suggestion. There are SEVERAL diffferent types/styles. Hope this was helpful! In regards to him being hungry... he will cry and let you know he is hungry. Don't worry about that! With my oldest he would nurse for 45 minutes at a time every hour on the hour (so I got a whole 15 minute break). I was so thankful my ped told me that I was being used as a paci. babies only need to nurse for 15 to 20 minutes... after that you are the paci!!! best of luck!

Anna - posted on 02/10/2010

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I'm with Sherrie on this one. I used the orthodonic pacifiers. from nuk mine would only take that brand. I just got her off at16 months

Rachel - posted on 02/10/2010

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The only issue with thumb sucking is that it is extremely hard to break. Giving a baby a pacifier gives you the option of eventually taking it away when they're old enough but you can't exactly remove a thumb. I've seen 20 year old women still sucking on their fingers...it's unhealthy and just disgusting. With a 4 month old, I doubt it's a hunger issue. It's mostly just a comforting technique. All babies have their own. Mine chose blankets or dolls to suck on. Personally, I would discourage him from using his thumb as I said before, after a certain period, it's extremely hard to break them of it and you don't want to damage his teeth.

Sheree - posted on 02/10/2010

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I personally hate thumb sucking, from the day my daughter was born, if i saw her thumb in her mouth, i took it out and said no. I have had friends that had severe problems with their adult teeth when they came through as they were pushed so far out from thumb sucking. Yes these are extreme cases and one of my friends was still sucking away just before high school. it was a security thing for her, but really damaged her teeth. Thats the reason im against it, but all mum's are different :)

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