Thumb sucking VS. Pacifier?

[deleted account] ( 41 moms have responded )

I'm sure we've had this debate before but I wasn't around so I'm asking? I know MOST people will say babies shouldn't have pacifiers, soothers, dummies, binky's.......whatever you call them, past a year?!! Well my daughter is 18 months and still uses hers for naps and bedtime........she's a thumb sucker and I feel giving her the soother is the lesser of two evils! Agree? Take it away and do what?

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41 Comments

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Cathelijn - posted on 03/21/2010

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My daughter is 16 months and she has a dummy, some days she uses it all day some days only for naptimes and bedtimes.

I am not too fussed about it.I doubt she will still need it when she is off to college. I try not to let her walk around with it outside.

And yes she does suck on it takes it out to speak and pops it back in!

I am guessing we will get rid of it around two, but if she still needs it she can have it.



We take things slowly here they are only small for such short while, she only just started sleeping in her own cot at 16 months so WHOOOHOOO to us.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/21/2010

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Kati, you should try the polish, just a warning though, my mum tried this with my sister and it never worked and she sucked her thumb until she was 15! But saying that, you should definetely try it because I think my mum tried it too late that's why I don't think it worked. Good luck! :)

Rosie - posted on 03/21/2010

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what's this polish that lindsay was talking about? i am desperate to get lucas to stop sucking his fingers. as i look at him right now he is sucking his fingers-it drives me crazy!!

Charlie - posted on 03/19/2010

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Cooper has a dummy and wont go to sleep without his dummy and turtle ( his cuddly ) for now im not worried although i would like him to be free of it soonish , we will see what happens .

I was never a dummy or thumb sucker but sister sucked her thumb to the ripe old age of ten , it really messed with her teeth !

Krista - posted on 03/18/2010

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Sam was never interested in a soother. I tried giving them to him if he fussed, and he just spit them right back out. Sometimes he gnaws on his fingers a bit, but he's really not one to suck for comfort, so I don't think the thumb will be an issue.

Isobel - posted on 03/18/2010

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Q is still sucking his thumb at 7...he's in speech therapy for his lisp and I can already tell braces are a definite part of his future. I've tried bandaids and balsamic vinegar...any more suggestions ladies?

?? - posted on 03/18/2010

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Gabe never really cared all too much about his... he could do with or without it. He usually had it for naps and bedtime but otherwise it was like any other toy he could chew on, sometimes he had it and sometimes he didn't. He decided on his own he didn't want it again a couple weeks before his first birthday, which is also when his molars started to come through. He hasn't had one since, so I lucked out to the max on that front haha he sticks his finger in his mouth sometimes but he just chews on it with his molars - the last furthest back on either side are comin up n down randomly so he chews on his finger sometimes.... either that or he takes his socks off and stuffs them in his mouth............ my son is freakin weird LOL

[deleted account]

Lisamarie, Esther.....I'm with you guys! I don't plan to stress about taking Roxanne's away! I might encourage her to get rid of it but if she protests I don't mind her using it for naps and bedtime! I've done my research so I know the risks but being that she's a thumb sucker; she can have her soother as long as she needs to ensure her thumb NEVER enters her mouth again!

Jenny - posted on 03/18/2010

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I personally hate pacifiers. My kids never had them ever and neither are thumbsucks. I am of the "do what gets you through the day" mentality to parenting though so I don't judge other parents for using them. They just weren't for us.

Sarah - posted on 03/18/2010

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I sucked my thumb until i was 20!! Seriously! The only reason i stopped is because i moved in with my boyfriend (now my husband) although i didn't suck my thumb EVERY night at that point, i still sucked it a fair bit.
So all the hard work with the braces was pointless really as i never stopped sucking my thumb! LOL!

Lisamarie - posted on 03/18/2010

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Hey, OK, I'm ready for the backlash. LOL! My daughter is 3 (Jan07) we managed to get rid of the dummy (England) or "doodie" as she calls it when she was 2 in one day, no problems AT ALL! :) When I had my son (July09) my daughter started taking his dummies!! Like Sharon, everytime, I took one away she ound two more somewhere else!!
My son was never really interested in the dummy and spits it out everytime I give it to him and only using it to chew on but he has sucked his fingers a couple of times! So now my daughter has the dummy to go to bed or if she's poorly. IMO there is nothing wrong with comforting her with the dummy at night, she doesn't have it in the day and her speech is amazing, we have thought about taking it away but she grinds her teeth at night pretty badly and TBH I haven't got the heart to take it from her, it's not hurting her.
Oh and FYI, my sister sucked her thumb until she was 15!!! and had to have braces! :)

Ez - posted on 03/17/2010

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Ugh yes we have struggled through every new tooth. For the 6 weeks before she got her first 2 teeth (at 7 months) she was waking sometimes 10 times a night! (and this from a baby who had slept 8hrs a night by 2 weeks old). I didn't know wtf was going on lol.

She's got 10 now, so not many to go :)

[deleted account]

Good luck Erin! Has teething really bothered ur daughter? I've been super lucky with Roxanne.......her first tooth popped up the day she was 6 months and they've been coming in steady ever since BUT you'd never know except for the mouth full of fangs....LOL! Sometimes she drools but typically that's the only sign she's even cutting a tooth! She's got 16 fangs so far! ;)

Ez - posted on 03/17/2010

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My daughter's 13 months and has her dummy much more than I would like right now. She never took one as a newborn, and only started her love affair with her dummy when she started teething at about 6 months. It clearly gives her some relief to the teething pain (she is a SHOCKING teether and has just cut her 4th molar in a month) so I'm reluctant to take it off her. I intend on relegating it back to bedtime only once her teething settles down over the next couple of weeks, but I have no issue with toddlers using them for sleeping up to about 2.

And yes, a dummy beats a thumb any day.

Esther - posted on 03/17/2010

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Well Dana - you know where I am on this. My son is now 26 months old and he's still going strong with the pacifier (he calls it a "binky" now because I think that's the word they use at daycare). He used to use one ALLLLLL day long and he would not only have one in his mouth all day, he'd keep another one in his hand for back-up. I now have him down to only using one after dark (I'm trying to take advantage of the longer days of summer to further losen their grip on him) and only in the house (oh and for naps). He is also only allowed to have one, not another one in his hand. He has come to accept this much, but not much more. I think one of these days I'm going to have to summon the paci fairy too. Honestly though, I kind of dread it too as it does calm him down A LOT when he's tired at night. Oh well, one step at a time. I know I'm a whimp but what can I say.

[deleted account]

Lindsay, I have to agree with you! I want you all to know that before I gave my daughter a sucky I always swore I wouldn't........I don't like it when toddlers are running around with it in their mouths........that's where I draw the line with my daughter! It's strictly a means to and end! Thanks ladies for all the support!

[deleted account]

Me neither Sara......I actually posted a thread in another community titled, " WHAT'S URS CALLED? "........I've heard so many different terms on here that I just had to ask! I asked where they were from and what they called a pacifier! LOL!

Lindsay - posted on 03/17/2010

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My daughter could not keep a paci in her mouth for anything. She was like the simpson's baby where it would just pop right out. So much to my dislike, she became a finger sucker. She sucked her middle and ring fingers until she was 3 and then we did the polish and broke her of the habit in a matter of a few days. My son took right to the paci when he was born but lost interest in it by about 7 months. Every now and then I will catch him putting his pointer finger in his mouth when he gets tired and I'm about to go ahead and do the polish on him as well.



I think if your child will take a paci instead of a finger, that's great. You then can control when they do and don't have it. Unfortunately, far too many parents don't reserve them for bedtime and let their kids run around all day and night with one in their mouth. My issues are more to do with speech than with the teeth. Most kids get braces regardless of whether they sucked a paci or their fingers or nothing at all. But being plugged in the mouth all day, does play a factor in inhibiting speaking skills.

[deleted account]

Dana, I guess "nunu" is a Southern thing. Everyone I know calls it that. I never heard "dummy" or "binky" until COM!

Lea - posted on 03/17/2010

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My grandmother refused to let my mother have a pacifier and so she sucked her thumb and ended up sucking her thumb well into adulthood! I doubt the same would have happened with a pacifier. With a paci you can help your child through the process of giving it up. The thumb is harder - you can't get rid of it.

Shelley - posted on 03/17/2010

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usually by the time they reach puberty they stop either so in light of the fact we have a life expectancy of 85 i figure it doesn't really matter go with the dummy

Sarah - posted on 03/17/2010

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Having had teeth removed, fixed braces AND a head brace at night, all due to sucking my thumb, i am VERY anti thumb sucking!!

My youngest started putting her thumb in her mouth very early on so i immediately gave her a dummy.

I was quite strict with it, by 6 months she was only using it for naps. She never uses it at all any more.



My thinking is, you can take a dummy away, but you can't take their thumbs away!

Spending my teenage years with horrible braces around my teeth was really embarrassing. As if teenagers don't have enough to feel self conscious about. lol

It took me years afterwards to not smile with my mouth closed.



So yes, it can definitely damage your teeth!!!

:)

Jess - posted on 03/17/2010

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Sunny I heard the same thing about thumb sucking and teeth problems !



Sharon, I love that your son had secret stashes of dummies around the house, I'm sure my daughter is doing that at the moment. I found 4 in just one toy ! My daughter has 8 dummies and I can only find 2 at the moment !

Sunny - posted on 03/16/2010

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I think a dummy is much better if its only used for sleeping or comforting. Plus i dont know if this is true or not but i heard that sucking on a thumb for an extended period of time can lead to the front teeth being pushed forward.

[deleted account]

Oh we couldn't get rid of that damn pacifier until my son was 2 1/2! Yes, you read that right! At every attempt of getting rid of that nuk, he would go dig somewhere in the toy room or under some toy and find another one! So one day when we were playing in the guest room, he found one under teh bed! And, he was erady to pop it into his mouth when I reminded him that he was a BIG boy! And then I asked him to throw it in the garbage!

[deleted account]

I thought I was gonna get way more grief over this topic......I'm actually surprised by everyone's comments so far! Much appreciated!

[deleted account]

My daughter still has the nunu. We took it away successfully then 2 weeks later she got strep throat. I let her have it back to comfort her, which worked. Now it's harder getting rid of it. I hide it, but she searches her room and puts in back in her crib. It's actually kind of funny to watch. We're going to try to get rid of it again soon as she'll be 2 in May.

[deleted account]

Thanks ladies! I just wanted to add that my daughter never used a soother until I noticed her sucking her thumb once I weaned her from the breast at 6 months! That first tooth popped up and I was done! LOL! I'm gonna try and wean her once she's potty trained!

Jess - posted on 03/16/2010

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My daughter is only 7 months old so I haven't face that question yet, but my personal opinion is I would rather she suck a dummy than her thumb. My daughter will spit her dummy out as soon as she is asleep and she only has it to go to bed. It never comes out of her cot. She needs the dummy because otherwise she sucks her lips in her sleep and makes them bleed.... alot !



As long as they arn't walking around with it in their mouths, taking it out to talk and putting it back in, than I don't see an issue with it, regardless of their age.

Cassie - posted on 03/16/2010

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I agree. My daughter is just about 17 months and still uses her binky at nap time and bed time. She usually spits it out immediately after falling asleep but still seems to have a strong suck reflex and is comforted by the binky. With a new baby sister coming this summer, I'm going to continue to allow her to use the binky for a little bit after her sister is born. We will have the binky fairy come to take her binky away but for now, I don't see any huge evil or harm in allowing her to have this comfort.

Rosie - posted on 03/16/2010

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i think that the binky is the lesser of 2 evils, my 2 oldest used binky's and each had theirs taken away at a year, as i'm one of those that feel it should be taken away then. my youngest didn't like the pacifier, and sucks his two fingers instead. he will be 3 in may and i cannot get him to stop sucking his fingers. i have absolutely no clue what to do to get him to stop. i know i sucked my thumb until i was in the 2nd grade. my teacher yelled at me and told me to stop-not my mother (she still sucks hers occasionally!). i don't want it to go that far with lucas, but don't know what to do. definitely like the pacifier a hell of a lot better!

Dana - posted on 03/16/2010

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I don't think there is anything wrong with a child having one at 18 months or longer for that matter. My nephew still uses his and he's 3 1/2...that's too old, imo.



I've always been a fan of the pacifier over a thumb because you can't take a thumb away...

Luckily Ethan didn't want anything to do with his after he turned 4 months old.



Edited to add...he didn't want anything to do with a pacifier after 4 months, he was never a thumb sucker.

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