Thumb sucking 3 year old

Erica - posted on 04/24/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My little girl is just turnd 3. We want to tackle the thumb sucking. She has a blanket she holds when doing it but blanket has it's own personality. "He" sits at the table for dinner wants to play board games with us and so on. The doc says not to take blanket away b/c he is her "friend" and she uses him to get her feelings out. "Blanket is scared, blanket is hungry" She says all this is normal for her age. She suggested that we have her put her hands in her pockets when we catch her sucking her thumb or buying that thums clear liquid to put on her nails. BUT that has alchol, cyanne pepper, and says on the package if ingested to seek medical attention right away. The pharmicist suggested not using the thums b/c of the ingrediants but doesn't know much about the product. I want to do this in a healthy but productive way. Any suggestions? I am not open to taking the blanket away or cutting pieces off as a teacher suggested. Help?

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Catalina - posted on 04/25/2012

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Leaving the blanket, start with just the thumb sucking, start with boundaries. for example: only at home, only at night, only in your room. soon enough the habit should be down to only when your child is sleeping and that will stop eventually! Trust me, your daughter will not suck her thumb in college! :)

You can do the same for blanket after you crack the thumb sucking.



If your daughter asks why she can no longer suck her thumb outside or in the day, make sure you give her a non shame inducing response such as "there are lots of germs in public honey, so to keep you healthy we only want you sucking your thumb at night after washing your hands".



Good luck!

Tammy - posted on 05/03/2012

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It may sound not so much fun but my grandpa who passed away almost 21 yrs ago but my mom was a thumb sucker til she was 8 and one night my grandpa but pepper on her thumb while she was sleeping and that was the last time she sucked her thumb but I would probably put soap cuz soap has a bad taste I would just put a little dap on her thumb the next time you see her sucking her them and then warn her your going to keep putting soap on her thumb just a suggestion

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Erica - posted on 05/03/2012

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The concern with removing blanket is the personality thing the doc says. She is going to preschool, but here is the thing at E.I. she could bring her blanket but it had to stay in her bag until she needed it. When we went if for our 6 month assesment (parent teacher basically) she brought blanket and was sucking her thumb. Her teachers were blown away, they had NEVER seen her suck her thumb in the 2 years she had been in their class. So I know if I remove blanket I will probably remove the thumb issue but Doc thinks we could do emotional damage since she is sooo attached. We have started making her leave blanket in the van when we go to the store, gymnastics, or on walks. If she asks to bring another toy with us where ever we are going we tell then blanket has to stay. She has only chosen a baby doll over blanket 1 time. But I dunno it feels like we are getting there... (with blanket) the thumb sucking I have tried the whole do it in your room not in the living room but I can't watch her all day. The kicker is my 10 month hasn't sucked his thumb since he was 4 months but has started again and I think it's because she is home more and he is seeing it...

Kelly - posted on 05/03/2012

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I think one of mine was 10 before he quit! Never hurt his teeth either however he only did it when he had his blankie. So we actually had a rule that blankie stayed in the bedroom til night time. That stopped all daytime sucking and I just let the nighttime stuff work itself out....obviously if he was 10! When he gave the blankie up at night I think the thumb stuff stopped too because as he got older he was more embarrassed and hid it. So torn even at 10 giving up the blankie. It went to a drawer. W didn't throw it out. I think there were a few times he had to go touch it. Now it's in his baby box of goodies. If you plan on any preschool i would consider weening from the blankie during the day and that will slow the thumb sucking.

Erica - posted on 05/03/2012

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I get worried about doing stuff like that... isn't it considered abuse these days? I know I'm a push - over when it comes to the thumb. I'm tough on everything else. I don't know why I'm being such a softy about this, but it seems to emotionally hurt her. I know my job isn't to be her friend or have her happy ALL the time. I'm firm on every other aspect of life. this one for some reason is hard on me. I was told I was a thumb sucker and on my 3rd birthday I just stopped. Nothing was brought up until I was going through it with my own child... maybe that's why?

Catalina - posted on 04/26/2012

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Awww, that's so sweet, I worry all the time about my son going to school, kids can be so ruthless. We just have to be the best mama's we can and give our kids wings so when they're ready they can fly.

What if you tried stopping something with your daughter, for example if you're a coffee drinker say to her "today mommy isn't going to drink coffee all day, and you're not going to suck your thumb, we will do it together."?



Might work! :)

Erica - posted on 04/26/2012

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I just hate the idea of letting the "pack" take care of it. Letting her peers tease her into stopping. I want her to realize she is strong enough to get through the day with out sucking her thumb. She's a gentle soul has a huge heart and true love for other people.

Catalina - posted on 04/26/2012

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:-) You know, it will all work itself out!!



As parents we have a way of being to close to things so it's hard to pull back and see how minor these things really are! The day will come when you'll look back and think "remember all the sleepless night I had worrying about her thumbsucking" and you'll laugh. I promise! Haha.

Erica - posted on 04/26/2012

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Catalina, thank you. I should have specified, my last post was directed to Michelle. :) Your advice, Has been quite helpful. We arent' there yet but she is grasping it. and pretty right on from teh expert sites I've found. :)

Catalina - posted on 04/26/2012

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Yes, like I said, leave the blanket, that isn't a problem! I would just follow the boundaries with the thumb!

Erica - posted on 04/26/2012

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Like I said before. She is not ready for blanket to be taken away. She has these minor panic attacks when she doesn't see him. He is how she explains her feelings. Doc thinks having her leave him home or in her room is not the right track for her. We wash our hands frequently, basically every time she puts her hands in her mouth.

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Also, I grew up with a thumb-sucking sister, a finger- sucking cousin, and now a thumb/blankie combo in my niece. The thing that many parents fail to teach their kids, is how disgusting it is to the rest of the world. Nothing like crossing the street holding a saliva covered hand... The health and germ issues are as much about not spreading disease as it is about not catching. PLEASE talk to your sucking kids (that was fun to say) about keeping our germs to ourselves. The number one way to stop the spread of germs is hand washing, and not the licking kind of wash ;)

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I like the stages approach, too. But the boundaries for the thumb need to be the same for the blanket. If we start with only sucking the thumb at home, we only have blankie at home. When we move to thumb only in your room, blankie gets banished too. Blankie and thumbie go hand in hand so restrict them together....



Oh, and my favorite uncle had a long-time girlfriend who still sucked her thumb well past college. So it's rare, but it does happen ;) I think intervention is the key!

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