How do I get my sons to give up their security blankets and sucking thumbs?

Dixie - posted on 10/12/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 year old he will be four in feburary and he has been sucking his thumb since he was 6 months old he dosent suck so hard that it ruins his teeth but I still would like him to stop he also is attached to a blanket that he has had since birth he drags it all over the house and wont sleep with out it. Any advice on how to help him get rid of both these.

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Theresa - posted on 10/13/2010

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I have no experiance with the thumb sucking, but I do with blankies. Start with the blankie having to stay in his bedroom. No more dragging it around. Once he gets used to that, then just in the bed. I personally don't think it's neccessary to get rid of a blankie completely as long as it's just for sleeping. Both of my older boys had balnkies for quit awhile and my 2 little ones still have them. Eventually a kid out grows it and will tell you he doesn't need it anymore. When that day comes put it away for a keep sake. It can also be brought back out for comfort if a really rough spot comes up. My oldest so hadn't had a blankie for a couple years, then my grandma died. It was really rough for him and he found his blankie and slept with it for a week or so. It helped him cope with the death and made him feel better. (She had made the blankie for him when he was a baby).

Sarah - posted on 10/13/2010

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Here is what I do with the security blankets that my daycare kids are attatched to....I only allow them to have it when they sleep or are in their beds. Every now and then I will have one that will want it not at nap time, so what I say/do is I tell them they have to go night night and I put them in their bed. Sometimes they just need 10-15 mins. of cuddle time with their blanket and then they are ready to go and play without the blanket. I have found that restricting the blanket use to only nap times has helped with the thumb sucking as it seems that often times these go hand in hand. Sometimes for the thumb sucking it is just making them aware of it. It is a habit that sometimes they don't even realize they are doing. I never worried about the security blanket to sleep. I figured that never hurt anyone and when they are ready they will start to sleep with it less and less. If you find that the thumb sucking is connected to the blanket you may want to gradually wean, but I would do it in steps.

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Kristen - posted on 10/13/2010

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My daughter was a thumb sucker till after she turned 3 as well. I set "rules" for her for when she was allowed to do it. Like if she was just watching TV or playing and doing it, I removed it and told her that she is a big girl now and she couldnt suck her thumb anymore, being persistant with it is the key. If she were really sleepy or upset, I would allow it at those times, but as I kept on her about being a big girl and not doing it the other times, it slowly stopped during her times she needed it. Its HARD cause you cant take it away, but just keep on him and remind him that big boys dont do that kinda thing. =) Good luck!! BTW, my daughter will be 7 this month, and still does it in her sleep but that is the only time, and Im hoping she stops before she's married! lol

Nichole - posted on 10/12/2010

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I don't know. With the thumb, he's big enough to wean him from that, but I'm not sure of a good way. Sorry. But I wouldn't worry about the security blanket. He's a little boy, little kids need something for security. When he's ready he'll stop using it.

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