My nine month old just started sucking his thumb. He never did it before nor did he take a pacifier.

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Brooke - posted on 10/16/2009

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Some babies like a pacifier, some don't. Some start sucking thumbs or fingers at all different times. I think people over react to trying to get babies and kids to stop sucking way too much. Tons of people who never sucked their thumb have major mouth/teeth problems. Lots of how your teeth develop is hereditary and has nothing to do with sucking on a pacifier. I think the reason the little ones suck is to soothe themselves, pacify themselves, comfort themselves, and goodness what's wrong with that? They sucked their mama's nipple or a bottle nipple for a long time, and if it feels soothing to suck their thumb I say let them!

Some babies may feel nervous when they aren't attached with their mamas, so sucking something calms them. Most kids don't do it long, if it becomes a long term issue, deal with it then. Your baby is 9 months, an infant, a sweetie, let them chilax (that's chill and relax, lol) and suck their wee thumb! :)

Deborah - posted on 10/16/2009

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Your nine month old probably saw another child and picked up the habit. If he JUST started, you can break it. Take his thumb out of his mouth when you see him and tell him no. Dont fight with him...be gentle. Just like if he had a toy in his mouth...what would you do? If you don´t break it from the beginning, then the habit is formed and you will go nuts trying to break him from it. I have two sons that were born with their thumbs in their mouths...I tried breakin them to no avail! One stopped when he was 6 (due to something we told him) and the other at 9. My daughter sucked her finger and she stopped around 4 or 5 due to something one of my friends told her! All of mine were born sucking their fingers. I have friends whose children picked it up by watching others and they broke them by removing the fingers from their mouths.

Alisa - posted on 10/16/2009

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Was he a breast fed baby? This is quite common for these babies. In my experience babies that suck their thumb are generally very contented babies.I know people say that it messes with their teeth, but I know alot of people who've never sucked their thumbs, and they still have to have braces or work done on their teeth. So, you can have a contented baby that will eventually give it up on their own in time, or you can have a discontented one whose teeth that might end up needing work done on their teeth anyway. I told a friend of mine that her profile pic was so precious, it's a pic of her 7 month old sucking his thumb, it's the cutest thing! I guess you could say sucking their thumb makes them go to their happy place, and we all have a thing that takes us there.

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Elizabeth - posted on 10/20/2009

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Thanks for all the help! Yes, my child is a breast fed baby and yes he is still nursing. Also, he has just gotten four upper teeth in so I am going to assume his teething helped with this habit. He seems content so I guess I will just let him be and hope he stops on his own. Thanks again for all the advise!!

Maria - posted on 10/16/2009

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My oldest did that, but I had to break the habit and replaced his thumb with a pacifier since his thumb was getting really dry and starting cracking in the cold weather. Not to mention his teeth started coming out bucked. Had to end up putting him on braces eventually.

Carolyn - posted on 10/16/2009

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This is usually a sign of insecurity of some kind. Some thing in his world of comfort is upsetting him. If you can find a comfortable change he will probably stop just as he started. It just sounds like his routine in some manner has changed and this is his way of dealing with it.

Laura - posted on 10/16/2009

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Quoting Mandy:

That is about when my child started to take the thumb too. He never wanted the pacifier and would spit it out. I personally don't like the pacifier, unless you are really good at making sure they don't have tiny cracks in them they make me nervous (the cracks lead to bacteria that leads to gout and that is extremly painfull). Also, I learned that other parents were waking-up at all hrs of the night b/c their child would wake-up and cry until they 'found' it. The thumb worked for us and us was a trigger- sick, hunger, tired, needed self soothing. That is the only time. So, I am a supporter of the thumb. Good luck. :)


To stop the search for paci's at night, I tied a sheet around the outside of the crib to keep them from falling out and put four or five in the crib with my daughter.  She was usually able to find one on her own.  We never had one crack on us but we did have many in use at any given time.

Kristina - posted on 10/16/2009

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Well my little man sucks has thumb right now because his top teeth are breaking through. He might be teething!!

Mandy - posted on 10/16/2009

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That is about when my child started to take the thumb too. He never wanted the pacifier and would spit it out. I personally don't like the pacifier, unless you are really good at making sure they don't have tiny cracks in them they make me nervous (the cracks lead to bacteria that leads to gout and that is extremly painfull). Also, I learned that other parents were waking-up at all hrs of the night b/c their child would wake-up and cry until they 'found' it. The thumb worked for us and us was a trigger- sick, hunger, tired, needed self soothing. That is the only time. So, I am a supporter of the thumb. Good luck. :)

Laura - posted on 10/16/2009

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I would suggest trying to get him to take a pacifier if you can. They are generally an easier habit to break versus thumb sucking. But it is common for babies at any age to need a soother, which is one reason they suck their thumb.

Maggie - posted on 10/16/2009

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He probably started doing it when he was teething really bad and just decided he liked it :) Don't try to stop him, right now he's so little it's perfectly ok. They say that if you just ignore it, most children stop by the time they're 5 or so. Once they start kindergarten I would maybe try some techniques but until then..eh..no big deal.

Shelly - posted on 10/16/2009

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did you started work or leaving him alot? cause when my kid started sucking there thumb. 5 months it was cause i went back to work. is a comfort thing for them and now she 3 and half and still sucks. i m trying to have her stop but its the hardness thing. i would stop it now before it come to be a big thing. good luck.

Kendra - posted on 10/16/2009

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children offten start pickin up habbits thats all it will be with ur son dont worry about it xx

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