Ashley - posted on 02/09/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )




My 21 month old is a abidextrous thumbsucker. We wouldn't have let him start so young but, we didn't have a choice because at only 6 months old he would stick the whole paci in his mouth so I took it away early and he used his thumb to soothe. Now, its only when he soothes or is sleeping but, still I know I need to attempt to break this habit STAT!!! Any advice, tips remedies are very appreciated!!!


View replies by

User - posted on 02/10/2011




My son is 2.7 years old and like your son he started sucking his thumb after I took the pacifier away and after I stopped nursing him he really took to his thumb, especially at night. I haven't attempted to try to break him out of it since I also suck my thumb when I'm sleepy! (Don't laugh, lol) I do believe that he will grow out of it and as long as your monitoring his teeth he should be fine!

Sylvia - posted on 02/10/2011




Honestly? I think you may be overreacting to the stimulus here. Most kids have a strong urge to suck until at least age 3, and if they're weaned earlier than that, which many kids in North America are, they tend to seek out substitutes for the breast -- thumbs, bottles, pacifiers, fingers, other objects ... If he's not even 2 yet and is already only sucking his thumb at certain times (really, why are we bothered by a young toddler sucking his thumb while sleeping? granted, it's a bigger problem for jaw development than nursing would be, but not nearly as big a problem as a pacifier, and it's not like his thumbs are coated with sugar or something), I'd say we're a long way from panic stations. And at least you know you'll never be in the awful situation of having left your child's beloved comfort object in a hotel or restaurant or airport somewhere ... ;^)

Laura - posted on 02/10/2011




Most kids out-grow the habit. Your child isn't even 2 yet and only does this at specific times (self-soothing or sleeping). Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about it. There are much worse habits and behaviors to worry about than thumb-sucking, IMO.

If you are intent on breaking the habit, however, then you have a few options. You can re-introduce a pacifier as an appropriate object to suck. You can use a deterrent, such as Thum or Mavala-Stop. Hot sauce and pepper suace can also be used as a deterrent, though I wouldn't use those myself. You can place mittens on his hands before bed, pinning them to the sleeves of his PJ's so he can't pull them off. Since he seems to suck his thumb to self-soothe, you can try giving him a special stuffed animal or blanket as a substitute to help comfort him. They don't call them "security blankets" for nothing! Anyway, hope this helps and good luck!

Kelly - posted on 02/10/2011




I wouldn't worry about it. Mine sucked his thumb at night or if he had his blanket so we called a halt to the blanket out during the day. No teeth problems at all. I think we also saw him doing it once this year while sleeping and he is 11 but it was unusual. It just slowly went away. You can talk to a dentist but I think it might be rare that it affects teeth.

Joy - posted on 02/09/2011




The time is now to start with mittens on when he goes to sleep, or, more adventurous parents try pepper, hot sauce, etc, to use. The adult teeth are beginning to form above his baby teeth, and they follow in the same pathway the baby teeth are in, so it is so important at this age (before they truly know the word "no") to start with him. It is true, by age 5 or 6 an appliance can be made to help prevent the thumb from entering the mouth, but, as a dentist I can tell you they are not usually paid for by insurance and they can cause cavities if not kept squeaky clean. Good luck!

Medic - posted on 02/09/2011




My son is four and still sucks his thumb. We remind him not to when we catch him but the dentist told him that at 6 if he hasn't stopped they will put a retainer in that has a spike that will poke his thumb. I was a thumb sucker and I quit about 2nd grade when I realized the other kids didn't do it.

Louise - posted on 02/09/2011




It's alot easier to break the dummy habbit than a thumb! But you have already removed that so now you are stuck with a habbit. As your child gets alot older then maybe you can try aversion therapy with a nasty tasting nail varnish but for the time being you are stuck with this. Normally boys grow out of this but if you have a girl she could suck her thumb until she is 8 or 9.

Learn by your mistakes and if you have any more children let them chose to give up the dummy believe me it is alot less stressful than trying to break a thumb sucker.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms