4 1/2 year old won't stop sucking her thumb!!!

Julie - posted on 01/06/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 4 1/2 and will start Kindergarten next September. She used a binkie when she was a baby and we threw that away when she was about 2 1/2. Now she's resorted to sucking her thumb and we can not get her to stop. She does it when she's bored, sleepy or watching tv. I think she tries to not do it, but its such a bad habit. She asked me what is she supposed to do if her brain tells her to suck her thumb! Poor kid! Anyway, we've tried putting band aids on her thumbs, dipping her thumb in vinegar, buying her prizes and also unfortunately gotten frustrated with her. Any suggestions are appreciated! I need her to stop before she's 5 and starts losing her baby teeth or her adult teeth will be totally messed up!

7 Comments

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Buffy - posted on 02/01/2009

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I used a finger nail pollish on my daughter it is called nail hardner by sally it stings their tounge and works for noses to it is not harmful and takes a week or less.

Helen - posted on 01/28/2009

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My son is almost 7 and sucks his thumb when tired- sometimes at school. He also has a cloth at home ( my nearly 9 yr old daughter has never had a comforter or sucked thumb/dummy). I have made no fuss about it- dont want to deny him comfort when he needs it and I guess he will stop when he is ready.

Melanie - posted on 01/28/2009

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Dear Julie,

Hi I am Mel, mommy of Georgi who turned 5 in Dec 08 and Daniella who turns 3 in Feb this year. Unfortunately Georgi sucks her thumb, she started when she was 3! It all began from a new little girl who joined her old school, the child walked in sucking her thumb and children as they are,like to copy one another! But this little girl used to suck her thumb continually throughout the day. I can relate to your despair as we have tried everything with Georgi even dipping it in chilli sauce (desperate measures!) and the pretty nail polish route etc. When she started grade 00 between the teacher & I we managed to stop her sucking her thumb at school by keeping a chart and everytime it went in her mouth the teacher would take a star off. Which has been successful - during the day at school as she is now in Grade R. She has pushed her baby teeth to second stage and and used to talk with a slight lisp, which seems to have cleared improved with age on its own. Whenever she is tired or bored, lying on the couch watching a movie the thumb goes into her mouth and the other hand is twirling her hair! So not only have got the teeth to worry about but also her hair which she is breaking by twirling it all the time. I have been told by other moms that their children sucked their thumbs and by the time the big teeth were in position there was no sign of 'buck teeth'- obviously they had stopped. I just hope that with age she will eventually grow out of this annoying habit! Her thumb has become quite thin and the nail never grows! We also gave her an ultimatum to stop otherwise only sister will get a bratz bike for christmas...but how can you give the one and not the other! My husband and I think that it is also partly because we took her dummy away too soon at about 2 & a bit as after that we noticed everything would go in her mouth, whereas with Daniella we still allow her to have her dummy at night. If you think about in the long run they are still really small and to have to deal with all the challenges of going to school and being apart from you, it is quite a load to deal with emotional. Have you tried the dentist route, the dentist chatting to her and showing her pics of badly placed teeth - this is on my list to do now in the new year.

Take care.

User - posted on 01/27/2009

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My daughter is 5 and still sucks her thumb when she relaxing or sleepy. I don't think it's possible to stop thumb sucking, it's a natural reaction they get used to, as she says " her brain is telling her to"! I sucked my thumb for years and my teeth are great. She WILL stop when she's ready and doesn't look as bad as a dummy. Although my husbands Auntie still sucks her thumb at 42!! A step too far?!

Nichole - posted on 01/25/2009

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My 5 1/2 year old is in Kindergarten and still sucks her thumb. She tells me she likes it! The dentist told me that no matter how long or often she sucks her thumb any damage is fixable! I don't worry for the fact that everyone needs something to comfort them and if this is what helps her then why take that away?

Jan - posted on 01/06/2009

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She will stop when she is ready, my son sucked his thumb till he was a teenager, was worried sick, but now he 30 and has a wee boy of his own. I wonder now why I worried. Its not the end of the world. Oh and by the way my son has got gorgeous white STRAIGHT teeth too

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