Thursday, January 26, 2012

I've got a thumb sucker. Help!


It's true. I have a thumb-sucker. This sensitive, little soul girl just LOVES her thumb. And I'm not really sure what to do about it.

I had it in my head when I was pregnant that I would much rather have a paci baby than a thumbsucker because it's easier to wean kids off pacifiers. Well...Adoration wasn't going to have any of that. From day one she aggressively refused a pacifier, showing preference for her hands (or me). At about two and a half months, she found her thumb, and it was an immediate infatuation.  It was great when she was a baby. I didn't have to worry about her losing a pacifier in the middle of the night, she was an excellent self soother, mostly content, and I really think that her thumb-sucking helped her to be a good sleeper too.

But now she is 19 months and she sucks her thumb more than ever. For awhile she only really sucked it when she was starting to get tired or sleeping, so I wasn't too worried about it. But now she sucks it a lot more than that. I am at a loss of what to do! I mean...eventually she is gonna have to be weaned from her thumb and I don't have the slightest idea how. If she had a paci right now, I would just take it away from her and only give it to her for sleeping to start to wean her. But..ummm....can't take away her thumb.

So any advice out there?

When is a good time/age to wean a thumb sucker off of their thumbs??
And how in the world do you even begin to do it??

Anyone? All advice welcomed.

<3,
Kristina

14 comments:

  1. I have no clue because I sucked my thumb till I was something ridiculous, like 7 years. I know, ridiculous. I did read in Baby 411 that most children give it up on their own, and it won't cause any damage until after age 3. So it's likely she'll just give it up sometime. Just don't let her suck her thumb until she's 7 like I did. I have major TMJ problems and I think it's from my bite problems as a result of thumb sucking. Urg! Anna wouldn't take a pacifier either. She sucks her two middle fingers :)

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  2. Hudson was never a thumb sucker but I know our pediatrician says to wean from passy by 2 but not worry about thumb until at least 3. By then you can limit when they're allowed to do it, much like with a passy because their language skills are so good. I think you have a while before you need to worry about it and like Lisa said, she may quit on her own by then anyway. If not you'll know when she is able to handle only doing it in bed (or wherever).

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  3. Sadly, I sucked mine from ages 4 through 16. I don't have any major dental problems just cavities from too many sweets, thankfully. I say, do some research and determine what's best for your family. I know there's spicy and bitter fingernail polish that has helped some kids. Good luck!

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  4. My mom put hot sauce on my sister's fingers to discourage her!! She would also make her sleep with socks on her hands...maybe just sit Adoration down and explain that yall are broke and cant afford braces, so she's just gonna have to live with a mangled face if she keeps suckin- her choice!

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  5. if something works for y'all, let me know too! My daughter is 3 and sucks two fingers... only when she is sleepy and we've started staying on her about it some... (her daddy has even told her it will mess her teeth up and I've started telling her she can't have her fingernails painted until she stops).. hopefully between the two we will start seeing some more scaledown!

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  6. Anahi went through several periods when she would have th paci in her mouth all day..sometimes she was teething and other times I couldn't figure it out... So the extra thumb sucking might just last a few weeks...Anahi gave up her pack after we finally lost the last one a few months ago..she never mentioned it at all for like a week and everyone once in a while she would ask for it but wouldn't cry or anything....not the same as a thumb but I think both fill a psychological need and at some point shell prob grow out of it..if not, Erika's comment might be the way to go ;)

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  7. i wouldn't give it too much tought untill she's 3/4 years old.
    i was a thumb-sucker too and i weaned myself when i was 4. when she's sucking a lot right now it might be the molars cutting in or just a phase.
    i'm very much against the whole "putting something on her thumb or punishing her for doing it". it's her way to feel well and soothed. just think what you would do when someone just takes your "soother" away from you...and she' so young! just give her some time...

    leslie {a constant reader, but seldom commenter}

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  8. I was a major thumb sucker until I was probably 3. My mom told me my dentist said I needed to stop and that for some reason scared me into stopping! But I've always heard about this clear nail polish you can put on a thumb that tastes bad and the child stops. I have no idea how healthy that is but it may be worth looking into if you really want her to stop. It is just so cute to see a little girl walking around sucking her thumb! I secretly hopped my little Claire would be a thumb sucker. Good luck

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  9. Thanks for your comments! I feel a lot better. I knew for a paci, that they shouldn't suck it not too long after 2, but wasn't sure how it worked for thumbs. I'll just not worry about it until she's three, and pray she weans herself when the time comes! These comments are good to hear, cause I wouldn't have the heart to try anything right now....cause it really is so sweet...I mean just look at that picture. And it does bring her so much comfort.

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  10. Xander is my thumb sucker. Except he started as a paci lover and Daddy took his pacis away. Xander only will suck his left thumb, so during the day (when he is well of course!) we try to distract him by putting something else in his hand. Our dentist knows that he is a thumb sucker and isn't too concerned yet (and he'll be three in April.) Solomon sucks his middle two fingers (middle and ring finger) and he only started that after I weaned him. He does it when he is not feeling well or very tired. Again, not concerned yet.

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  11. Kristina, I know a boy who sucked him thumb (only at night)until he started kindergarten. Then his very wise Gma told him kindergaateners were "big boys" and didn't suck their thumbs, instead they kept their hands under their pillows, and he did! I hven't seen him suck his thumb since, and his teeth were/are beautiful!
    So just give her time, and maybe next year tell her thumbs can only go in your mouth at bed time... Keep on doing all the great mommy things you do. :)

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  12. I would say, DO NOT stress about it right now. I was my parent's one and only thumb sucker (out of 7 kids) and I was the only one with straight teeth. I gave it up when I was 7 (embarrassing, I know), but by then I was only sucking my thumb at night... That's when my mom brought home a baby sister for me, and I just had to give her my precious thumb-sucking blanket. I never sucked my thumb again.

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  13. Aghh. just commented and it got deleted. oops. Hopefully I'm not posting twice. Anyways. It really is so sweet. Micah has been waaay more into her paci lately too. Maybe it's just a phase, since they are growing up and changing so much so quickly. It's probably comforting for them to have that constant soothing. But she's young, she'll probably outgrow it eventually. So sweet. Miss you and that precious little girl.

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  14. I wouldn't stress about it- she will most likely wean herself out of it... but honestly it is not the worst problem to have- learning to self soothe is SUCH a valuable tool for a child (well any person for that matter, so mastering it as a child is great!) I know some long time thumb suckers whose parents tried everything to make the child stop and it just wasn't working- in fact, the more of a deal you make of it, the worse it seems to get! When she gets older, definitely try to set up boundaries (only at bedtime, etc)- but don't go overboard- you don't want your child to have to "hide from you" or camp out in their rooms so they can suck their thumb, and better yet- occupy her hands during the day if it is becoming a daily thing- but don't stress- she is going to stop at some point and she is not going to go to school sucking her thumb all day! Just be careful the things you tell her and the amount of attention you put into it because it can also create a lot of shame for kids, the concept of failure (if they truly are trying to stop, see you trying all these methods and they cannot stop), etc. Like when you say "kindergartners do not suck their thumbs," really... even if they still are- they are going to go to kindergarten anyway, so saying that just is actually saying- when you go to kindergarten and still suck your thumb that is not okay (something is wrong with them)... not to say you shouldn't address it, but just think about these things! There are so many things that if we harp on, we aid in providing/enforcing lies without meaning to!! If it were not just that it is not socially acceptable to suck your thumb after you are a small child, there would be NOTHING wrong with it!! It is SO healthy to be able to self-soothe!! So just work with her- if she doesn't stop anyway, once she gets OLDER to substitute another self soothing method!

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