Thumb sucking

South Africa
May 29, 2008 3:01am CST
Do you have a child who sucks their thumb? Have you tried to get them to stop?Has the thumb sucking affected their teeth? My baby is 17 months old and has been sucking his thumb since he was about 3 months old. I have tried all types of bitter things on his finger to no avail. Anybody have any advice?
5 responses
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
29 May 08
My son turned 2 in February. He still sucks his thumb sometimes, but now he usually only does it when he's really tired. We talked to the pediatrician about it, and what he told us was that it was perfectly normal, and that we shouldn't do anything to try to stop it until he had all of his baby teeth, and that most babies will stop sucking their thumbs then, if they are just sucking it to comfort their gums. My son now has all of his baby teeth, and he has completely stopped sucking his thumb during the day. It really was just a comfort thing for his gums. Now he still does it, if he's worn out from a busy day, or if his nap gets cut short for some reason, but as long as we get him to bed on time, he can go days without sucking his thumb.
@nishdan01 (3054)
• Singapore
29 May 08
Thumb sucking is noraml part of growing up. But as the child grows up it tends to decrease. Thumb sucking occurs as babies feel irritation of the gums.you can buy a cooling teether and keep in the freezer. Just give when he requires. It works to stop thumb sucking.Try it out.
@sminut13 (1786)
• Singapore
29 May 08
my son is now 5 yrs this year. he used to suck his thumb or tried to anyway since really young. whenever i caught him, i would pull away his thumb. he'd cry of course, but i'd just baby talk to him and sooth him. somehow, he lost that habit really fast. i think when they reached an understanding age, they realized that they were not allowed to do that. i never noticed when but when i did notice, i realized that i wasn't pulling his fingers out of his mouth anymore. now my daughter who is 2 is giving me this problem. i intend to continue with this method. hopefully it works for her as well as it did for my son.
@salonga (27835)
• Philippines
29 May 08
Thumb-sucking is normal for younger children is nothing to be alarmed about because it is just a normal instinct that normally decreases beyond 6 months. It is the baby's way of soothing himself when she feels anxiety or hunger. But if the child continue to suck even after age 5 such as your child who is 17 this is already a thing that needs extra attention. Yes, this could lead to dental problem or even speech problems sometimes. Have you tried putting gloves are wrapping adhesive bandage to the thumb to discourage sucking? the If you have done already all these means but to no avail your child now needs help from a medical professional. The treatment is usually done in the home with the parents to set rules and impose restrictions.
@mjmlagat (3171)
• Philippines
29 May 08
My eldest who is now 16 was once a thumb-sucker until the age of 3. It was relly tough for me to take her off the habit but I tried harder because I noticed her front teeth and upper tooth ridge began to protrude. Usually when she did thumb-sucking she paired it with her hotdog pillow, hugging it. So what I did was to find a subtitute object for her favorite pillow to take her out of the habit. Fortunately, and thanks God it worked. In your case, you can still controll it because your baby is still very young. Thumb-suckers usually have "that" object, elliminate his liking to it first.