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Thumb Sucking - Can you stop it? Lock Rss

My daughter is a thumb sucker. I'm not real worred about it except that my sister was one too, and she ended up with buck teeth because of it. Is there anyway that you can gently train them away from doing it without taking their comfort away? Let me know if you have any ideas you think may work.

Mother of One

My 20 mth old sucks her thumb too, and I know how much comfort she gets from it, so I can understand why you want to go gently with your daughter. I don't encourage or discourage my girl from sucking her thumb because I sucked mine for many years as a child and my teeth are straight; I've never had braces.

I feel sorry for your sister's teeth trouble, but I don't think it's as common as some people believe. I find that once I talk to a few people and admit that I sucked my thumb as a child but never had teeth problems, a lot of people admit to doing it too (and often, had no teeth trouble). I think there's such a stigma against it that even adults don't like to admit having sucked their thumb as a child.

As for getting your daughter to stop; I remember deciding it wasn't cool and stopping that night! SO, I figure when they're ready, they'll stop themselves. Anyway, thats' just my opinion!
My 3 year old never sucked her thumb until about a month ago. She's seen other children at her creche do it, so now she's started. I tried pepper on her thumb a couple of times, but now she's developed a liking for it.

So now, when I see her sucking her thumb - I try and give her a task that she can do with her hands to try and keep her occupied.

Rere, NZ, mum of three

Catie & Jacks mum:
Can try reinforcing the behaviour you want through rewards eg when you notice her not suck her thumb comment on how she is a "big girl"and how wonderful she is at not sucking her thumb and maybe paint her thumb nails with special nail polish. Keep reminding her that she cant see her special polish if its in her mouth smile.
My daughter attempted to suck her thumb (as her cousin does - which has actually caused teeth problems) I flat out told her if she wanted to suck her thumb like a baby she could, but it would mean we couldnt do big girl things like play group and ballet because big girls dont suck their thumbs. She opted to be a "big girl".

SA, 28mth & 1mth babies

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