9 answers

2 Yr Old Suddenly Sucking His Fingers

My very independent 2 year old has started sucking is fingers and has become very attached to one of his blankets. I understand the attachment to the blanket, that is very two...but he has never sucked anything. He wouldn't take a bottle or a pacifier. I breastfed him till he was 15 months old and then he weaned himself. I try and make him keep his blanket on his bed...but this week he has actually been going back there and laying down for 10 or 15 minutes to suck his fingers and snuggle with his blanket. I really don't know if I should just ignore it or be concerned. Anyone else ever had this happen? Will he grow out of it? I really do not want him carting the blanket around and sucking on his fingers, yet sometimes he just sneaks back to his room and gets it and I find him playing with it wrapped around him like a cape.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My daughter was never big on a paci or thumbsucking and had pretty much stopped all together by 18m. But, in the past 3-4m she has been sucking her fingers more when she's teething. First it was her two canine teeth, now I believe she is working on her 2 yr molars. I don't worry about it too much, and on the days when she seems to be sucking on them a lot more than usual I give her some ibuprofin at bedtime to help the teething ache.

As for the blanket lovey, that's perfectly normal and I wouldn't worry about that at all. My daughter has a little bear/blanket named "Bubba" (she named him) she takes with her to the babysitters or when she spends the night at grandmas house. I just set some basic rules about Bubba not being at the dinner table or outside swimming/playing etc.

More Answers

Well, independence is scary, so kids that age are looking for ways to comfort themselves! My daughter never took to the pacifier until she was about 18 month and her independence took off. At the same time she stopped clinging to me, she wanted her binky and a lovey. VERY NORMAL!
I would gently try to discourage the finger-sucking, very detrimental for their teeth (more so than a pacifier) and a really tough habit to break later on. It's actually easier to get rid of a binky...
He will probably grow out of it at some point, or he may go through phases of more or less attachment to his loveys. All is very normal and no cause for concern - probably if you look around and see kids his age, you will see a lot of loveys, blankies and binkies.

2 moms found this helpful

Does your child have their 2 year old molars? My daughter stuck her hands in her mouth and was never a thumb or finger sucker beforehand. I saw her daughter do the same thing and asked her "why are our girls doing that" and she said it was the 2 year old molars. So maybe that's it?

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was never big on a paci or thumbsucking and had pretty much stopped all together by 18m. But, in the past 3-4m she has been sucking her fingers more when she's teething. First it was her two canine teeth, now I believe she is working on her 2 yr molars. I don't worry about it too much, and on the days when she seems to be sucking on them a lot more than usual I give her some ibuprofin at bedtime to help the teething ache.

As for the blanket lovey, that's perfectly normal and I wouldn't worry about that at all. My daughter has a little bear/blanket named "Bubba" (she named him) she takes with her to the babysitters or when she spends the night at grandmas house. I just set some basic rules about Bubba not being at the dinner table or outside swimming/playing etc.

Is he getting his second year molars? My daughter has one breaking through and has been sucking her fingers the past 2 weeks as well. She's pretty verbal so we know the finger sucking and molars go together.

I think there is a much stronger link to oral comfort than most people (even experts) will admit. My 1st didn't nurse well, but was completely attached to his binky. We tried to "wean" him from it when his sister was born when he was almost 4....it was a horrible process and he hated it! My 2nd nursed wonderfully and never even took a binky! At age 3, I am finally putting my foot down and taking steps to wean her (I was all for child-led-weaning, but its driving me nuts at this point) and I've noticed that the more I limit nursing, the more she sucks on fingers, clothing, etc. I've started to give her washclothes when she wants something to suck on and that seems to work. Just know that if you want to stop one of your son's comfort behaviors, you'll need to replace it with something, otherwise its just cruel. Good luck!

As others have said, I wouldn't worry about it. He's soothing himself, which is a good thing. I whole-heartedly defend thumb and finger-sucking as I sucked my thumb until I was 8 years old and, my teeth were unaffected by it. My sister also sucked her thumb for a long time and had no dental problems from it. We didn't suck our thumbs all the time, just when we needed some comfort.

He's centering and calming himself. There's a lot going on his life right now. You may not think so, but your pregnancy does impact your other kids, so he's learning to be independent, finding comfort in things that he has control over. Sucking his fingers is not a bad thing, neither is his blanket. You'll be so happy when #3 arrives that he has a blanket and that you don't have to find a pacifier for him when he's upset or stressed and you're involved with the new baby. Take the time you have now to sit and read with him, walks in the park. Build up that emotional bank account with him now, while you have the time and energy, same with his older brother. Congratulations on your growing family!!!

Two year olds are by nature more emotional and sensitive. Some respond to that sensitivity by temper tantrums. Your child has responded by becoming more reserved and shows it by needing a blanky. He may use and keep that blanky in reserve for years. Mine did (until 18) and was the most out going and confident child you ever saw. But the blanky was always there. Let him have it in the house. You will do more damage to him by making it a secretive thing to have only in the bed.

I also think the sucking on fingers may be a teething problem. Check with your dentist.

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.