22 answers

7 Year Old Wants to Stop Thumbsucking

My almost 7 year old daughter wants to stop sucking her thumb because she's afraid her classmates will find out that she still does this and she's afraid she'll get teased. The other day at story time in class (they put their heads down and rest) she started falling asleep and found herself sucking her thumb. She's very worried it will happen again. Does anyone have any suggestions how to help her stop without resorting to painting her nails with toxic stuff that tastes so bad she'll throw up (her Dad did this once and she threw up all over her bed!).

What can I do next?

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My daughter was thumbsucker. We tried everything! Even the orthodontist could not help. Finally, I broke down and bought a thumbguard. She wore it for about 2 weeks, and has not sucked her thumb since. She is 10 now. The web-site: thttp://practicon.com/Medium-T-Guard-Appliance-Kit
I hope it works!

Just try putting a band-aid on her thumb. That way, if she puts it in her mouth unconciously, the strange feeling of the band-aid will get her attention. I sucked my thumb until I was quite old also and it was tough to break.

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Don't worry about it, your daughter is on it. She is right, she would be teased. Simply support & encourage her effort.
I don't know why people TRIP so hard on thumb-sucking. It is an excellent self comfort mechanism (impossible to lose). I was, and both my daughters too. It is BS that it ruins teeth (ours are straight). Second grade is where they really become aware of it, and they want to stop so people (peers) don't think they are BABIES. I have only ever met one grown up who sucked her thumb (ugh).

Had the same issue with my daughter many years ago. We put a "cast" on her thumb. Wrapped it with gauze and tape so when she put it in her mouth it was an immediate reminder. She left it on 24/7. It really worked and within a week she no longer sucked her thumb even at night.

Pamela (Pam) Marshalla is a speech language pathologist who is well regarded. She has a book which addresses cessation of thumb sucking. Although I am not recalling the title, you may be able to google her name and the other identifying information to get some results. I also know that the publishing company "Super Duper" (probably www.superduperspeech.com ) carries her books. Good luck!
E.

Hello S.,
Thats great that she has decided to try and stop sucking her thumb her self. I was a finger sucker. And had no intention on stopping. I just hid it. My suggestion is to get her a pretty pair of gloves, she can put on before she lays down to rest. Then if she does put her thumb in her mouth with out realizing it, she will become aware when she feels the glove. And she could just tell the other kids her hands were cold if they ask about the gloves. I hope that works for her. Good luck

Hi! My daughter also wanted to stop sucking her thumb around that age (she's 15 now), because she knew she was developing an overbite from all that sucking. We made a contract together and set goals to keep the thumb out of her mouth. For each milestone of time with NO thumb in mouth, we had little rewards we agreed upon. We then sat down and took an old pair of Dad's white tube socks and made sock puppets out of them. When she would go to sleep each night, she would put on her puppets and have me safety pin the top of them to her pj sleeves (so she couldn't pull them off). This worked like a charm to break her of slipping the thumb into her mouth when she slept. (She still has the puppets). Waking hours, she found other things to keep her little fingers busy (especially on long drives)...a little silly putty or clay can make a huge difference. I wish you and your daughter the best!

My daughter was thumbsucker. We tried everything! Even the orthodontist could not help. Finally, I broke down and bought a thumbguard. She wore it for about 2 weeks, and has not sucked her thumb since. She is 10 now. The web-site: thttp://practicon.com/Medium-T-Guard-Appliance-Kit
I hope it works!

Just try putting a band-aid on her thumb. That way, if she puts it in her mouth unconciously, the strange feeling of the band-aid will get her attention. I sucked my thumb until I was quite old also and it was tough to break.

Hi S.,

I have a brother who sucked his thumb when we were younger and this is what my mom did to stop it.

Try using the Stop the Nail Biting polish. Unlike tying a ribbon around the thumb, which could lead to questions by her schoolmates, it's invisible and tastes yucky!!! It's best to apply directly after bath-time so the skin has a chance to absorb it and apply two to three times daily.

Good Luck!!
Connie

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