5 answers

A 9 Year Old Little Girl Is Still Sucking Her Thumb at Night When She Sleeps.

DO you have any suggestions on how to help her stop this bad habit please?

What can I do next?

More Answers

I am dealing with this with my youngest. One of the most important aspects of this is that she is willing to give it up, otherwise it is fruitless to try. I speak from personal experience there! One thing to look at is whether she has an object such as a blanket or stuffed animal she sleeps with and therefore associates her thumb with. Both my girls had blankets, and when my older daughter was 5 and really wanted to be done with her thumb, we talked about how she would always want to suck her thumb when she held her blanket. She bravely put the blanket away, and we put a rather thick bandage around her thumb at night. This was after trying nasty tasting substances on her thumb, which did not work that well for her. It took probably a month total with her, but she did succeed. My youngest, who is now going on 10, has been much more challenging. She doesn't care if friends see her sucking her thumb at sleepovers (none of them tease her) and she doesn't want to give up her blanket so her incentives are not very great. We have had limited success with applying unpleasant tasting substances as well as the bandage trick. She will quit for a while, but I really think if I can finally get her away from the blanket it will do the most. Also, I doubt she will be able to go much longer without her peers commenting.
Oh, and another thing that helped my older daughter was that our dental hygienist, whom she adored, talked with her about what it would do to her teeth if she kept up the practice. She didn't say anything I wasn't already saying to her, but she responded much better! Anyway I hope something in here might give you some things to try. Good luck!

If it is at night, what's the problem. I sucked my thumb at night until I was 8, no dental problems at all. If no one sees it it shouldn't be a big deal. I think seeing 3 year olds with a binky in their mouth is more awkward than a 9 year old who sucks her thumb when no one is watching. I say back off. She'll eventually stop on her own.

My oldest daughter sucked her thumb at bedtime until she was 7. I questioned her about it at some point and suddenly she expressed her frustration over it...she didn't want to do it but didn't want to stop, either. I just told her if she ever decided that she would like to stop to let me know and we would figure out a way to help her. She immediately took me up on my offer. We decided that I should just give her a look or a small gesture to help remind her to get her thumb out of her mouth when I'd put her to bed and when I'd check on her. She wanted to stop, so this worked...I guess she never felt pressure or anything because I let her basically be in control of how she was going to be helped, if that makes sense.

As long as she does it only at night, I would just talk to her about what if she is invited to a sleep over. Don't make a big deal about it. It is a sucurity (SP) thing andshe is dealing with a lot as far as where her mom is and abandonment issues. Just talk to her and love her. eventually it will stop.
C. B

I had a friend who used the thumb guard with great success. They only had to use it a few nights. She said to be sure to get the one that goes around the wrist. Being 9, she may be able to take it off, so she'd probably have to be willing to try. GL!

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