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Anyone Used a Thumb Guard

Has anyone successfully used a thumb guard to stop a little one from thumb-sucking? My 3 year old simply cannot stop. She sucks her thumb constantly. She has had this habit since 5 months. She does it whenever she is bored, stressed, tired or simply thinking. She is a sweet and happy little girl but loves that thumb. We tried using bandaids per doctor's instructions but she takes them off. I have tried telling her she can only suck her thumb at bedtime or when she is in her room but she forgets. I tried positive reinforcement but again, she forgets. She said she will try to use a thumb guard (we shall see) if we purchase one. She has a thumb blister, too. I have been gently trying to get her to stop (asking her not to do it every single day) for over a year now.

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I know this is late but wanted to add that i used the bitter nail polish and it worked for my 3 year old. I put it on while he was asleep and he never put his fingers in his mouth again after he got that awful taste. However, it was taking away his soothing technique so we had a 2 week battle about going to bed after that. He didnt know how to soothe himself to sleep so it was very very hard for a couple weeks, but its better now and he doesnt put dirty fingers in his mouth anymore. He was getting sick all the time and now he doesnt. I got the polish at amazon.com.

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I know this is late but wanted to add that i used the bitter nail polish and it worked for my 3 year old. I put it on while he was asleep and he never put his fingers in his mouth again after he got that awful taste. However, it was taking away his soothing technique so we had a 2 week battle about going to bed after that. He didnt know how to soothe himself to sleep so it was very very hard for a couple weeks, but its better now and he doesnt put dirty fingers in his mouth anymore. He was getting sick all the time and now he doesnt. I got the polish at amazon.com.

1 mom found this helpful

my daughter is a thumb sucker as well. dentist wanted her to stop at age 3. we tried a few methods but she would do just about anything to get that thumb in her mouth when she wanted it. finally she stopped actively sucking on her thumb but she does still pop it in when she is stressed or tired. agree with the note below that this is a battle you may want to forgo for now and she'll stop when she is ready. good luck!!

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I'm sorry- I know this isn't the advice you're looking for, but I can tell you as a former thumb sucker, that you can't imagine the comfort that it gives your child. She eventually WILL stop on her own- that I promise. I know that it is socially unacceptable to see in a child in public with their thumb in their mouth, but she will soon learn this, and only suck her thumb when no one is around, until she no longer feels the need. I think I sucked my thumb at night till I was 5 or 6, and now at 50 I can assure you that the desire has LONG since left me! Yuk! Yes, I had to have braces later, but I probably would have had them anyway. There are so many things we need to take a hard line on with our kids- so many things to train and teach them- but this isn't a moral issue. She is a sweet little girl who does this for comfort, not out of rebellion. Consider letting her take her time, until she doesn't need it any more.

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When I expressed concern to my doctor about my doctor's thumb-sucking at that age he wisely told me: she needs the comfort and if you make her stop she'll replace it something else--possibly a less desirable habit. He also said most children stop on their own by the time they go to school for their own reasons. I think that was good advice even though my daughter was one of the kids who did not stop on her own. (She is now 12 and is a confident, competent kid.) So we chilled for a while and then starting at about 5 1/2 we tried various things, in sync with her kindergarten teacher, but none worked. Then at 6 1/2we went to Shari Green -- who just wonderful. It was costly and a long drive, but I can honestly say that she exceeded our expectations in every way. Her breadth of knowledge, her techniques, her rapport with the kids, her cheerful, child friendly office. She is really amazing. I could not and still would not be able to duplicate her effectiveness on my own. Good luck.

Not sure if you'd want to take this route, but there is a therapist that helps with this. Her name is Shari Green, The Thumblady...in Long Grove. Good luck!

I have a 4 year old and i did the nice "take your thumb out" statements round the clock..i recently bought infant socks at a resale shop and cut the toe part open for the fingers to stick out and then hand sewed a line near where the thumb would lay so it couldn't sneak out with the fingers. it seems to work. I bought light weight socks so she wouldn't get sweaty.

I talked to my Dr. about this because we have a 2 year old thumb sucker and want to plan ahead. She said every child is different, she had 2 thumb suckers, the first one is 12 and still sucking her thumb even though she has tried for years to get her to stop. The mom went to hypnotherapy for grinding her teeth and the 12 year old asked if hypnotherapy would help her stop thumb sucking?? so they gave it a try and it is helping a ton! As for her other child, at age 3 or 4 they went to the dentist and the dentist firmly told her she had to stop sucking or it will ruin her teeth and she listened and was determined to stop and did! (this did not work for the older child).
My sister had a few suckers and at age 3 they had a father son talk, very calm and serious, and told the child they needed to stop (maybe put in some religious stuff, and dental reasons) and they worked on it together with socks and what not, helping the child understand it was a baby thing, lots of praise and hugs...hope this helps, I am nervous to try myself!!!

We were in the same boat and i tried from the time my daughter was 2 to stop the thumb sucking. I did purchase the thumb guard and what a waste of money. No matter how tight i got it and even after having the dentist show me how to put it on, she got the damn thing off every night.

The only thing that finally worked for us was the bitter nail paint and that didn't work until she was 5. She used to suck her thumb raw and it would bleed, not too mention sticking it in her mouth with all the germs on it.

One word about the bitter paint, be careful that you don't put too much on, and you will have to get up several times at night for the first few weeks because they get the horrible taste in their mouth when they try to suck it. Milk gets rid of the taste, and to help keep her from putting it in her mouth at night, she would wear socks on her hands so it wasn't easy to just plop it in. She still wears the socks to bed out of habit, but she has not sucked her thumb in over a year now.

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