11 answers

Getting My 3 Year Old to Stop Sucking His Thumb

I was just needing to know if there is anything that helps a 3 year old to stop sucking his thumb. Ive tryed talking to him about it and said that its hurting his teeth and when I seem him doing it during the day I will just gently remove it and he doesn't seem to mind. He mostly does it when I read him books or hes watching tv. I would like to get him to stop during the day maybe and then work on the night time thumb habits. I wouldn't care but I notice today that his two front teeth seem to be pushed out more than usual! Any ideas would be great!

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My friend had her dentist or you could use the peditrician to tell the child how bad it is. That worked for one of my friends. I have a5 year old thumbsucker and nothing works. We've laid off, but now that we are five today it's going to get tough. We have tried giving him things so he has to earn them..It's worked, but not permanently. Good luck. I have been told that they finally outgrow it. I too wish it be soon! One friend put something on the thumb, another got a thumbguard. Both worked for them.

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I was able to eradicate my daughter's daytime finger sucking habit with a finger guard. I saw it in One Step Ahead and ended up ordering it online at www.thumbguard.net. Your son will have to wear the guard for 30 days, per instruction from the inventor. It's slightly expensive, but was worth it for us. As for the nighttime & nap habit...we're still working on it. She no longer wears the guard, as I'm not too concerned about it at this point. It was too traumatic for her at night/nap to not suck so we figure we'll try the finger guard again when she's ready to give up the nighttime habit. I must mention that one prerequisite is that your child must want to stop sucking and must be willing to wear the guard. Hope this helps! Good luck to you and your son.

My friend had her dentist or you could use the peditrician to tell the child how bad it is. That worked for one of my friends. I have a5 year old thumbsucker and nothing works. We've laid off, but now that we are five today it's going to get tough. We have tried giving him things so he has to earn them..It's worked, but not permanently. Good luck. I have been told that they finally outgrow it. I too wish it be soon! One friend put something on the thumb, another got a thumbguard. Both worked for them.

Jenny
Good luck with this one! My first child sucked her thumb Alot and now has a flat thumb kind-of! Her teeth didnt suffer a bit thankGod! We tried everything that was out there and none of it worked. We stated keepin mittens on her hands and that seemed to help eventually. Just put some thin baby socks over them and tie them on with string our ribbon or elastic put not to tight that it cuts off circulaion! Good luck A. S

I my self am facing the same problem, only my little girl does it often. I try to keep her blanket away and that helps a little, but what I have found that helps is this polish that you put on their thumb, It is called Stop and it taste nasty. It worked great when we first started it to the point that it would be a few days before I would see her suck her thumb. Now she knows that washing her hands and taking a bath get it off and I think she just dons't care. I have tried the talking, tried telling her she has to stay in her bed and so it, but she doesn't care.
I am glad to hear that it will not bother her teeth untill the adult teeth come in. that was my biggest fear and reason for getting her to stop. Now maybe I wont try as hard and just let it happen on it's own.
Good luck and have a great day.

I had one that was hard to break. We tried every trick we'd ever heard of. Bandaids, gloves, rubbing alcohol, hot sauce and a variety of other things. The only thing that helped was anchovie paste. You can get it in most grocery stores. It comes in a tube and she immediately stopped sucking during the day. Sometimes at night she'd still suck in her sleep, but it stopped in about a month or so. It took her sleeping mind a little while to catch up with her waking mind. The big draw back is it stinks. She did not need it for more than a week or two during the day to stop. At night if her thumb went in her mouth we knew it as soon as she got up with her fishy dragon breath. It was worth it though. She needed the self confidence of not sucking the thumb and she couldn't drop the habit on her own and it embarrassed her, she was a couple years older than your son. Good luck.

Hi J.!
This subject has been talked about before on Mamasource. Most of the responses to a mom of a 5 year old sucking her thumb was to not worry about it. I sucked my thumb all the way up to about 11, but it was within the privacy of my bedroom and usually as a response to something upsetting me. My daughter, who is 9 now, sucked her thumb regularly up until 6 or so. She rarely does it now. Sucking the thumb is a comfort that does no harm to your child, except they might need dental work later on. They might've needed it anyway, so don't blame the thumb sucking. If your son responds to your gentle removal of it, then that seems to be an ok. way to deal with it. Outside of that, I wouldn't try to do anything more overt.
He will be a happy child!
Good Luck!

We had the same problem with one of our sons. Our oldest who is now 4 started to suck his thumb. It got to the point he was doing it all the time, and finally asked our pediatrician about it. She told us about this stuff called No Bite. You can get it at walmart. i believe it's in the fingernail polish isle. It has a really disgusting smell and taste. It's not harmful though. We used that, and it started to work. I stopped using it and then he started again. Last year he went to preschool, and that helped tremendously. Being around other kids his age, he saw that they didn't suck their thumbs and was probably too embarassed about doing it infront of his peers. His teeth are a little messed up too, but just remember, those teeth will eventually come out.

A little about me: I'm 25, SAHM, been married for almost 5 years. I have 3 kiddos ages 4, 3, and 3 months. (Two boys and a girl). Hubby is in the AF and so he deploys alot so i'm usually taking care of the kiddos by myself. He's suppose to be leaving this fall.

I have a 2 year old who sucks his index and middle fingers BACKWARDS (really pushing those little teeth out) and consulted a dentist about it. She told me that it's really difficult to convince children to stop sucking their digits when they're young since it's such a strong sense of comfort and mollification for them and it's much better to address the issue when their baby teeth have fallen out.
She assured me that the sucking will not become an orthadontic issue until the adult teeth are coming in (usually around age 5-7 depending on the child).
So if what she said is correct, you don't have to worry too much about convincing him to stop for a few years!

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