10 answers

How Do I Get My 3 Year Old to Stop Sucking Her Thumb?

My daughter just turned 3. She has been sucking her thumb since she was 15 months old. Her doctor says that thumb sucking doesn't need to be addressed until she turns 4 since permanent damage doesn't begin until then. His recommendation is to just ignore her when she sucks her thumb and praise her when she doesn't...and maybe she'll stop on her own. It isn't working. And although permanent damage may not occur for another year, I can already see her front teeth sticking out. And it bothers me that she puts her thumb in her mouth before I can get her hands washed when she's been out and about. Help!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My oldest daughter, now 12, sucked the two middle fingers of her right hand until she was 4. I tried everything I heard about to break her of it. Her teeth were causing red sores on her fingers, her nails were misshappen and her teeth were being affected. The stuff you paint on nails didn't work - it almost seemed like she liked it! Finally, I got inventive... this might help you. I took two small cloth bandaids, the stretchy fabric ones, and dropped regular white vinegar onto the absorbent pads in the middle. Then I wrapped both fingers with the bandaids so that the nasty-tasting pads landed on her tongue whenever those fingers went in her mouth. We'd had a big talk about how she was not to take those off, and it worked like a charm. Within two weeks of using this technique, which is especially helpful at night, she'd stopped sucking her fingers. I hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

My oldest daughter, now 12, sucked the two middle fingers of her right hand until she was 4. I tried everything I heard about to break her of it. Her teeth were causing red sores on her fingers, her nails were misshappen and her teeth were being affected. The stuff you paint on nails didn't work - it almost seemed like she liked it! Finally, I got inventive... this might help you. I took two small cloth bandaids, the stretchy fabric ones, and dropped regular white vinegar onto the absorbent pads in the middle. Then I wrapped both fingers with the bandaids so that the nasty-tasting pads landed on her tongue whenever those fingers went in her mouth. We'd had a big talk about how she was not to take those off, and it worked like a charm. Within two weeks of using this technique, which is especially helpful at night, she'd stopped sucking her fingers. I hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 2 year old that is going to turn 3 in June. And I bought the Thumbguard that Darla sent you the link to from a dentist that is actually a specialist. After my inlaws leave I'm going to give it a try. I heard it is a good way and there is a CD to watch....I'd buy it online as I bought it for $100. But I need to do it as my son's is moving the entire top jaw forward to a great degree. Let me know how it goes for you and I'll do the same!

Hi Becky,

This is my first response to mamasource, and I am so excited to find this. The benefits are not only from receiving great suggestions and help from others, but also as in this case to share information helpful to others in the same need AND spare them some time on the learning curve hopefully!

My 7 year old was a thumby from birth. At 3-4 our dentist recommended her to an orthodontist for the issue. The orthodontist recommended the Thumb Guards which she sold in her office and I later found them on line. They were terrific! My daughter thought they were "special" bracelets and they had brightly colored bands to keep them on at night. I am trying to find the box for the brand and haven't located it. Will keep trying. It took several months. Once they've used them for 3-4 months. You don't put them on and check for thumbsucking. If it happens put them back on each night for 2 weeks then try again. We found the curly colorful ribbon could also be used in place of the bands which we thought were a little pricey. These guards were clear soft plastic. We didn;t have any daytime ts but if you do, they can were them round the clock and even bathe in them! Good luck! You're doing the right thing. OUr daughter's confidence has also improved as she realizes she's more grown up without the ts!

And yes, getting rid of blankies and stuffed animals helped as they were "cues" for ts.

Hey! From Darla G. below that is the same device we used! Yeah!

Paint the nails with "No Bite". YOu can get it at any drugstore in the polish isle. It is for finger nail bitters. It will work. We put it on my sisters paci when she was little and told her it tasted so bad because it was old. GOod luck.

This device is worth it's weight in gold & well worth the $$$ http://www.onestepahead.com/product/osa/984.html. Follow the directions to the T & you should have good luck in 2 weeks. We are having to do a little remedial training right now as my 4+ year old spend a week hanging out w/ a friend's grand daughter who is an incessant thumb suck w/ hideous teeth & jaw development, and she's been going through some illnesses- seeking greater "comfort". Once we got her off the thumb & binky thing, her alignment improved rapidly- now if we can just keep it that way!

D.

I have the same problem with my 2-year-old daughter. She sucks her thumb all through the night and at naptime. I have no idea how to get her to stop.

Becky, I was a thumb sucker until the age of twelve - yes, twelve. In the later years, it was during sleep, not in public. My mother did every imaginable thing to try and get me to stop and none of it ever worked - including chasing me around the living room with a butcher knife saying she was going to cut it off. Yes, it sounds terrible, she wasn't a very nice lady but that's a whole other story. Anyway, I have always felt that kids will do this until they are ready to give it up. I will admit that I did have signs in my front teeth that I was a thumbsucker but fortunately, when I stopped, my teeth grew in together perfectly straight. I have almost two year old twin boys that are thumbsuckers and I'm going to do my best not to stress about it too much. Knowing my own attatchment to the thumb, I don't feel like there's much I can do to stop it anyway. If I see some kind of miracle suggestion among your replies, maybe I'll think about giving it a try :-)

Becky,

Good luck.. I've been trying to get my daughter to stop for the last 2 years. Now she only does it when she's sleeping or tired & cranky. We've tried a lot of things to get her to stop. I think peer pressure from other kids works the best, because she wouldn't dare do it in public now.

I wouldn't worry too much for another year or so, but if she's still sucking her thumb around 5 or 6, talk to her dentist, they have thing they can put on the back of their front teeth to prevent thumb sucking.

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.