Thumbsucking Solutions

Updated on January 10, 2010
H.T. asks from Frisco, TX
6 answers

Happy New Year!
I have an 18.5 daughter. She never used a pacifier. She likes sucking her thumb throughout the day or when she needs comforting. Recently we noticed the skin on her thumb seems to be degrading and possibly bleeding. Please tell me if you have any advice for her age. The nurse is suggesting a thumb guard, but I don't know if it's too young to be doing that.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

My BIL is about to graduate dental school. My son is a thumb sucker too (we just keep hoping he will grow out of it). He suggested an ace bandage around the elbow. It will make it uncomfortable when she bends her arm to suck her thumb. For the skin issues, we just keep Vaseline on his skin, seems to protect it rather well.

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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

My 2 year old is a thumb sucker too. Like someone else said there is no reason to worry right now. It is a soothing thing that they usually outgrow before hey start public school. And i don't worry about the dry skin either...a couple of times i have put some aquaphor on it but then thought i don't want her sucking on that! haahaa

D.C.

answers from Dallas on

I think because your child is so young there is nothing you can do right now. I was a thumb sucker until I was 12 which is embarrassing to say but my mother did everything from dipping my thumb in hot sauce to taping my thumb with duct tape. I wish there was a universal solution but there isn't. You would just have to keep trying things until something works for you. I didn't stop until my grade school friend made fun of me and I just stopped. Hopefully your daughter doesn't go as long as I did but the skin on the thumb will be just fine, I used to alternate thumbs once mine got sore or started bleeding. If she keeps it out long enough just use some vasoline or cocoa butter.

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E.S.

answers from Dallas on

My son is a thumb sucker also. I did talk to his dentist because i was worried that it would mess his teeth up. He told me that it isn't till about 4-5 years old when the perm teeth start to come in that it can affect the teeth.

As for the dryness on his thumb, my son also used to get that every once in a while. It concerned me also, but I knew he used his thumb as a way to comfort himself. I never bothered with putting anything on my son's thumb, but anytime i catch him sucking his thumb throughout the day, i will either just reach over and pull it out of his mouth or tell him to pull his thumb out of his mouth. The first couple of times he was resistent. Now anytime I tell him to stop, he stops on his own. At the same time I also hand him a baby blanket. Kids need some way to comfort themselves. I have been replacing the thumb sucking with the blanket and it has worked out nicely.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

not sure if you really want to deter or not but my friend used that stuff you paint on nails to stop biting, on the whole thumb, but hers was older...

A.O.

answers from Dallas on

You can try Malava Stop. it's a solution that you paint on her thumb, you can paint it all over, not just the nail. It tastes HORRIBLE!!! It's not-toxic and not harmful, just tastes really bad. You can buy it on amamzon.com It worked for us and my daughter was sucking on two fingers for 3.5 years. Good luck!

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