Thumb Sucking Advice

Updated on January 13, 2008
A.K. asks from Alhambra, CA
5 answers

my dd Sophia is 3 1/2 yrs old. she's been sucking her thumb since she was born...i just started to put this nail polish thing called tastes pretty worked really well...after one week, she quit, no fuss at all...i was so impressed with her and the more sucking...but after one month she started again. i keep putting the polish on her nail, during the day she doesn't suck, but at night when she is all asleep, she sucks so much that the whole coating is gone...any other suggestions? thanks.

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answers from Chico on

one step ahead ( carries thumb and finger guards... it broke my son from his night sucking by covering up his thumb. It was great. Well worth the $$.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

A., I plead with you to be more patient!!! As a child development specialist the benefits she gains from sucking her thumb far outweighs the tiny possibility of any harm done. Please research answers from trusted educators who understand child development. Children who suck their thumb need to suck their thumb. Dentists do not understand child development and most pediatricians either, so you have to be careful!!
The best advice I have for you if you really want to see her stop is wait until she is try to introduce something to her that is sensually stimulating for her. I saw on Doctor Phil that when their son was about three and half still sucking his thumb, they gave him his own cassette player with head phones and he stopped sucking his thumb shortly after or immediately (can't remember exactly when) but it worked! Try that or something texture like that she can hold and sleep with. You don't have to introduce to her that 'this' is to replace her thumbsucking. She won't stop then but you'll know it's working when she finds comfort in it and wants it, whatever it is you choose to introduce to her. Goodluck!!



answers from Los Angeles on

I don't have good news. I tried everything from the gloves at night to bandaids. My daughter sucked right over the band-aid. She too was a thumb sucker from birth. The only thing that worked was when we went to the dentist and she told my daughter she had to stop because it was ruining her teeth. That was when she was about 5 1/2. She tried really hard to stop. It took a good year for her to completely stop. I have to say it's just something she will have to out grow. The good news is they do stop eventually. The bad news, she's 8 and now has a mouth full of orthodontics. My only advice is to be patient, and try to encourage her to stop by letting her know she may ruin her teeth by continuing. Hang in there.



answers from San Francisco on

You could try having her wear a glove or sock over her hand at night



answers from Los Angeles on

My dd is 6.5 years old and a thumb sucker since birth. While an infant it's great, because they're self-soothers. But into 1st grade it's a whole other deal. We tried everything. Finally, on her second bout of strep throat (I have to doubt it's contributed to that as her thumb was constantly in her mouth - right after touching things like grocery carts - ugh!) and the teacher saying it was effecting her work because she couldn't hold her paper down (she had one hand w/a pencil, the other thumb was in her mouth). Finally - we had her dentist put in an applicance. It's sort of like a retainer but there's a ball at the roof of her mouth. The appliance is cemented in by the dentist. She stopped trying after a week!! The dentist says he likes to keep it in for about 3mos after the last time they try. She'll be getting it off next month! I also notice she hasn't been sick since then! ;)

Best of luck!

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