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How do I get my son to stop sucking his thumb?

My son will will 5 in October. His pediatrician and the pedicatric dentist assure me the he'll stop when he's ready . . . . Do I keep waiting this out or do I need to do something proactive about this?

My son is in Junior Kindergarten right now with kids that he's known for a long time. I don't think they think anything about the thumb sucking but I'm afraid that he'll get to Kindergarten and the other kids will make fun of him.

Is it mean to use that bitter nail-polish stuff? Hot sauce seems cruel. What about those glove things that you can buy online? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Answer Question

Asked by RoostersMom4 at 1:25 PM on Aug. 21, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 13 (1,211 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • i was gonna suggest the bitter nailpolish...i dont think its cruel at all...your not poisoning him...its perfectly harmless and safe...if you are afraid to go that route...rub onion on his thumb

    Answer by blueeyedgrl2377 at 1:26 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • Had a little girl in day care many years ago who was a thumbsucker. We worked with on slowly breaking the habit by telling her it was okay at nap time and that when she felt the urge to do it to fold her thumb down into her hand and make a fist. If any of us saw her sucking her thumb we just go over and gently remind her or get her attention and show her what she was supposed to do. Remember too that he may be busier in kindergarten so he won't have to time to think about it. And sometimes it takes the judgement of peers to make the point. Don't worry about his hurt feelings so much that you can't see the benefit it may have. Though kids can be cruel they can also be very forgiving.

    Answer by jessa1091 at 1:35 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • he will grow out of it once he see's that all the other kids his age arent doing it

    Answer by MarissaDavis29 at 1:54 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • dentist is right. He will stop when he's ready. School will help b/c the other kids wont be doing it. My kid is 4 and we know he's already going to need braces. So we will just do what we have to do.

    Answer by forevermom75 at 3:12 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • Leave him alone, he will outgrow it when he is ready and there is nothing you can do to change that. Thumb sucking doesn't mean a child will need braces. My son never sucked his thumb and he defintaley needs braces. Listen to the doc and dentist, they know what they are talking about.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 4:53 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • I have to agree with Jessa here, sometimes it takes other kids to bring something like this to an end. Your dentist will let you know if the thumbsucking is becoming detrimental to your sons oral health. I wouldn't worry about it too much until then. If you absolutely MUST stop him, then I would use the onion or a MILD hot sauce. Just remember, they suck their fingers or pacifiers because it is something that makes them feel safe and secure. As he gets out more and around other kids, his confidence will grow and soon he won't "need" the thumb anymore.

    Answer by Eco-Mother at 9:03 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

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