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Any successful thumb sucker habit breakers? :O) Only way I could think of to put it..My Niece is 3 and she is pulling her hair out while she sucks her thumb! So I'm pretty sure if we can get her to stop sucking her thumb she will stop pulling her hair out! Anyone have any success getting your child to stop? What did you do? Thanks!

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Asked by smarie1011 at 10:08 AM on Dec. 1, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 10 (440 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Well, my kids have never sucked their thumbs, but my older brother did when he was little. My mom told him if he kept on sucking his thumb, then it was going to fall off. Everytime she saw him sucking his thumb she'd just kind of give him a look and shrug her shoulders. He knew what that meant. She said he would cry for a minute and take his thumb out of his mouth. It makes me feel sad to think he actually thought it would fall off, but he's a pretty well adjusted guy now. LoL.

    Answer by lowencope at 10:12 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • put a bandaid on it

    Answer by shay1130 at 10:22 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • We have tried band aids she is smart enough to pull them off we have tried hot sauce and gloves also..

    Answer by smarie1011 at 10:25 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • Nothing has worked for us and I wouldn't necessarily assume she will stop the hair pulling. My best friend in HS used to suck her thumb and when she did she would twist her ear, she still twisted her ear in HS. And I sucked my thumb and when I did I rubbed my blankie on my face---I still rub my blanket on my face.

    I did have a dentist recommend that I ACE bandage my son's arm to his side---we just said we'd get him braces some day.

    Answer by mom2LandL at 10:29 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • My guess, from the limited information we can post on threads, is that she may have a little anxiety. What happens is when we are tired, anxious, or uncomfortable thoughts come - we do things that provide comfort to stop the anxiety. Hair pulling is classic with infants and toddlers who have some anxiety. This really isn't that uncommon. But we tend not to notice most of our comfort rituals (like hugging and sucking on our favorite stuffed rabbit) when they are more acceptable. When the compulsion to ease the stress or anxiety is not desirable we take notice. If her current pediatrician isn't really concerned or out of ideas...see another. A very set routine helps ease some of the stressers children have. Because these comfort measures become habit whenever a child needs comfort they resort to what they know. It is hard to break when it sets in. As you have probably seen.  Try also documenting


    Answer by frogdawg at 11:42 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • when these behaviors occur. Write a journal to keep track. Is she sleepy, what time of day is it....what happened right before. Then see if there seems to be a pattern. Substitution can sometimes be helpful. Give her a doll with real like hair or a cloth with chewy ends they make for infants teething.  Substitution isn't a solution but you might find something more acceptable.  Try also play therapy with a certified play therapist in your area if she is leaving bald spots.  In some more extreme cases children with this issue have had to use medication and therapy. 


    Answer by frogdawg at 11:46 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • I dunno about any anxiety issues, though that is a valid point. But when I was little, I used to suck my thumb and the only way my parents were able to get me to quit was to take me to the dentist and have an appliance put in my mouth. It was designed to be almost flush with my tongue when my mouth was closed, leaving no room for my thumb, and when I would try to suck my thumb anyway, it would be mildly painful to both my tongue and my thumb. It worked for me.

    Answer by LokisMama at 12:54 PM on Dec. 1, 2009

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