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how can i get my 6 year old to stop sucking his thumb?

he turned six yesterday but he still sucks his thumb ive tried to buy him out of it hot sauce and pepper just seem plain mean hes still my baby but its time to give it up its messing with his speech big time


Asked by jennette0704 at 3:08 PM on Jul. 5, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (9)
  • You might try limiting the places where he can suck his thumb. Say, for a while, he can suck his thumb only in the family room and his bedroom, but not out in public. Then in a few weeks, he can suck his thumb only in his bedroom. Then in a few more weeks, he can do it only at bedtime. Something like that. Do it gradually because this is probably his lovey, right? Would you take away his stuffed bear? I know it's not exactly the same, but it sort of is.

    I totally agree with making him wash his hands before sucking his thumb. Not only will you help keep germs at bay, you will help him be more aware of when he is wanting to do it. That will help break the habit.

    Be patient with him, and don't make him feel guilty about it. This is something he does for comfort, not to make you nuts. See if you can find something else to help him self-soothe rather than his thumb.

    Answer by May-20 at 9:26 AM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • talk to his dentist about a rake.

    Answer by DarkFaery131 at 3:10 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • My two yr old son sucks his thumb and the dr. said there is no way to stop it that they usaually stop it in school because of peer pressure

    Answer by BrandiGunter at 3:12 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • If his speech is a problem, his therapists should have suggestions. They know him. Hot sauce and pepper are dangerous. You might try a big bribe. It can work if you never use bribes. There may be something he wants like a bike that you tell him you will get as a reward for stopping the thumb sucking.


    Answer by Gailll at 3:14 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • This sounds gross, but talk to him about pinworms. Tell him if he wants to suck his thumb that he should scrub his hands well before putting them in his mouth because of the possibility of pinworms or microscopic bugs. It would help if you'd get a strong magnifying glass or let him look through a microscope at tiny organisms.

    Answer by Bmat at 3:17 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • tried bribes all kinds his speech therapist at school said he will be in speech next year dentist said he won't give him a mouth piece/gaurd unless its pushing his front teeth out and its not yet thank god any other suggestions?

    Comment by jennette0704 (original poster) at 3:20 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • When you say bothering his speech, is it because he's talking around his thumb in his mouth? If that's the case, totally ignore his talking unless his thumb is not in his mouth.

    if his speech is messed up even without his thumb in his mouth, he could just have speech issues not related to his thumb sucking at all.

    Answer by DarkFaery131 at 3:24 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • My son used to do that when he was upset at something. It took a while to break him of the habit. He eventually stopped especially when he was in school because he didn't want to be teased by other children. I kept taking it out of his mouth every time I saw him doing it because the pediatrician said he could end up causing problems for his front teeth if he didn't stop.

    Answer by CafeMochaMom1 at 3:38 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • my son sucked his thumb. he stop when he was 7 years old.

    Answer by ymadaris2 at 1:43 AM on Jul. 6, 2010