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5yr old and thumb sucking

so my daughter sucks her thumb all the time and shes 5 and in kindergarten and idk wut to say or do to get her to stop because its gross, spreeds germs, messes up ur teeth any ideas

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angelnina8715

Asked by angelnina8715 at 5:21 PM on Nov. 6, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 8 (255 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Sorry, this is a hard one, since it is part of her body. My niece sucked her thumb until teen years. I think she still does when she is really upset, as an adult.
    You could bribe her with something big if she stops.
    dancinintherain

    Answer by dancinintherain at 5:25 PM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • You'll just have to talk to her about it and help her decide faster that she doesn't want to do it anymore. DD didn't stop until she was about 7. Her teeth are just fine.
    Pnukey

    Answer by Pnukey at 5:43 PM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • It is not just a habit for her. It is self comforting. If you want to discourage it you need to be very careful. You can make rules about it though. We did this with my grandson. He sucked on his wrist. No sucking in the family room, table or while watching TV. They may go to their room and suck to their hearts content. This worked well to greatly reduce the amount of time because I have NO TOYS in bedrooms. Their room is for sleeping or quiet reading. The other thing that was helpful is mandatory hand washing, frequently. No hugs, or playing games until he used hand sanitizer at the least. He hates hand sanitizer. We never told him it was bad...only that in 'public' was not appropriate anymore because he was getting to be a big boy. He did slow way down on it. Actually what broke the habit was when he fell and broke his wrist. He was casted for 8 weeks. The first 3 weeks were murder but he got through it. I
    GrnEyedGrandma

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 5:45 PM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • You could paint her nails. The taste of fingernail polish may discourage her from sucking her thumb. They also have a topical medicine to put on their thumb to make it taste bitter. If her dentist is concerned after her adult teeth come in, he may suggest a device be put in at the roof of the mouth that makes it nearly impossible for them to suck their thumb. Most kids will outgrow this tho. Good luck
    mrsmom110

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:54 PM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • Sounds like she hasn't learned other ways to self comfort, when she's feeling stressed, tired, or upset. She probably needs help in identifying better ways to do this but if she doesn't, the habit will likely fade away as she gets teased by the other children. After all, 5 is really quite old to be sucking your thumb and the other children will likely let her know that they think it's babyish.
    aliceinalgonac

    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 6:04 PM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • Probably won't have much to do with "what do you do" to get her to stop. Like Alice said, the other kids will probably be a great motivation for her to stop.
    caseyandkids

    Answer by caseyandkids at 6:49 PM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • I agree with the others about finding a new way for her to self comfort. Kids can definitely be cruel, so she will learn quickly not to do it in front of them. Good luck to you.
    MomIWant

    Answer by MomIWant at 7:56 PM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • Let her be. She will stop when she is ready. It is a comfort thing for her and it really doesn't do anything to her teeth unless she pushes her thumb against the inside of her teeth. This is coming from my sons orthodontist.
    tyfry7496

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:35 PM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • I know people who still suck their thumbs as adults. I have never really heard of one certain thing that really works for anyone. Good luck.
    KTMOM

    Answer by KTMOM at 6:16 PM on Nov. 7, 2010

  • thanks ive got alot of things to try some ive tried before and it hasnt work but i will keep trying cause i dont want her to be teased or anything thank you for all ur advice
    angelnina8715

    Comment by angelnina8715 (original poster) at 2:30 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

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