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thumbsucking and my 4 year old

Help! I've tried everything I can think of! Have any of you had this problem? My 4 year old little girl sucks her thumb to fall asleep during nap and bedtime. I'm hoping she will grow out of it naturally, as I have read from the professionals, but I'm concerned because her upper palate is being formed improperly now because of this. She also has a little buck teeth starting. I have tried to reason with her, but I feel that is only making the situation worse. She even asks me to leave when she wants to suck her thumb Any help or advice you can give would be great!!

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Asked by kari2669 at 1:20 PM on Nov. 22, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Mine haven't done it, but I took care of a friend's child for two years that did. Mom made several attempts at different ideas but what I started doing helped the most. May not in your case but worth a shot if you haven't done it yet. :) We talked about germs, what they cause and how they're spread. Every time her thumb would go into her mouth I'd remind her that she is going to get and spread germs and have her wash her hands. Not like she was in trouble, just a friendly little "Uh oh! The germs!" Her parents were divorced and while Mom didn't do this consistently, Dad did and the girl at least quit sucking at his house and mine. Good luck. :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:27 PM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • Sorry, I can't help, but I sympathize. My daughter has sucked her thumb since she was in utero. She is 9 and still does it when she's bored or tired.
    We have to go to an ortho consult next year because her teeth are so messed up. We tried EVERYTHING through out the years. Nothing worked.

    Answer by Fawn80 at 1:27 PM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • Stop stressing about it. My pediatrician put it to me this way, "Hey, you don't see any college graduates walking up to get their diplomas with a thumb in their mouths, do you? Stop worrying about it. They'll stop when they stop."

    My mom suggested alum (its a white powder found in the spice isle of the grocery store--used for making pickles) taste's bitter...also useful when dogs are chewing on your furniture, etc, to rub some of it on the item...they won't like it and will stop chewing on it.

    Also, the thing everybody uses, bitter apple.

    I'd try this: When you offer someone something "as much as they want" then all of a sudden, it becomes less important.

    These days, MOST kids need braces, so stop thinking you are preventing that inevitable fact by trying to get her to stop sucking her thumb now. All its doing is creating tension, friction and TURMOIL between you.

    Tell others: "She'll stop when she's ready."

    Answer by Cathleen at 1:30 PM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • Just let it be. Almost every kid gets braces these days anyway. I sucked mine until I was 6, and it didn't affect my teeth. I really wanted to stop at that point because it embarrassed me. I don't think you can force her to stop. It's attached to her. She'll suck it in her sleep. I would back off for a few years and see what happens.

    Answer by mompam at 1:50 PM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • My DD sucked he thumb up until recently at first we made a deal that you can have the item she really wanted if she stopped for 3 months well that slowed it down as well as when her blanket fell apart and went to her memory box. What did it for us was when she lost her bottom teeth no more thumb done.
    our dentist said that you can bribe use products eta til the cows come home however the child has to give it up on their terms otherwise they will just go behind your back for that comfort that sucking the thumb gives

    Answer by mtnaspen at 2:05 PM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • My son is 3 1/2 and also a dedicated thumb sucker. However, I've noticed that it's gradually tapering off and limited to nap/bedtime and, as others suggest, when he's bored.. I sucked my thumb until school aged with no harm done. My pediatrician told me it isn't a concern until around 5. As long as she isn't sucking it constantly, I'd just let her outgrow it naturally. If you pediatrician has concerns about it, ask him/her how to get it to stop! :)

    Answer by momofryan07 at 7:11 PM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • I wouldnt stress about it she will stop eventually

    Answer by fryshannon34 at 10:26 PM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • don't make a huge deal out of it & she'll outgrow it eventually

    Answer by Ashlynnsmommy07 at 1:14 AM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • i agree, stop stressing she'll grow out of it...

    Answer by asil at 6:56 PM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • Its normal at that age, dont worry, its comforting to her :) She will grow out of it

    Answer by harteri at 3:43 PM on Nov. 24, 2010

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