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What are some good ways to stop a thumb-sucker from sucking their thumb?

My DS is going to be 3 soon and my goal was to have him quit sucking his thumb around the age of 3. A lot of people are telling me hot sauce but I personally think that's cruel... what if he rubs his eyes?!

The doctor and dentist aren't much help, they just say as long as he stops by the time he starts losing his teeth... I don't want to wait that long!

Any advice?

Answer Question

Asked by alinker at 9:30 PM on May. 18, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 14 (1,666 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I put scotch tape around my daughters thumb and she quit after 2 days. She didn't like the taste and it was scratchy.

    Answer by emmyandlisa at 9:33 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • My mom put those big thick winter gloves on me when ever I started lol

    Answer by SMITxsM2 at 9:35 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • you can buy this stuff on-line you can purchase that looks like clear nail polish. you put it on and if your child put his thumb in his mouth it will taste awful. It won't hurt him but he will keep his thumb out of his mouth. it's not expensive either

    Answer by infmansgirl at 9:36 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • Theres a couple of these to take in to consideration. Most children suck their thumb to self comfort. Forcing them to stop causes a lot of anxiety for the child. They will stop on their own eventually. For me the age to start making rules was 4. I told my GS who sucked his wrist at 4 "You're getting to be a very big boy now. Sucking (insert body part) is not something big boys do in front of other people. If you want to suck your thumb then you have to go to your room. No sucking while watching TV, no sucking at the table, in the car, etc. Then enforce it. Don't treat it like a punishment. Just say "Billy, no sucking in the living room: It does help reduce it a great deal.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 9:44 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • You can get that bitter aloe to paint on the thumb, or even normal aloe vera works: it's harmless (actually it's good for you) but tastes bad, but I think GrnEyedGrandma has a very good point: he's doing it for comfort and could be quite traumatized by being made to stop. Maybe a more important focus then is to help him find some other way of comforting and soothing himself.

    Answer by judimary at 9:47 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • i say let him stop on his own. Most kids WILL quit. My fiance sucked his thumb...his mom tried everything. When she gave up, he quit.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:00 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • My soon to be 6 year old quit on his own about 2 months ago. I can not fathom why you would take away such a hardcore effective self soothing mechanism. Thumbs are made to fit perfectly and do not cause damage unless the child sucks well past getting their permanent teeth... unlike a pacifier, which promotes improper jaw alignment.
    Leave it be, he WILL quit on his own.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 10:54 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • BradenIsMySon

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:59 PM on May. 18, 2011

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