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Thumb sucking at 3.5

okay with DS I started not allowing him to suck his thumb out side of his bed around age 1 or so. Well I have been trying the same thing with DD for 2.5 years! Pop the thumb out, redirect, remind her she is not sleeping. Well she is no getting the point. she sucks it ALL THE TIME. If I pop it out of her mouth she put sit right back in and if I insist she gets mad and leaves the room. I do not want to do hot sauce or vinegar. I do not care if she sucks it to sleep but she had GOT to stop during the day. the slobbery thumb is not going to be cute in pre-k next year... We have 1 year to get his under control.

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:25 AM on Jun. 19, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • Sucking the thumb is a self-soothing method the child uses. Each child has their own method. I would not be concerned about a child going to school sucking their thumb, as it will only take one time that another child says something and the child will confine it to private times. I had one that did it too. She did grow out of it. People think that it is such a horrible thing, but think about what you do to soothe yourself. Your "anti-drug" so to speak. Coffee? Cigarette? A glass of wine? Playing a game online? Venting to your best friend? Everyone has something and this is a child, a little child and it makes them feel good and does not have any lasting effects. And it does not ruin their teeth. My sister also sucked her thumb and both children grew up with perfect teeth.

    Answer by attap5 at 9:34 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I'm not worried about teeth. I am worried about the fact that her thumb is in her mouth 90% of the day. she take sit out to talk and eat. I am worried that she is going to be in a class room full of germs and a slobbery wet thumb just picking it all up.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:35 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • She will probably notice that the other kids don't do it when she goes to school. She will become self conscious about it. There is really nothing you can do, it's attached. I sucked until I was 6 and wanted to stop. No harm done!

    Answer by mompam at 9:40 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I babysat one that did this. Her parents were divorced. The father and I began reminding her of the germs and would send her to wash her hands immediately. Soon she quit as long as with us. Mom didn't get on board and she'd still do it constantly with her so whatever your approach, make sure everyone is handling it the same.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:41 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • My 6 year old daughter still sucks her thumb. She does it when she's tired so usually right around 8 pm which is bedtime or if she's had a stressful day at school or with her father whom I've been divorced from for 4 years. She got pretty upset when a girl in her class in Kindergarten this year called her a baby for sucking her thumb during what they call rest time (nap time). I had warned her that that may happen. Sorry, I don't have suggestions and my daughter has perfect teeth, thank you very much.

    Answer by leomommy1325 at 9:59 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I was a thumbsucker for years as a two kids began as thumbsuckers...we bought that stuff to paint on your nails for nailbiting - it tastes disgusting. We began putting it on my son's fingers when he was 2 (he sucked four whole fingers!) at night while he was sleeping. He stopped sucking completely within a week or so. The first few days were hard because he couldn't suck his fingers so he was more whiny and at bedtime, it took him a while to get comfortable and fall asleep, but he did stop and he hasn't done it since. My daughter was about a year and a half old and we used that stuff on her thumb - she went through the whiny stage and taking longer to settle down to sleep, but she totally stopped as well.

    You just have to be diligent with putting it on their nails at each bedtime or nap but it worked.

    Answer by Pollymom at 10:58 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • You could ignore this behavior until she is nearly five -about the age the permanent teeth come in. Dentists generally believe that thumb sucking doesn't cause any problems until that time, although it does depend on how aggressively she sucks. Is her thumb just sort of hanging there, or does she suck so loud and hard that she develops a blister on the thumb and you can hear it two rooms away? Don't nag. It doesn't work. Don't punish. You can try talking to her. "You have grown so much! You are a big girl now. You don't need diapers, bottles, or baby food any more. Can you think of something else you could give up?" Talking doesn't usually work but it's worth a try. You can try distracting her. When you see she is about to suck her thumb, give her an activity that uses both hands. Have her hold the book you read at nap time. Use peer pressure to your advantage. Have a sleepover. Her friends might say something!

    Answer by LoreleiSieja at 11:34 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Does not have any lasting effects? Seriously? I suggest that you stop it as soon as possible, even at night. Because it does have lasting effects and I would know. I sucked on mine from the time I was 2 up until a few years ago and I'm 27. My parents tried everything to get me to stop and it didnt work. If you dont stop it will ruin her teeth and she could up sucking it for years. By the time she is older it will be a lot harder for her to stop and then she'll be embaressed to have friends stay the night or stay at a friends because she sucks her thumb and wishing that it had stopped a long time ago. The longer you wait the harder it will be. Trust me I know.

    Answer by SMG1120 at 12:00 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

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