Do you have any tips to stop thumb sucking?

I tried thumb guards, socks, and thumb polish but none worked. My Orthodontist suggested duct taping his hands in conjuction with reading "David Decides About Thumbsucking: A Story for Children, a Guide for Parents" by Susan P H. D. Heitler. I read the book 10 days in a row to my 5 year old. We taped both his hands because he started to suck the other hand for 2 months and then I went back to just taping one hand. I rewarded him with a $1 Hot Wheels car after the first night. After 1 month, he got to go shopping and pick anything <$30. He got so excited about it. He has completely stopped during the day but occasionally will do it if in a really deep sleep. I guess I'll just keep taping his hand for 6 months until his brain was trained not to seek his thumb. Duct tape is cheap and harmless(even though I cringed the first time I did it). Any faster tips?

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smithelizabethj

Asked by smithelizabethj at 10:29 PM on Dec. 8, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (11)
  • hes 5.. he knows he isnt allowed to do it yell at him whenever he does.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:32 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

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  • I've never had a thumb sucker before but I read somewhere to stick a little hot sauce or dip his finger in vinegar and he'll stop doing it if its nasty or hot. Try it it might work. Good luck.
    leekim2004

    Answer by leekim2004 at 10:35 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

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  • cant he just wipe the hotsauce off? just yell at him when he does it. and let him know every time he isnt allowed to do that. hes a big boy and only little babies suck their thumbs.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:37 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

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  • My Grandma used snuff on my daughter, because she sucked her thumb so much it was shrivled up and smaller than the other. When she tasted the snuff, never sucked her thumb again.
    jackiesbaby21

    Answer by jackiesbaby21 at 10:42 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

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  • My daughter sucked her fingers. She has been asking for a fish for about a year and so we BOTH decided that if she stopped sucking her fingers she could get a fish. So after a week of not sucking we got the fish tank. After the second week we got the rocks and plants to go in the tank. We also visited the pet store several times a week. After the third week we put water in the tank and finally after the 4thweek we got the fish. For my daughter she had to want to or it was just going to be one big battle and this way it worked out great for both of us. She had a few hard days the first week and I started having her chew gum when she would usually suck the most during the day. After that first week she had no problem. And she doesn't chew a ton of gum now.

    Winter711

    Answer by Winter711 at 11:25 PM on Dec. 8, 2008

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  • This is just what we did - only with bandaids and a sticker chart that we used for the first few weeks followed by a trip to the dollar store (our version of a big outing). My daughters were 3 and 4 when they said they wanted to stop, but what worked was putting the bandaids on both hands and leaving them on for several months because they did suck during the night while asleep without realizing it. I'm thinking my older one had to wear them close to 6 months. They both wanted to stop so that made it easier, but you really can't control what you do in your sleep so their brain just had to get it over a long period of time. They have both been free of sucking and bandaids for over a year now and it has never been an issue since.
    GrowingMama

    Answer by GrowingMama at 1:26 AM on Dec. 9, 2008

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  • There isn't really anything you can do that will work .. My son is 6 and I still catch him once and a while but not nearly what he was.. it is a security thing for them.. The more you nag at them to stop the more they do it.. but I notice if I leave him alone about it he doesn't do it was often
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:54 AM on Dec. 9, 2008

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  • I tried EVERYTHING and couldn't get my son to stop sucking his thumb. When he was 5 1/2, he was running through my bedroom in the dark (I have no idea why - he's a boy, who knows why they do the things they do...) and couldn't see the bed. He slammed his face into the bed post and it made his front teeth hurt when he sucked his thumb. So he stopped. I wish it had happened differently, but I'm glad he stopped!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:58 AM on Dec. 11, 2008

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  • my doughter is three and sucks her thumb and i couldn't tell you how to stop it. The fish tank thing is a good idea! im going to try something like that. good luck to you
    MarineWifeyof2

    Answer by MarineWifeyof2 at 4:18 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

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  • The best way to stop it is to go to the dentist. The dentist will have a special thing that get's put into a child's mouth to stop the thumb from getting inside. If your daughter doesn't stop soon, her teeth will start becoming very crooked.
    Blondemom65

    Answer by Blondemom65 at 5:27 PM on Nov. 4, 2009

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