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Home / PARENT  / BABIES  / TIPS TO BREAK YOUR CHILD’S THUMB SUCKING HABIT
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TIPS TO BREAK YOUR CHILD’S THUMB SUCKING HABIT

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Thumb sucking is very common among babies and young children. Thumb sucking is actually a soothing mechanism, one that helps a child learn to self-regulate their hunger, anxiety or sleepiness.

 

Most children will stop sucking their thumbs or fingers between age two and four but for some the habit is harder to let go of. Parents with little ones using this common source of comfort beyond age five or six, when permanent teeth usually push through, may need to intervene.

 

In case your child still loves sucking on his/her thumb – here are some tips to help your child curb the habit :

 

  • Start by encouraging your child to stop thumb sucking with lots of praise and support.
  • Put a fabric plaster/bandaid on the yummy finger.
  • Put loafer socks on both hands before bed.
  • Use ‘Chewelry’ – jewellery you can chew, or chewlry, is a good substitute without losing the true pleasure they get from oral stimulation. You can find these on Amazon.
  • Find your child’s favorite thumb-sucking times and work around solutions then. For eg if it is while watching TV, try turning it off for 5 – 10 minutes and observe.
  • Try offering an alternate source of comfort such as a toy.
  • Be patient and persistent, just when you think it’s gone there will be a relapse! But eventually you will find a way to overcome this hurdle.

 

Whatever method you choose, DONOT punish your child. Persistent thumb sucking usually occurs because your child finds it comforting, which means nagging, criticizing and pinning out punishments will likely only cause distress and could make the habit worse.

 

We would love to know any other tips you’ve found worked for your thumb sucker.

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