How to Get a Child to Quit Sucking Their Thumb

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So many worries can go through your mind about a plethora of things that coulda, woulda, shoulda happen to your precious little baby. Thumb sucking shouldn’t have to be one of them, but of course if you’re a first time mom, you might feel the urge to suddenly start surfing the web just to find yourself in an even worst predicament. After all the researching, you’re no longer able to sleep because someone online has convinced you that your child is possibly going to die from some weird bacteria they’ve picked up with their thumb.

thumb sucking

Don’t worry! It really isn’t that bad. Otherwise, how do you think cave men and so many babies around the world have survived for generations?

Germs can be a positive thing for your child. It will help build his/her immunity as well as reduce their likelihood for having allergies.

Of course germs aren’t the only reason you’re worried about your child thumb sucking. I mean, how silly would it be if he or she went to college and was still doing it, right?

Thumb sucking tips based on child’s age group

Believe it or not, children do experience stress and thumb sucking could be their own personal stress ball. For many kids, this stress ball can be so comforting that it can possibly just turn into a habit. So how do you stop? The following are helpful tips based on your child’s age group: baby, toddler, older kid.


A Baby

Babies naturally like to suck on something as a soothing mechanism. In most cases, this is quite alright and parents really have nothing to worry about. However, for those who do, perhaps encouraging the use of a pacifier can be more helpful.

Your baby might be too young to understand a whole lot of what you’re saying, but he or she can understand happiness, sadness, and other emotions. Negative reinforcements can create anxiety in your child, driving the habit even more. So doing quite the opposite, such as showing happiness when you notice the pacifier is being used, can help you gain better results with less mommy guilt.



The Toddler

Thumb sucking is more common between ages 2 to 4. Toddlers can be a little more difficult to communicate with since acting up has become a great new thing in his or her life. So play the game and use mental methods, such as using rewards for positive reinforcements. What kid doesn’t like rewards, right?

Distraction is also a great way to get your toddler to stop. For example, when you know it’s about to happen, distract him with some tickles or a fun new activity or game. Of course, it would be difficult to just sit there all day and watch for all the possible times it could happen, but the less times he’s doing it, the more he could find that he no longer needs to be doing it.

should you stop baby thumb sucking

An older Child

It could be even more difficult to get an older child to stop thumb sucking. However, peer pressure and sometimes shame might work for the situation. For example, the pressures kids put on each other could have a positive income for situations like this, because surely your child would not want the other kids to laugh at him if they found out he was sucking his thumb!

The key is to pay attention to your child and the way he or she responds. Sometimes it just takes the clever and creative being in you to figure out what could work best for your special little person. Together, you might be able to find the best and even most unique solution.