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4.5yo and thumb sucking - when to help wean

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
If you have any experience with this, please share - no matter what age. How was it done? Did they come to you wanting to stop? Did it stop on its own? Once they starting losing baby teeth? Etc., etc.,

I have no real concerns for my ODS, just would like some BTDT's for future reference.
post #2 of 11
I'm not sure how you can get them to stop but am subbing to see if anyone has ideas I haven't considered. My DD is 9, and still sucks her thumb when she is going to sleep or is tired. I wish she didn't, but I am at a loss on how to get her to stop.
post #3 of 11
My ds was almost 9 before we were able to get him to stop sucking his first two fingers. It was all the time and was affecting his bite and the joints of the fingers. Also, the teasing at school wasn't good. He wanted to stop but was not able to do it on his own. We tried the stuff you put on the nail, tastes like cayenne, he liked it!! We tried all kinds of reminders, nothing. So, after much discussion, we went to the dentist and had an appliance put in that prevents them from putting a thumb or fingers in the mouth. I know it sounds awful but it really wasn't. It gave him the extra help he needed and within two months he stopped. We left it in for about four months just to be sure and he hasn't had a problem since. He is 10 now.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robin3 View Post
My ds was almost 9 before we were able to get him to stop sucking his first two fingers. It was all the time and was affecting his bite and the joints of the fingers. Also, the teasing at school wasn't good. He wanted to stop but was not able to do it on his own. We tried the stuff you put on the nail, tastes like cayenne, he liked it!! We tried all kinds of reminders, nothing. So, after much discussion, we went to the dentist and had an appliance put in that prevents them from putting a thumb or fingers in the mouth. I know it sounds awful but it really wasn't. It gave him the extra help he needed and within two months he stopped. We left it in for about four months just to be sure and he hasn't had a problem since. He is 10 now.
My FIL is a dentist so maybe this is something that he'll be able to handle and DS adores his paw paw. We'll have to check in to that when the time comes.

The teasing, the overbite, things of this nature has me concerned. He hasn't lost any teeth yet and you can tell from his baby teeth now that he definitely sucks his thumb - his top teeth are a bit on the 'bucky' side, if you will. I don't want his adult teeth to be that way, too!
post #5 of 11
No advice on how to get them to stop. All I can tell you is that my Mum still sucks her thumb (>65). She tries to keep her hands busy so that she doesn't do it.
Good luck
post #6 of 11
Well, my son's dentist recommended that he stop sucking his thumb before his next set of molars came in. He was 5. They took about another year to come in.

We had a talk with him. We did not handle it very well. I wish we'd waited since it seems to have made 0 difference. We would just ask him not to suck his thumb during the day. We did, and do not police it at night. We had to keep his hands busy, and just keep asking. It took a good 6 months before he wasn't "caught" with a thumb in his mouth every few minutes.

He was never teased (he never thumbsucked in public and he has an overbite, and a big gap between his front teeth. He's absolutely adorable, and going to cost me a fortune in orthodontics!!!!!!!!!
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I'm not sure how you can get them to stop but am subbing to see if anyone has ideas I haven't considered. My DD is 9, and still sucks her thumb when she is going to sleep or is tired. I wish she didn't, but I am at a loss on how to get her to stop.
That's when it's the hardest to "break" IME. My son was a thumbsucker, brother first two fingers, daughter a pacifier. Going to sleep was always when it was NEEDED to help them. In the winter, when ds was still sucking his thumb at night, we talked about trying to prevent that. He (yes, HE, the boy) suggested mittens. So he wore his mittens to bed for a few nights. No idea if it worked, if you ask the orthodontist we saw he "still has a habit" but I haven't seen anything, even checking in the middle of the night.
post #8 of 11
My 6yo sucks her thumb. We switched dentists because her first one made her feel so horrible about it. She sucks her thumb when she is uncomfortable so not at bedtime, but often in public. She does it completely unconsciously. She has lost her two bottom teeth and one top and doesn't seem to be able to stop yet though she has expressed interest in stopping a few times.
post #9 of 11
My 5.5yo DD sucks her thumb, but never out in public - only at night when she's going to sleep, or otherwise tired at home or in the car. Once she falls asleep, the thumb falls out and doesn't get sucked again unless she wakes up and puts it back in. Our dentist doesn't really have a problem with it, so I have chosen not to make an issue of it. I myself sucked my thumb at night until I was 7, and can't remember what made me stop.
post #10 of 11
I have sucked my thumb my entire life. I'm not sure when I stopped doing it in public but I sometimes still do it at night if I'm alone and having problems falling asleep. My mom tried everything to get me to stop as a kid but in the end it did not work. She just made it seem more taboo. It's definitely a way to self soothe and I do suffer from anxiety. I also like to play with my hair. I really wouldn't worry about it. For what it's worth, my teeth came out perfectly straight and normal.
post #11 of 11
I highly recommend cranial sacral therapy (CST!)
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