My 19 month old has always been an avid finger sucker (index and middle on right hand). He sucks them when he's upset, when he's thinking hard, when he's in an unfamiliar situation, and when he goes to sleep. I'd say he sucks them about 50% of the time.
Last week we went through a terrible case of Hand Foot and Mouth. His fingers blistered terribly. They became swollen and cracked. He would point to them and say "Oww!" Not crying or whining, just matter of fact. It became so bad that he couldn't suck them anymore. It's been 5 days since he's been able to suck them. It would be great if this breaks the habit, but I'm not holding my breath...
The problem is that now he is having great difficulty soothing himself. It's an odd situation, but I was wondering if anyone else has BTDT. Anyone have any ideas on how to teach him to soothe himself?
Well, my daughter's not much of a self-soother, but I have managed to teach her that sometimes if she's upset and mommy can't hold her, it feels good to hug a big stuffed animal. She doesn't generally think to do it on her own, but if she's upset while I'm busy, I will suggest that she go find her bear and give it a bug hug, and she almost always complies. It does seem to help her feel better. Hope your LO's hands are better soon. That sounds awful.
My DS has never been enthralled by stuffed animals, but he might go for it now that he doesn't have his fingers to fall back on. I'll hand him one tonight and see how it goes. Thanks for the idea!