My 5 1/2 month old was a fantastic sleeper until one month ago when he cut his first tooth and suddenly quit sucking his thumb. Now he doesn't know how to soothe himself through the night and he's waking up wanting me to nurse him back to sleep every two hours. He thinks his pacifier is a toy and he is constantly pulling it out of his mouth to play with it or gum it. Of course, it upsets him when he pulls it out of his mouth because he can't figure out that he's the one taking it away or how to put it back in his mouth.
How do I get him to 1. start sucking his thumb again? OR 2. understand what his pacifier is and how to leave it alone or find it again when he pulls it out or spits it out?
Just a quick thought, the maker of the woombie makes another product that is like a little lovey blanket with a pacifier attached, might help the littler ones get the paci back in their mouths? if you go to the woombie website you'll see it there. Other than that I have no advice - DS has made it quite clear that when it comes to sucking, it's mama or nothing...
Mumma to DS July 2010 and expecting another baby boy late July 2012
When we unswaddled Daniel at 5.5 months he was always using his newfound hands to pull out his paci and would get really upset. It was seriously annoying. We introduced a lovey and I would put it in his hands in front of the paci, to block his access. His busy hands could toy with the bunny ears and hands and then fall asleep. As an added bonus, it replaced the "sleep cue" from the swaddle with the "sleep cue" of the bunny. He only gets it when he's in his crib going to sleep.
The second thing we did was encourage him to play with his paci at OTHER times so he could learn to put it back in for himself. I used a paci clip to clip the paci to his shirt during car rides and I can see him in our little mirror pulling the paci in and out. Now, at 6.5 months he gets the paci back into his mouth probably 80% of the time. Every morning I find him in his crib happily sucking on a paci he found in his crib. Now that he's mastered the skill, he doesn't spend all day pulling it in and out at night. He still plays with it alot in the car but he's getting very good at it. We also switched to AVENT pacis which can be put in from any side to eliminate the frustration he used to get when he'd put the NUK in upside down.
I don't know if you can encourage him to suck his thumb again. He decided he doesn't want it for whatever reason, I'd just work on the paci.