pacifier or thumb - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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dd is now 2 months old, and found how to suck her thumb. I was hoping she would not need it, so I breastfed her anytime she looked like she needed to suck, but it's not enough, she takes it everytime she is tired and not in my arms. She has a great need for succion (she was born with succion blisters on both of her hands because she was sucking them before birth) I am scared if she begins with this habit, it's gonna be harder to control than a pacifier, and that she'll end up succking her thumb at 6yo.
Do any of you have any experience with that? Is the thumb ok. If not, what can I do (she doesn't care to much for the pacifier, and the only way I found to keep her thumb out of her mouth was to keep it covered with her sleeve, but I felt so cruel seeing her sucking her shirt .
Help!
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#2 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 12:17 PM
 
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If your baby starts to suck on her hands offer her the breast. If she doesn't take your breast, and is gaining well I wouldn't worry at all. Babies have a strong need to suck. Some are more inclined to suck more often. As for worrying about her being 6 and still sucking the thumb don't worry about that at 2 months old.
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#3 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! she is gaining very well (she's about 14 pounds right now).
I know I shouldn't worry too much, but everybody tells me how bad thumb sucking is, and how she should take the pacifier instead... I guess I'll let it be
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#4 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 01:33 PM
 
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I'm sure you'll find people to tell you just about everything: Pacifiers are the ultimate evil! She should suck her thumb! No, you can't take the thumb away: give her a binky! No, if you let her suck anything besides you, you're a terrible mom! No, if you let her nurse too much, you'll create a dependent monster! Ask 5 people, you'll get 6 opinions. :LOL

I think letting her suck her thumb is fine. I don't think it's any worse than a binky, and hey, you don't have to worry about a lost thumb or it falling on the floor. I sucked my thumb when I was a baby, and so did both my sisters, and we gave it up pretty easily. My son liked a binky for a while as a newborn, but gave it up after a couple of months. I would say let your dd fulfill her sucking needs now, and they'll go away naturally in their own time.

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#5 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 05:38 PM
 
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Zane is a thumb sucker, don't worry about it. I figure once kids make fun of him, he'll stop (I'm assuming before kgrad!!) Anyway, when people try to tell you how terrible thumb sucking is, you can say back to them "well, I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to help him find his thumb!!"
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#6 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 05:52 PM
 
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I *wish* my babies would suck their thumbs! But, alas, they don't . I was a thumb-sucker, and can remember the feeling of calm that would come over me when sucking. I wish my babies would be able to comfort themselves by sucking their thumbs because I won't always be there for them to suck on . Plus, sometimes they seem to want to suck, but not want the milk that comes with it. Oh well, I don't think you can make a baby suck his/her thumb anymore than you can stop a thumb-sucker from sucking.

By the way, I sucked my thumb until I was about 8, and have sufferred no ill effects, only have pleasant memories. That said, I remember reading somewhere that most thumb-suckers stop sucking on their own by the time they are three.

Congrats on your little thumb-sucker!

Lex

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#7 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 05:56 PM
 
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My dd also discovered her fingers very early on and I didn't have the heart to not let her soothe herself to sleep by using them. She hated the pacifier, so that wasn't an option for us. She is now 15 months old and still sucks her two middle fingers when she's tired, but that's it. I don't really worry about it. Personally, I'd rather she suck her fingers to soothe herself to sleep than use a pacifier all the time and then have to try and take it away.
I'm hoping my dd will eventually outgrow it.

F.
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#8 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 05:58 PM
 
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I sucked my thumb until i was 4. i just asked my mom one day to take it out of my mouth when I was asleep. She did and I never sucked it agin. I have perfect teeth and never needed braces.

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#9 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 10:02 PM
 
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I never offered M a binky, he did suck his fingers when he was tiny...but at 13 months he only tries to suck them now when he's hungry...so...I offer him food and that's that...

I really wouldn't worry...like anything else...if it does turn into a habit...it'll turn out of a habit eventually...
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#10 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 10:47 PM
 
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id prefer the pacifier, cause you can THROW them away when you are ready for them to stop...yes, they'll be mad, but you can control it. with a thumb....it is very hard to stop them...though you can stop them.... is difficult.

anyway, my kids wouldn't take either.

maybe give a teethign toy to chew on?
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#11 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 11:59 PM
 
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Thumbs up for thumb sucking! Ha Ha, I'm a dork!
My dd sucks her thumb and is still nursing at 2 1/2 and she has been sucking her thumb since she was 7 months old. My ds does not suck his thumb or take a pacifier and I wish he would suck his thumb! I have nursed both on demand and am a SAHM, however like someone else mentioned you can not be there every second and I am glad my dd can comfort herself. She only sucks her thumb when she is really tired or if she touches something satin, she likes to rub the satin on her ookie blanket and suck her thumb. I think the thumb is also helpful in the car when you just can't do much for them, at least they have their thumb! I think babies are definitely predisposed to thumb suck or not, either way I wouldn't worry about it at this point! Good luck to you and your baby!

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#12 of 17 Old 09-07-2003, 01:32 AM
 
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My dd is a thumbsucker too. Maybe that's why she's slept through the night since 3 mos? I don't mind it at all, I actually think it's cute
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#13 of 17 Old 09-07-2003, 04:40 AM
 
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I wouldn't promote it or try to stop it. Kids will do what they do in this regard. Yes, you can take a binky away. But you don't have to turn on the light or stop on the side of the road to find it.

Besides, if kids don't suck their thumbs, how will orthodontists make a living??? (I sucked my thumb til 6 or 7, started orthodontics at 10, done at 14.)

But I agree with poster who said not to worry. I think most kids do what they need to do and quit the thumb before it becomes a problem. My dd1 sucked hers from 2 to 5 months old then seemed to forget where it was and never did it again. Dd2 never sucked her thumb - used a binky now and then during first four months or so (colic). Dd3 has yet to do either (she is almost 3 months old).
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#14 of 17 Old 09-07-2003, 08:03 PM
 
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I was a thumbsucker for quite some time. I actually encouraged my ds to suck his thumb. He did for a few months. He quit by the time he was 6 months old. Now he only wants comfort from nursing. Really I think babies do what they want. I don't really think it's a bad thing to be a thumbsucker.

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#15 of 17 Old 09-08-2003, 02:46 AM
 
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If forget about trying to control your baby into toddlerhood and think about what's best for him, how is thumb sucking a bad thing? Nature has the answer right there attatched to his hand.
That said both of my boys had pacifiers, I was a thumb sucker. I weaned my self in grade school by putting athletic tape around my thumb so I wouldn't suck it while asleep. Keep that tucked away in the memory banks if ever you need it. You can't get smooth suction on tape, and athletic tape doesn't un-adhese (I know that's not really a word) when it gets wet.
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#16 of 17 Old 09-08-2003, 05:44 AM
 
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my mom and i were just talking about this yesterday. she assumed i'll make pacifiers available to my baby, i said no and she got very... let's just say emphatic. i did not use a pacifier but did suck my thumb till i was 8. NOT a good thing. i remember feeling very bad about it. my left thumb was skinnier and always wet looking and my teeth, though not terribly, did suffer.

of course my mom's point was also, you can take the pacifier away, but you can't take the finger away. :LOL

my little brother on the other hand, used a pacifier and was done with it by the time he was 3.

so yeah, i'm not sure what i'd do if i saw my baby go for the thumb. i guess i'll cross that bridge if i get to it.
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#17 of 17 Old 09-09-2003, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks a lot to all of you! I tried the pacifier again and again, and the only thing I achieve was to make her gag, and even vomit. (I did not try again after that) I did a research on the net and found that most (about 85%) of thumb suckers quit doing it before school. That's not too bad. I also met two moms of "thumb suckers" at the park yesterday. One of them told me something I have to agree with: " sure with the paci you have control of when they take it, but when they take their thumb, they control their body and how and when they need to be reassured, and nobody will put something in their mouth to make them shut up like some people do with kids who take the paci".
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