Constantly sucking on hands? - Mothering Forums
Life With a Baby > Constantly sucking on hands?
wagamama's Avatar wagamama 07:37 PM 04-07-2008
My 3-month-old is constantly sucking/chewing her hands, all day long. DS#1 didn't do this at all, so I don't know what to do. Should I just let her chew her hands? Does it mean she's hungry? Teething? Should I give her a pacifier?? I'm clueless.

dahlsk's Avatar dahlsk 07:54 PM 04-07-2008
I was just in today for my ds's 2 month check up and he loves to suck on his fist, too. She said it was nothing to worry about. I think it's just a way to explore his body and self-soothe.
dahlsk's Avatar dahlsk 07:56 PM 04-07-2008
And let me just add this his fist-sucking (like right now) can be after a huge feeding, so I don't think it's hunger in those cases. Other times, when combined with fussiness, etc. it can be a sign my ds is hungry. I guess you just have to try to read your baby's cues.
rrs's Avatar rrs 08:01 PM 04-07-2008
At about 2 months Carter started this. I was certain he was just ravenous, as he would do it after eating (and before, and...whenever). So I would try to feed him again. Each time he would accept the breast, but never ate for more than a few seconds. Finally my mom told me that he had "found" his hands, and was learning to self soothe.
mama_y_sol's Avatar mama_y_sol 08:03 PM 04-07-2008
My ds is doing the same thing. He will be 3 months this week. It has really intensified this past week. Sometimes the sucking on his hands is peaceful, he is calm and it seems like he is indeed exploring his body. Other times, he is much more aggressive with it, gets very frustrated, and during these times I really wonder if he may be starting to teeth. When is really wants to chew, not just suck on his hands, I will let him bite on my finger and he does so rather aggressively.

When he is calmly sucking on his hands, he is fine, I just let him go at it. If you dd is happy, I would just let her be. But if she gets like my ds does sometimes, very fussy and frustrated, you could certainly try offering her the breast or a pacifier. My ds does take a pacifier (my dd never did).

I wonder about the teething. He has lots of drool. He is acting "off", kind of hard for me to explain, but he just seems different, not as content, more fussy. He has also slept very poorly these last few nights, very restless, upset. It could be teething, it could be____. Who knows...solving the puzzle can be hard. My dd got her first tooth at exactly 4 months, so it could be.

Good luck Mama!
mkmoro311's Avatar mkmoro311 12:08 PM 04-08-2008
My 3 month old does it too. Sometimes she tries to stick both hands in at once, sometimes its just her thumb! She will not take a paci so at least she has found some way to sooth herself!
Jezzy's Avatar Jezzy 12:20 PM 04-08-2008
my 2 mo does this all the time too. she always has her hands in her mouth
justmama's Avatar justmama 12:31 PM 04-08-2008
another 3 month old sucking on her hands. she's not hungry, she refuses all artificial nipples like pacifiers and bottles, and sometimes she won't accept the breast and sometimes she will. she's just self-soothing. I think she may become a thumb sucker to be honest.
Down2Earth's Avatar Down2Earth 12:36 PM 04-08-2008
I don't have first hand experience, but from what I've read, sucking on hands is the way babies self-soothe. It's better than a pacifier because the baby will never lose their hands!
leafwood's Avatar leafwood 01:36 PM 04-08-2008
Ds is a hand-sucker too! He's just 3m and has been doing it for about 3 wks. He was really into the paci before that and I'm glad he's found a way to self-soothe, although he's funny sometimes because it's really loud and he does it while he's falling asleep. Tons of drool too. I had to bust out the bibs!
I agree that it isn't hunger b/c he does it right after big feeds if he's still up.
kriket's Avatar kriket 01:43 PM 04-08-2008
i did it as a child, mom said that I would give myself a rash from it (I get a rash from everything) later when I stopped eating my hands, they found out I had a strain of psoriasis. just something to be aware of.
GooeyRN's Avatar GooeyRN 01:47 PM 04-08-2008
DS always has his hands in his mouth. He is 4 months old. He started doing it at 3 months. He is getting a tooth, and I think he is just enjoying playing with and mouthing his hands.
MummaLitt's Avatar MummaLitt 05:07 PM 04-08-2008
I was going to post something about this too. My 3mo has been chewing/sucking on his hands for a few weeks now. And the drool has increased dramatically. He'll suck on our shoulders and arms while we're carrying him. Pretty much anything he can get towards his mouth gets slobbered. He hasn't figured out grabbing things yet, so it's mostly shirts/bibs/hands.
Mosaic's Avatar Mosaic 05:22 PM 04-08-2008
Ditto... DD was a hand-chewer from the second she had the muscle control to get them into her mouth. She had 2 teeth by 3.5 months.
jessica_lizette's Avatar jessica_lizette 06:29 PM 04-08-2008
Another mama to a hand sucker!

He actually manages to get a couple of fingers in his mouth and suck on his paci at the same time!
smokeylo's Avatar smokeylo 09:01 PM 04-08-2008
my 6 week old just started this and i was wondering the same thing!!
Rogelito's Mommy's Avatar Rogelito's Mommy 10:23 PM 04-08-2008
My 4 month old is a hand sucker too. He has been doing it forever...we even have an ultrasound pic of him with his hand in his mouth. So, we just figured there is no fighting it. He wont take a pacifier, so I am glad he can self sooth at least.
mama2rey's Avatar mama2rey 11:44 PM 04-08-2008
My son does this too. I actually would rather have him sucking his hands than a pacifier. I've been told that thumb sucking does not cause orthodontic problems but pacifiers do.
aprildawn's Avatar aprildawn 11:49 PM 04-08-2008
Both my girls did this as infants, and both ended up as finger suckers. DD1 quit sucking her fingers a few months (she was 5.5) ago after slamming her fingers in a door making it painful to suck on them. DD2 is sucking mostly to go to sleep at night. She just turned 3. It's normal, but it might be something that really sticks for a loooooooooooong time.
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