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Discussion Starter #1
<p>This is a super odd question, but what do you think of a 6 year old using a pacifier?  My DD sucks her thumb & I've been gently encouraging her to try & wean herself from it.  It's not just when she sleeps....it's anytime she's sitting still!  Today she was sucking on a plastic ring she got off a birthday party cupcake which reminded her of a pacifier & so she requested that I get her one because it would help her stop sucking her thumb.  Hmmmm.  I decided it was worth a try since at least she's thinking about quitting so we just got home from the store & she's in the basement playing with her little brother, pacifier in mouth.  Has anyone been in this situation before?  </p>
 

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<p>I remember seeing (posted here I think?) that they make some sort of pacifier-esque thing geared towards older kids.  I think it's on a necklace or something.  Sorry I can't remember exactly... I'm sure another mama will chime in with the details.  :)</p>
 

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<p>Sorry, I didn't really answer your question exactly... I just thought you might be interested.  But anyway, the reason I heard about it is because there was a discussion here a while ago about older kids who used pacifiers.  She's not the only one!  Maybe do a search to see if you can find the thread I'm thinking of....  (I would search myself but am being called away by the little ones....)</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<p>Thanks, Kate.  I'll happily do a search!</p>
 

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<p>I dont know about thumb sucking and transitioning...but I was a part of the earlier thread and was the one saying that I REALLY regret yanking away my DD's paci when she turned 4. It cost us months of terrible regression...tantrums, sleep, attitude, fear, attachment, etc...that I think we could have avoided if I would have waited until SHE was ready and not when I thought she should be cause I was embarrassed.</p>
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<p>That said, I know there was talk of the only time a paci can be a problem is if they have it all day...it can cause teeth issues. But I'm not sure how or if its different than a thumb!</p>
 

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<p>i sucked my fingers until i was 12... one day it just .. went away.. </p>
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<p> is there a sensory issue you could address? perhaps just talk about only sucking her thumb at home? why remove the thumb?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<p>Yeah, I go back & forth with whether or not I should encourage her to quit.   I'm definitely not pressuring her in any way and am not encouraging her to quit altogether....just wondering if she could suck it less, like only when she's falling asleep or really needing a rest.  She tends to have her thumb in her mouth whenever she sits still....in the car, while watching a video, in church, etc.  I've been talking to her about sucking it less & she's obviously thinking about it now because it was her idea to get a pacifier.  </p>
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<p>I sucked my finger for a long time, too....until I was 9.  And I remember thinking about needing to break the habit because it was just that....a habit.  I sucked unconsciously, ya know?  Was there an underlying need there?  Probably for a while but then it turned into a habit & not a need.  At least that's how I look back on it.  I think this about my daughter, too.  I'm confident she sucked her thumb in utero because she's been sucking since day 1.  I had to fight the thumb away to nurse her!  She still BF'd for over 2 years but her thumb often took priority, which dumbfounded me.  Now that she's (almost) 6, I'm wondering if she can be more conscious of her thumb & not put it in her mouth so often.  </p>
 

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<p>Can you think of a new behavior that she could replace it with? Whether it's a need or habit this might be good (and that's of course what you were on to with the paci, but a paci is not really appropriate for a 6 yo, IMO)</p>
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<p>I work with kids with oral sensory issues and have suggested they get some 'chewelry'  there are some cool little heart shaped necklaces meant for chewing and sucking on - this could be a good transition to no thumb sucking and giving up the need/habit all together? just a thought</p>
 

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<p>My friend's dd uses one of those necklaces and I think it's a great option for a kid who really needs oral activity.</p>
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<p>My dd sucked her thumb until she was 7 ish, and here is how we stopped it:</p>
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<p>I taught her about mouth development, age appropriate language of course.  We talked about how important it was to stop, but that it was up to her to stop.  She successfully stopped during the day, but we ended up using stretchy gloves with the fingers cut off to help her stop at night.</p>
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<p>I wish I had known about the necklaces, because she really just switched to chewing her shirt.  She did need ortho, but I'm pretty confident she would have needed it anyway.</p>
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<p>{{hugs}}</p>
 
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