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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to gently encourage DS to stop sucking his thumb. His teeth are already starting to show signs of being pushed forward. He automatically does it in his sleep if he gets disturbed and I don't know how to stop that. I had a talk with him about how the thumb hurts his teeth, so when I see him sucking, I say "No thumb please" and he takes it out.<br><br>
I've noticed lately that he's having a lot of trouble getting to sleep, as well as fighting sleep. I think part of the problem is that he always sucked his thumb to get to sleep. Unfortunately, he doesn't nurse anymore, so I can't nurse him to sleep. We were thinking of trying to help him find another comfort measure, but we're not sure how. I had the idea of letting him pick out a new stuffed animal that lives on the bed, so he can only cuddle with it at bedtime and naptime.<br><br>
It's getting hard - yesterday he refused to nap and was up till after 11. Today, DF has been trying for over an hour to get him to nap. We know he's sleepy, but every time he starts to drift off, he jumps up to play or wiggles to keep himself awake.<br><br>
Any ideas?
 

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How old is he? Looking at your sig it looks like he's still quite young. I would not even attempt it at this age. They really NEED to suck still.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He turned three in January. I wouldn't mind if not for his teeth. They're already being pushed forward and it's looking like he's going to need braces later because of the thumb-sucking.
 

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Fast Facts About Thumb Sucking<br><br><br>
* Children who suck their thumbs are able to begin at an early age to meet their own need for sucking. These children fall asleep more easily, are able to put themselves back to sleep at night more easily, and sleep through the night much earlier than infants who do not suck their thumbs.<br><br>
* A study by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton indicates that as many as 94% have finished with sucking their thumbs by their first birthdays.<br><br>
* According to the American Dental Association, thumb sucking does not cause permanent problems with the teeth or jaw line, unless it is continued beyond <b>four to five years of age</b>.<br><br>
* Many studies have looked at the number of children who continue to suck their thumbs at this time. A<b><i><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><i><b><i>s it turns out, somewhere between 85% to 99% of children have finished thumb sucking spontaneously before this period (the numbers vary depending on the study).</i></b></i></span></i></b><br><br>
* When investigators looked at this group of late thumb-suckers for common traits, they found that they had one thing in common that distinguished them from other children -- a <b><i><span style="text-decoration:underline;">prolonged history of a strong battle with thumb sucking at an earlier age. It is striking that many well-meaning parents have actually encouraged this behavior by trying to forcibly take the thumb out of their children's mouths.</span></i></b>
 

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I sucked my thumb until I was 13 years old. My mom tried everything under the sun to get me to stop. It is a big memory from my childhood and it is not a good one. It was a constant battle. I think if she had just let me suck in peace i would have quit earlier.<br><br>
As for the teeth. I have teeth that dentists are jealous of. Very straight. So I don't think there is a link between the two.<br><br>
My point. A little sucking wont hurt. Your son may just need braces when he is older because of who he is, not from what he did.
 

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Honestly it is his comfort and security. Why deny him that means of self soothing? Or make him feel ashamed of it?<br><br>
Eventually he will grow out of it on his own....Most kids stop when they feel emotionally ready. The fact that he is having so much trouble sleeping is telling you that HE IS NOT READY. please please please listen to him and allow him to suck his thumb.<br><br>
he is young enough that it won't cause permanent issues with his teeth. I think that jaw structure, spacing issues, etc have more to do with needing braces than thumb sucking. I sucked my thumb until I was about to go into middle school! I don't need braces, but my brother who never ever sucked his thumb or binky or anything but a breast - he desperately needed braces. My cousin who is 27, still sucks her thumb, and she has PERFECT teeth.
 
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