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My son (who is almost 3) sucks his thumb a lot. He's sitting on my lap right now as I type, with his thumb in his mouth. It's started to affect his teeth a little, and perhaps his speech, as well (he's in speech therapy--not really sure if that's related or not).

My dh wants to buy the nasty stuff to put on his thumb to discourage sucking, and I'm not so sure. He told me to do my "research," (which he knows means posting on Mothering!)

Thanks for any comments/info you might have.
 

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I sucked my thumb until I was 11 and have perfect teeth, and same with my and dh's relatives. My dd sucks her thumb and I plan on letting her.

People tried all that stuff to get me to stop. It didn't work, and it made me feel ashamed.
 

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My Dd sucker her thumb past 4 (I think, but am not totally sure, that she was 6 before she was totally done). We told her she would know when it was time to stop, and that we'd try to help her anyway we could. She decided for herself one day, and it took her about 3 weeks to totally break it I think. Her teeth are fine.
 

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I sucked my thumb until I was a pre-teen and though I probably could have used orthodontic work, it wasn't a huge issue. My parents did make some efforts to get me to stop -- nasty stuff, bandaids, etc. It made me try to "hide" my habit (though I had a telltale wart on my thumb) but didn't make me stop.

Dd1 (4 1/2) is now addicted to her binkies. She never used them til she weaned at almost 3 years old (on her own) but is having hysterics at the thought of giving them up. I think theres a tendency to oral comfort in my family, or at least in first born females. She's very like me in temperament - sensitive, intense, emotional, empathetic. I don't see forcing the issue, except insofar as it is affecting her teeth so we are limiting it to bedtime. Otherwise she can hold them if she needs to.

My $.02 is to leave it alone. He'll stop when he's ready.
 

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I am so glad you posted this. My dd is 5 and still sucks her two fingers (pointer and middle). She does it mostly when she is tired. She will go thru spurts where she doesn't do it at all, and sometimes tells me she is going to stop. Usually she ends up sick or something and it starts all over again. She is now in summer camp and she stays busy all day and doesn't get a nap anymore so she is usually tired when we get home and those fingers are in her mouth the minute she gets in the car. I don't have much of an issue w/it b/c I KNOW she is tired and I don't fight her much. Sometimes I put a band-aid on her finger just to remind her not to suck them (instead of me nagging all the time) and she usually wouldn't take it off. But now she goes swimming every day and it would probably come off. I figure when she is ready she will stop. One thing I HATE though is when the family starts on it. Like they are going to be paying her dental bill if need be. Sometimes I just want to remind them that that bill will be paid by me and her dad not them so they shouldn't worry about it. I just (as kindly as I can), tell them that we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
 

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My 2 1/2-year-old twin girls (12/16/02) both started sucking their thumbs at around 3-months. One twin gave it up on her own at about 1-year and the other one is still doing it. They are both still bf'ing. Faith (the one who still sucks) also carries a blankie. I have noticed that she does it most when she is tired or when she has her blankie. She'll see her blankie across the room and pop her thumb in her mouth...it's so cute! I'm not worried about the thumb sucking right now and I don't think I'll be too concerned about it later. My SIL sucked hers until she was 7 and finally quit on her own because she wanted to go to slumber parties. Her teeth are beautiful. My biggest concern is people making fun of her. My family and IL's already say "Oh, is that thumb good?" or "What does that thumb taste like?" and I am asking them to stop (although I would like to add that they do say it nicely and not making fun of her). I don't want her to ever think it is wrong.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by the_lissa
I sucked my thumb until I was 11 and have perfect teeth, and same with my and dh's relatives. My dd sucks her thumb and I plan on letting her.

People tried all that stuff to get me to stop. It didn't work, and it made me feel ashamed.

ditto, pretty much.

i still suck my thumb at 27, although only to fall asleep, and have good teeth.
 

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I sucked my thumb til I was... six? seven? Once I was older than about four, I figured out it was not "socially acceptable" so only did it at bedtime. I had thousands in orthodontia - and two years of speech therapy in elementary school. I do think there is a link. But I don't know how you can get a kid not to! I mean, that thumb is right there and accessible. It was a coping/soothing technique. My only idea is to find another soothing technique to swap it for (hopefully). Maybe a blankie with a silky edge to rub? But you can do both (blankie rub and thumb sucking) at the same time so not sure that would work...

He will suck his thumb til he is ready not to anymore. You will pay for the ortho/speech therapy if it is needed. (Actually, mine was done through the public school district - speech therapy of course, not ortho!) I don't think trying to get him to quit does anything more than convince him he should only do it in private.

None of my three kids thumbsucks (well, oldest did between three and six months old but quit on her own then) but I don't think I'd do anything about it - even though I do think there is a possible link to teeth or speech issues. Like how much I weigh, I don't think anyone else can really affect it - other than hurt my feelings or my opinion of them.
 

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I agree with the other posters here. My dd who is 4 started sucking her thumb when she weaned at 2. Since I know she will get social pressure to stop I don't want any more pressure coming from me. Luckily, her dentist is pretty chill and doesn't put pressure on her at visits. (Dentist sucked thumb till she was 6).

I have just accepted the fact that she is a thumb sucker and that is part of who she is
 

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of thumbs and fingers, of course. Other kids at preschool have teased them about it occasionally--calling them babies, and I do notice that I rarely see other kids their age sucking their fingers. But their teeth still look fine, their speech is fine, and a dentist told me that it is not a problem until 5 or so--close to when the whole process of losing baby teeth and getting adult teeth starts. I am not worried about it, but it is a niggling thought in the back of my head. . .
 

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More thumb suckers here! My dd1 started at 4 months for two weeks then stopped then started at 7 months and has not stopped since and she is 4! She rubs the satin edge of her ookie and sucks her thumb to go to sleep! I'm not worried about it! She nursed till she was 3 1/2 and I figure she will stop this when she is ready too!
My dd2 just started sucking her thumb this week at 3 months, even though she is exclusively nursing and cosleeps! I think it is just personality, my ds never did suck his thumb, although he occasionally imitates his big sister to be silly! I would not worry about it! Best of luck to you!
 

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dd2 stopped sucking her thumb on her own about 4 months ago (just after her 4th birthday). The callous on her thumb is gone, the peely nail is just about grown out and her jaw and teeth are back to a normal, smooth, beautiful U shape.

We tried a few things once she said she wanted to stop (she would unconsiously pop it in). The Thum nail polish didn't work. It's supposed to be bitter or something, but she said it tasted good. Plus it has to be applied twice a day and I usually forgot. In the end she settled on a couple of things - she started wearing gloves to bed and she gave up her special baby doll that she used to hold when sucking. I suggested the gloves - she and I were shopping and saw them on display around Easter - and she jumped on it. Giving her doll up was her idea. I found it hidden in the back of her stuffed animal bin and when I asked her about it she said she didn't want it anymore because it made her suck her thumb.

Both our doctor and our dentist said not to worry until she was 5 or 6. It did really bother dh a lot, and it was starting to bother me, so we had set some boundaries. She was not allowed to suck her thumb at the table, on the furniture while watching TV (that started when I was pg and the spit smell made me sick) and one other place or time that I can't remember anymore. Maybe setting some limits will appease your dh.
 
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