Thumb sucking in young babies is normal and harmless. Let it be and keep your baby’s hands as clean as possible at all times.

When is Thumb Sucking a Problem?

In most cases, kids tend to stop on their own. When a child is in school with similarly aged kids who don’t suck their thumbs, the behavior will generally cease all on its own.

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How to Help Your Child Stop Sucking His Thumb

  1. Some mums paint yucky tasting things(bitterleaf,pepper etc) on their children’s fingers as a prevention measure. If you do this, please do in moderation.

2.Punishing your child won’t help because they don’t usually realize when they’re sucking away. And methods such as putting a plaster/bandage on his thumb will seem like unjust punishment..but if it works for you, fine.

  1. Children usually give up thumb-sucking when they find other ways to calm and comfort themselves. For example, a toddler who’s hungry may suck his thumb, but an older child (age 3 or 4) might simply open the fridge and look for something to eat or ask his parents for a snack instead.
  2. If you can identify the times and places when your child is most likely to suck his/her thumb – while watching television, for example – consider distracting him/her with a substitute activity, such as a ball or toys to play with.
  3. Try to identify which situations trigger thumb sucking. Is he/she tired, bored, or stressed? Eliminate as many triggers as possible and quickly intervene with a play activity to ward off the thumb sucking.

 

The key is to notice when and where sucking occurs and try to divert his attention by offering an alternative.

 

 

 

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