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THUMB SUCKING !!! HELP!!

mum26soon2b7mum26soon2b7
posted 9 years 4 months ago
hiya girls...have noticed in the last few weeks my 5 month old has started sucking his thumb!! he refused a dummy and i just thought that was it but now he has started this!!! any ideas on how to stop him...MIL suggested mustard but i thing thats a bit harsh LMAO x x x Crazy


JOJOJOJO
posted 9 years 4 months ago
Thumb-sucking is a very common childhood habit, thought to occur in about 80 per cent of babies and infants. Parents usually notice it within the first three months of their child's life but ultrasound scans have observed babies in the womb sucking their thumbs from 28 weeks gestation.

Sucking is one of a baby's natural reflexes and they use it as a way to calm themselves down when they are tired, hungry, bored or just in need of comfort. As it is relaxing, it may also help induce sleep.

Rosemarie Van Norman is a Certified Orofacial Myologist - an expert in thumb and finger sucking. She says, "Thumb-sucking actually makes the brain produce endorphins, which calm the body and give the child pleasure-almost like that feeling of satisfaction you get after eating a big meal. "There's an actual change in body chemistry that takes place when a child sucks his thumb."

Buck teeth and shrunken digits?
Despite the fact that it's perfectly normal -as well as therapeutic- for babies to suck, many parents remain concerned about their child's habit. Much of this is due to the horror stories associated with thumb-sucking, most of which are totally untrue.

It causes prominent teeth. This is not a problem until after the milk teeth have fallen out and the adult teeth are coming through. At this stage, thumb-sucking can force teeth forward into a more prominent position, as well as damage the growth and formation of the upper palate (roof of the mouth). However, research and dentists agree that thumb-sucking as a baby or toddler will not have any lasting effect on your child's teeth.

A sucked thumb will not grow properly. This is not strictly true, although the skin on the thumb can get soggy and sore. TV doctor, Hilary Jones says this happens because "the enzymes in saliva and the constant wetness caused by the constant thumb sucking irritates the skin and causes a form of mild dermatitis," but can be rectified using a mild cortisone cream.

Thumb suckers are mentally unbalanced. No they're not, neither are they emotionally impaired or destined to a life of masturbation. No-one knows where these myths started but research has proven them to be

Thumb or dummy?
Everyone, whether or not they have children, has an opinion on sucking thumbs, dummies or neither. Ultimately it is down to the parent and child but there are pros and cons for each.

Thumbs are always available, they don't fall on the floor or get lost at night, and they fit perfectly. Dummies, however, are thought to be less damaging to teeth, primarily because they are often gone long before milk teeth are. Dummies can also be taken from a child while thumbs are somewhat more permanent!

When does it become a problem?
Most children give up thumb-sucking during their toddler years but 15 per cent are still doing it at the age of four.

The main problem associated with thumb-sucking is the risk of crooked or prominent teeth. However, this only becomes a problem if your child is still sucking her thumb when the adult teeth are coming through, usually at around 5 or 6 years old. Also, different types of thumb-sucking differ in the damage they can do to teeth. Experts from the BDA say that it's the intensity of the sucking that causes tooth problems. Children who rest their thumbs in their mouth are less likely to suffer problems than their forceful sucking peers.

Can it be prevented?
Babies are born with the need to suck but in some babies the need is more pronounced than in others. To fulfil this non-nutritional need, some babies suck dummies and some suck fingers. Because of this, thumb-sucking in young babies is not preventable. However, research has shown that attitudes to thumb-sucking can be a cause of the habit continuing.

Dr B D Schmitt, author of Your Child's Health, says, "Thumb-sucking lasting beyond the age of five can be prevented if you avoid pulling your child's thumb out of his mouth at any age. Also, don't comment in your child's presence about your dissatisfaction with the habit."

Drop the habit!
The sucking need usually diminishes by around 9 months and the great majority of children stop thumb-sucking spontaneously as they get caught up in learning new skills and no longer need to be stimulated or comforted by sucking.

However, for those who are more persistent, there are a few tips to follow from the experts.

Dr Olwen Wilson, Consultant child psychologist at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, says, "From a psychological point of view, the key point is that the child makes the decision that he doesn't want to do it anymore." She says most children stop spontaneously but even for those who continue past the age of four, peer group pressure and embarrassment once they start school is an ideal time to encourage them to stop.

Rosemarie Van Norman says that parents should not try to break the habit in pre-schoolers because:

They only understand the pleasure they get from doing it, not the reason why adults don't want them to.
They don't care what they look like so the worry of crooked teeth won't impact on them.
They live minute to minute so a reward 'tomorrow' might just as well mean 'in 100 years'
However, Rosemarie has helped thousands of children over the last 30 years to stop sucking thumbs. Her advice is:

Do not make comments to the child about her habit as this type of criticism just makes the child more uneasy, and more likely to suck his or her thumb.
Because children depend on digit sucking to relieve stress, pick a time to break the habit when neither you or your child are experiencing any stress or change.
Pay attention to the cues when your child sucks his thumb and help them find an alternative (without them knowing you're doing it)

JOJOJOJO
posted 9 years 4 months ago
dont think its a problem unless they are over a certain age,have you tried the smaller nuk dummies

candgsmumcandgsmum
posted 9 years 4 months ago
Charlotte is 4 and still sucks her thumb, although she mostly rests it in her mouth rather than sucks it, and strokes her nose with her forefinger. she seems to do it mostly if she is tired and at rest (i.e. doing nothing).

She is doing it right now and I must admit it bugs me because I've asked her not to do it because she gets sore hands but I don't like to pressure her. She doesn't do it as much as she used to, I hoping eventually she will grow out of it. Something that does bug me even more though, is my BIL (who is 11) still sucks his thumb AND has a blanket (I really disagree with this personally) so she witnesses this all the time. She alos fiddles with her hair, twirling it in her fingers.

She has done it at nursery as I've seen her, but school have never brought it up a s a problem.

George sucks his ytwo fingers but he only does it when he's tired. He prefers to sit with a cushion and stroke the corner until he's asleep.

mum26soon2b7mum26soon2b7
posted 9 years 4 months ago
thanks for the info and the replies...its not that i mind it at this stage..its the fact the habit will set in and he will continue when his adult teeth start to appear...its nice he has a comfort and he does look SO cute when he's asleep but i dont want it to become a permenant thing...i will get another soother and see if this works...at the mo im just taking his thumb out whenever i see him sucking it...however i cant be watching him 24/7...x x x

gypseygypsey
posted 9 years 4 months ago
mason just started suckin his thumb it kinda sweet

ElementaryElementary
posted 9 years 4 months ago
I have to say that I have never had an issue with this - I knew someone that occaisonally sucked her thumb at secondary school and beyond - Martha does sometimes at 5 - usually when tired, and from the sound of it , she is more 'resting' her thumb than actively sucking it. She gets enough grief from my ex about it - and at the moment I think the 'mental damage' outways the positive side of her giving it up so I don't go on about it.
It has not affected her speech, or mental ability. Dentist already feels that she will need a brace because both her Dad and I have 'dental' issues

kristagkristag
posted 9 years 4 months ago
I sucked my thumb until I started secondary school and I don't have buck teeth or a stunted thumb!

Jas sucked her thumb until she was about 5 years old then just stopped it of her own accord (as did I but much later). I never put pressure on her to stop sucking her thumb and knew she would when the time was right for her.

I think it's quite natural and really nothing to worry about. I prefer it to the look of a dummy personally.

Jas started when she was born and it was such a cute thing Hug I've even got a scan of her and our latest baby sucking their thumbs Very Happy

There has been some talk about thumb sucking or using a dummy reducing the risk of cot death also.

I really wouldn't worry about it. I think it's the sign of a relaxed and happy baby/child Hug

ElementaryElementary
posted 9 years 4 months ago

kristag said:
I sucked my thumb until I started secondary school and I don't have buck teeth or a stunted thumb!

Jas sucked her thumb until she was about 5 years old then just stopped it of her own accord (as did I but much later). I never put pressure on her to stop sucking her thumb and knew she would when the time was right for her.

I think it's quite natural and really nothing to worry about. I prefer it to the look of a dummy personally.

Jas started when she was born and it was such a cute thing Hug I've even got a scan of her and our latest baby sucking their thumbs Very Happy

There has been some talk about thumb sucking or using a dummy reducing the risk of cot death also.

I really wouldn't worry about it. I think it's the sign of a relaxed and happy baby/child Hug

I agree! Very Happy

hapydazyhapydazy Moderator
posted 9 years 4 months ago
I had a couple friends when I was in high school that still sucked their thumbs! One was a girl and she always had a little red bump on the bridge of her nose because while she was sucking her thumb she would rub her nose with her forefinger... The other one a guy, who went on the play professional American football for the New York Jets and it was said that he could still be seen on the sidelines and in the locker room sucking his thumb Shocked he was a really big guy though so didn't get made fun of too much Rolling Eyes

Aaralyn had a binky (dummy) and never sucked her thumb at all.

I wouldn't worry too much about it really Smile

AlexAlex Moderator
posted 9 years 4 months ago
I wouldn't worry about it. It will only become a problem if his speech doesn't develop properly (some kids who suck their thumb can have a slight lisp but Speech therapists would soon sort it out)

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