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how to stop 16 month old from thumb sucking?

(10 Posts)
YGLondon Sun 14-Aug-11 09:19:43


My son loves sucking his thumb, and every time I try to stop him from doing so, he smiles and then starts again.
He does is mainly at night, and in his sleep but also during the day.
Any tips?


Tee2072 Sun 14-Aug-11 11:31:20

Why do you want him to stop? He's only just a baby and it gives him comfort.

PeopleCallMeTricky Sun 14-Aug-11 11:33:20

I don't think you can really stop him at that age. Ds's dentist said the time to try and stop them is when they get their second teeth through. Is it the teeth you are worried about? Ds sucks his thumb, but nowhere near as much as he used to. He is 3 now.

Octaviapink Sun 14-Aug-11 11:59:56

Yes, why do you want him to stop? He's self-soothing and it's harmless at this age. You can worry about it later when he's old enough to understand. Lots of children stop of their own accord anyway.

mistressploppy Sun 14-Aug-11 12:05:11

I've recently vaguely started suggesting to DS (21mo) that he should take his thumb out at certain times, i.e. when someone talks to him, when his hands are dirty etc. I say gently 'take your thumb out' and he usually does, and then I gush 'ooh good boy! Thumbs are for sleepy time aren't they? blah blah blah' and he smiles and thinks he's terribly clever.

If he doesn't take it out I don't sweat it.

He's only JUST started to be able to understand and take it out when asked.

Nothing wrong with it at this age really but I sucked my thumb 'til I was 15 blush and had to have braces, and DH still sucks his sometimes!!!!!!! grin. So I'm foreseeing future battles....

Octaviapink Sun 14-Aug-11 12:10:15

Yes, DH still sucks his - I know a surprising number of people who secretly still suck as adults, but I can't see the harm. It's not hurting anyone!

mistressploppy Sun 14-Aug-11 12:37:38

I only worry about his teeth, when he gets his big ones, as I had such a battle giving up and I looked like Ken Dodd as a older child.

No teeth problems (and DH has perfect teeth, never had braces) - suck that thumb! Why not?

DS is such a brilliant sleeper, and I'm sure the thumb is partly to thank for it.

YGLondon Sun 14-Aug-11 15:31:48

His front teeth are already showing the effects of his thumb sucking, and the reason why I am worried isn't just the teeth for the whole shape of the palate. Tumb sucking shapes the palate (not for everyone, it depends on how the baby sucks his thumb) and can give a much bigger mouth inside. Then again, I am against braces because they can equally shape the face/jaw line in a non-natural way. I have seen in on my brother who now has a much narrower jaw than my father, mother and myself because of the very strong braces he had to wear as a teenager..

Anyway, I am keen for him to stop now as the longer I leave it the more effetcs it will have on the development of his facial features (his physio confirmed that to me..)

If anyone has found a good non traumatising method, I would love to hear about it


sparkleshine Sun 14-Aug-11 22:16:35

DS is 20 months and sucks his thumb. It comforts him, and although I think he sometimes over uses this comfort, there isn't much I can do about it. I've tried pulling it away and saying don't do that, but it's no use.

I sucked my finger until 15 so I'm not holding out much hope tbh.

threecurrantbuns Sun 14-Aug-11 22:22:11

I'm watching with interest as I have two finger suckers. Dd sucks her middle two a lot she is 3. And ds sucks hip first two fingers with the palm of hip hand facing outwards if that makes sense puts a lot of pressure on hip front teeth and roof of hip mouth

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