Advanced search

Thumb sucking

(23 Posts)
Biscuitsandtea Sun 30-Jun-13 14:14:01


I'm wondering if anyone has any advice or experience of getting a 4 (nearly 5) yo to stop sucking his thumb?

DS1 has sucked his thumb from probably when he was 6 months old and the dentist can already tell that he is a thumb sucker just from looking in his mouth. We've talked about it and he understands that he should try to stop it but I think it is a subconscious habit thing so often he doesn't even realise he is doing it iyswim. I just need to say his name and he suddenly realises and takes it out.

So, DH and I suggested that if he can stop we'll buy him something of his choosing to try and get him on board, and he is really excited about his chosen treat. The thing is now I think he needs a bit more help to try and actually stop doing it otherwise the promised treat just becomes an unattainable goal if he's thumb sucking without realising. But I at least feel as though we're 'on the same team' now - ie we're all working towards him getting his treat rather than 'telling him off' for it.

DH thinks we should try the nail varnish paint stuff but it just seems a bit mean to leave him with a horrible bitter taste as a 'punishment' when he is trying his best to stop. I've also seen sort of glove things on t'interweb (like this or this) Most of these only seem to be available in the US, or the plastic one (the second of my links) is in the UK but at £55 is a bit on the pricey side!

Dh also suggested putting a plaster on his thumb - does that work? Anyone tried it / had any success?

Just really looking for some ideas or experience if anyone can help. Thank you muchly smile

Lucielou123 Sun 30-Jun-13 14:35:01

A plaster would be a great idea - a reminder once his thumb goes near his mouth without the horrible taste of soap under the nail (my grandma's trick!!)

Chottie Sun 30-Jun-13 17:07:47

My DD was a thumb sucker until she was about 8. I took her for a manicure and this stopped her thumb sucking.

Biscuitsandtea Sun 30-Jun-13 17:12:48

Ah that's a good idea chottie but not sure ds is so bothered by all the fancy nails stuff sad

beachesandbuckets Sun 30-Jun-13 17:17:12

My ds is just 5 and is also still a thumb sucker. He has two new adult teeth so even more worried now that they will go wonky, his baby teeth were. Plaster didn't work here, he got very distressed. Bought the nail varnish stuff but pharmacist in boots said that it rarely works. Tried glove, got ripped off. Please do let me know if anything works! He does it in sleep too, and if I pull it out, it goes straight back in.

Biscuitsandtea Sun 30-Jun-13 17:50:14

Aw beaches - fingers crossed we can find a solution that helps us both!

When you say ds got distressed with the plaster, do you mean he got distressed about putting it on, or distressed that it was there when he tried to suck his thumb, ie distressed because it wasn't 'working'?

beachesandbuckets Sun 30-Jun-13 21:44:34

he was quit excited about putting it on, its when he got into bed and started trying to suck it, that he got distressed.

Boots pharmacist said she has 3 thumb suckers and nothing worked except that they grew out of it.

Dentist said that one of her patients put chilli oil on her child's thumb and it worked, very harsh I think!

UniS Sun 30-Jun-13 23:56:07

Plaster on thumb worked to stop DS sucking at night. Age 6.

Doesn't work during teh day as it get rank and then comes off.
Nail paint doesn't work.
Reward offered by dentist didn't work.

Now DS is 7.
Nagging has some effect. We have recently upped the stakes and he loses computer time at home a or Golden time at school.

Biscuitsandtea Mon 01-Jul-13 17:32:28

We're trying micropore tape (I've had a roll for ages so it must be cheaper than plasters?) so will let you know how we're getting on.....

C0smos Mon 01-Jul-13 17:39:38

I could have written this post myself, went to the dentist today and he said we would have to get DS to stop or he would have terrible over bite.
Dentist did suggest a plate which looks a bit like a retainer which effectively covers the roof of the mouth so thumb sucking is not fun. However the dentist did say that he could just take it out himself and It will cost about 300 to fit so really a last resort.
At the moment we are just going to keep on at him, might try the plaster at night, but I think DS will pull it off, micro tape is a good idea.

no1childminder Sun 07-Jul-13 00:39:53

Check out, do you think they'd help?

Biscuitsandtea Sun 07-Jul-13 06:47:18

Ah that's an interesting idea for a younger toddler - if he were smaller I'd give those a try probably but they only go up to size 3-4 sadly (ds1 is nearly 5 but BIG for his age so already in at least 6-7 clothes).

Would be interesting to know if it would work for a younger one though?

UniS Sun 07-Jul-13 22:49:41

DS would have sucked the scratch mit... He sucks his fingers / thumb with gloves on.

Tortoise Sun 07-Jul-13 23:01:18

My DD2 is 8 and a terrible thumb sucker. I thought we'd cracked it over Christmas by using rubbery thumb guards during the day (bought off Ebay).
She stopped with in 2 weeks but over the last month she's slipped right back to sucking her thumb all the time.

I've told her at the start of the summer hols the guards are going back on day and night 24/7!

Really hoping by putting them on day and night she will stop properly. Should have been tougher about night times last time I think!

Mamaski Sat 20-Jul-13 17:32:01

Look into Thumbuddy To Love...great product that kids love to help stop thumb sucking. Some dentists carry it but you can also get it on thier website.

Overreactionoftheweek Sat 20-Jul-13 17:36:47

I'm 32 in 9 days...and I still suck my thumb blush

I actually have a slight underbite - it didn't effect my teeth until a couple of years ago when I think the pressure killed nerves to one of my front teeth, eek! It's fine, just numb and more yellow than the other, but a bit of whightening stuff fixed that.

So I'm afraid I have no advice about getting ds to stop, but it might not be as bad you think if he's lucky. I tried the nasty polish stuff, just woke up with a horrible taste in my mouth grin

Good luck

jaggythistle Sun 21-Jul-13 07:04:23

<waves to biscuits> grin

Just marking my place on your thread for tips, DS1 is nearly 4 and still loves the thumb.

He has cut down and leaves his comforter in his bed most of the day, but will disappear to get one if he feels tired. He also likes to suck in the car.

I'm kinda hoping he grows out of it, maybe optimistic though. wink

ilikesweetpeas Sun 21-Jul-13 07:12:48

Try This was a last resort for us because of the cost but it was fantastic, wished I had tried it earlier before plasters, gloves, foul tasting varnish etc! Also a big reward once the thumb sucking had stopped!! Good luck

ClairesTravellingCircus Sun 21-Jul-13 07:45:33


I've had two thumbsuckers who stopped at 5&7.

Like you dud we talked and promised a treat when they were ready. Then for a couple of weeks I went to bed with them and stayed until they fell asleep. We did it in the summer holidays, so it wasn't a problem if they didn't get enough sleep.

The first few nights it took ages, but then started to get better. Sometimes they would still suck it in their sleep but that stopped too over time. (And I'd take it out any time I saw it).

They used to have soft animals as comforter and weirdly one chose not to use it fir months as she associated it with thumb sucking, the other instead kept using it to help her go to sleep. smile

Good luck!

Jobates Fri 13-Sep-13 16:31:07

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Hanginggardenofboobylon Fri 13-Sep-13 16:36:46

I don't have a thumb sucker but a finger sucker! he sucks the index and middle finger of his left hand when tired and when going to sleep, DS is 3.5 now and has done this from 3 months as he never took to dummies.
Anyone know what you can do about finger suckers?!

Jobates Sun 09-Feb-14 22:16:39

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

RunningGuerita Thu 13-Feb-14 15:38:51

Another believer in thumbguard here. It's worked for us, took quite a long time. 5 weeks of wearing day and night and then several months of just wearing at night. We started using it when DD was 3 years old. You do need to wait till your child is cooperative about it/wants to try sucking her thumb though. We felt we had to do it as DD's teeth, palate and jaw were getting deformed (so not just her teeth).

Will have to use again with DD2 but won't even try until she is old enough to understand and want to stop sucking her thumb.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: