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Thumbsucking please help!

(7 Posts)
T1Dmum Mon 15-May-17 23:38:56

Our daughters 1 & 1/2 (18m) and has always sucked her thumb (shes never had a dummy). She does this mostly when tired and to help her settle to sleep. Once asleep mostly it comes out. She does put it in at odd times throughout the day when sat, bored or upset. She had her first dentist appointment about a month ago and straight away without any prompting the dentist said "so she's a thumbsucker" and said I need to discourage it, ideas on Google. It is becoming very clear now that she is pushing her teeth forward by sucking her thumb, I thought it was noticeable over a much longer period of time! I'm not shallow and I feel so sad that I'm wanting her to stop something that she finds comfort in, but the world is very cruel and I don't want her to be bullied. It comes to something when a friend even had the cheek to point out to me "ooh aren't her teeth big" so what are children and other parents going to say? Is there any parent that have used successfully the stop the nail biting treatment? Brands such as Mavala/Stop and grow actually say also for thumb/finger sucking from 3+. I've also seen you can buy thumb covers to stop her but they're so expensive! Thanks for reading and sorry for the long post. Any help appreciated x

user1491572121 Mon 15-May-17 23:47:54

More than concerns over bullying, misaligned teeth can cause difficulty speaking and eating and jaw/head pain.

So rather than feeling sad about stopping her, feel relieved your dentist spotted it.

Mine did not and my oldest needs braces and has issues eating.

When I did stop her, she was about 5...I just kept removing her thumb kindly and saying "No". You can do the same I should imagine until the habit is broken. Distract her with something else such as a teddy or a piece of silk.

BertieBotts Mon 15-May-17 23:54:53

Can you put a plaster on the thumb so that the texture is wrong? Maybe just in the day to begin with and then change to also doing it at night when she's less reliant on it. You could even choose nice princess plasters or something else so she's excited about it and sees it as a "sticker". If you put it on at a time she doesn't normally suck her thumb, like when she is eating breakfast, she won't connect that you're doing it in order to discourage sucking. Then when you see her doing it quickly offer her something to occupy both hands and/or mouth - a drink, some food, a two hand needed toy. Take the plaster off at bedtime and wash her hands to remove any glue residue and then she gets to choose a new character/picture the next morning.

T1Dmum Wed 17-May-17 10:52:44

Hi user1591672121, yes that as well. I thought I'd included that in my rather long post smile. I've tried discouraging her, my mum even is on board if she sees her doing it when we go to visit, she will tell her.
She now things that's a game too. We've perhaps gone about it wrong, I told her it's nasty and did the eurgh noise but she thinks that's funny.
Thanks for the ideas too BertieBotts, the only problem is I'd be worried on her choking. She's very determined and I can bet she would get them off and be chomping on them. She also has no preference to any toy, character or anything at the moment and as she doesn't really talk it's hard to explain things too?
Not looking forward to this challenge though, the thumbsucking is also the only bit of peace and calm I get hmm

BertieBotts Wed 17-May-17 11:05:39

Yes you're right she is a bit little. What about swapping for a dummy so you can physically wean her off it later? Or just leave it for a bit, discourage gently (not making a big deal) by distraction and occupying her hands/mouth with something else when you see her doing it, don't worry about night time or naptime yet.

You have got a long time until her adult teeth come in so reducing slowly is feasible.

T1Dmum Wed 17-May-17 11:35:18

Because she's never had a dummy, when I meet friends with little ones with dummies, she likes to pull their dummies out. If she gets it in her mouth before I can stop her she's biting it because I suppose she doesn't know what to do with them as she's never had them? So if I was to give her one now then you bet they will be choking hazards for her biting all the ends off. Also me and her dad said at the beginning we didn't want her to have dummies. Me I'm not bothered now, she can have one for me if it stops this. I've already said for further babies if its a dummy or thumbsucking then im prepared to battle to get a dummy off of them when they get older rather than them thumbsucking and having this problem. Whereas daddy's abit more, they don't need one, they're fine. Which as I say, I also agreed in the beginning too especially as she has always been such a happy and content baby. I apparently used to suck my thumb, because my brother used to take all my dummies from me. But I don't remember being a thumbsucker because again this was only during the night. But it did push my teeth forward slightly and the dentist warned my parents too. I never needed a brace and my teeth are straight and don't protrude at all but they had started to move for the dentist to say.
I'm not a strict or mardy parent. But I worry. Only recently have I let her have a toy in bed at night too, she has this little m&s bunny and it's just dawned on my actually she's started gravitating to it, she pulls it close and holds it at night whilst her other thumbs tucked in. Perhaps another toy to occupy her other hand?

T1Dmum Wed 17-May-17 15:59:55

So.... She's just gone to sleep on me without her thumb! She was happy with me stroking her. Every time she went to put her thumb in, I told her to take it out and she did (She did understand before I started this post that when asked, she would remove but it would just go straight back in like a game) I held her hand lightly and she didn't offer to put it back, without any struggle or moaning that I was holding her hand. When I let go she kept putting it back in but then stopped grin Maybe I'm getting somewhere already.

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