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How to stop/discourage thumb sucking in a three year old

(3 Posts)
zippytiptoes Thu 12-Nov-09 11:32:27

I have a three year old DD who religiously sucks her thumb (and an 11 month old DD who does exactly the same...they're like bookends) The thumbsucking itself doesn't bother me, it's just that my older daughter often gets a really bad rash of sores on her face where she rubs her cheek and picks at her face as she's sucking her thumb. I wash her hands all the time and keep her nails short but obviously when she's at nursery, I can be monitoring this.

In terms of severity, it comes and goes, but I think the best way to avoid it is to discourage the thumb sucking altogether.

Has anyone else attempted this? How did you do it? Has anyone else's kids had the same problem and if so, how did you deal with it?

The doctor has given us some steroid cream to apply, but I think we need to stop the whole thing in its tracks. I just wash her face with water, but have started using a bit of soap. Is that okay on a child's skin?

Thanks for your help

paranormalghostygoat Thu 12-Nov-09 13:04:18

My SiL has one thumb smaller than the other because of sucking her thumb as a child.

So we have told DD 4 and DS 3 that if they do it they will get 1 thumb smaller and it might even fall off completely. That has seemed to stop the thumb sucking.

Acinonyx Thu 12-Nov-09 13:19:13

I wouldn't use any kind of soap on her face. Dd gets mild eczema and I never wash her face with soap - they really don't need it. We sometimes use a mild baby wash in the bath but usually just rely on the suds from the shampoo.

Dd (now 4.5) is a great thumb sucker too. I have told her it will make her teeth go funny (and her new teeth will come through crooked - which they might) and that has made an impression on her. She is trying to suck it less. They give stickers at school for non-thumb sucking too. How about a sticker chart for x many minutes without sucking and increase the time?

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