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4 week old wants to suck thumb ... but doesn't have the co-ordination !

(15 Posts)
JoGehani Fri 02-Nov-12 19:45:24

Hey all,

My 4 wo DS desparately wants to suck his thumb but lacks the co-ordination. For the past few days he's been crying non-stop when he fails to get his thumb into his mouth... at which point either me or DH step in and assist him a bit - basically we help him find his thumb... because if we don't, he ends up poking his eye and scratching his face (he's somehow learned to get his hands out of the scratch mittens !)

Are we making a mistake by helping him form a bad habit ?? When did your newborn start wanting to suck their thumb ??
I just spent the last hour trying to put him to sleep without him sucking on his thumb but eventually gave in and helped him find his thumb sad

Thanks ...

Whatevertheweather Fri 02-Nov-12 19:50:36

I had the same with my dd - I gave her a dummy when she was about a week old as she was and still is a very sucky baby.

She's now nearly 12 weeks and has the co-ordination to find her thumb and she is preferring that to the dummy.

Onlyaphase Fri 02-Nov-12 19:53:23

I think DD was the same at about that age. I used to pop one of the labels of her taggie blanket in her mouth (it seemed to stay put more than her thumb), and she would suck that instead until she fell asleep. Still does it now and she is in Y1

HeidiHole Fri 02-Nov-12 19:57:25

Aw DS 5 months was the same. We gave him a dummy until 12 weeks or so when he was more coordinated. Then just stopped the dummy and he used his fingers instead. Just give him a dummy for a few months then chuck it. He won't become dependant on a dummy as lOng as you lose it by 3-4 months

JoGehani Sat 03-Nov-12 20:37:38

Thanks all !!
We've kept away from the dummy as the HV keeps warning me that it will interfere with him breastfeeding !! And i am scared abt that as he has just managed to properly latch on....

IShallCallYouSquishy Sat 03-Nov-12 20:47:42

My DD was making moves for her thumb from just a couple weeks old and have a couple of pictures where she managed to get it in herself. She was able to start properly putting it in her mouth from about 9 weeks and it's still her favourite (other then mummy's boob) source of comfort at 23 weeks old. It melts my heart when I see her lying in her cot, her little thumb hanging out her mouth from where shes fallen asleep sucking it.

Now resisting the urge to go and look at her sleeping blush

I personally have no problem with her sucking her thumb and would've worry about your DS wanting his, if he's like DD it will help him sleep grin

OwedToAutumn Sat 03-Nov-12 20:53:56

I've already posted this once today, but DS sucked his thumb until he was about 4yo. We bribed him to stop with a toy, and he stopped overnight.

HeidiHole Sat 03-Nov-12 21:13:33

Never gave DS a problem with his latch but every baby is different. You could try and if he had problems stop immediately?

Rhubarbgarden Sat 03-Nov-12 22:36:06

My ds was sucking his thumb on my scan pictures, and now he's nearly six months he's finally got the hang of finding it after months of frustration. The dummy worked to some extent in the interim.

I do worry a bit about his teeth though. Dd (2yo) is a constant finger sucker and I dread to think how we are going to get her out of that habit. So your post is encouraging, Autumn.

5madthings Sat 03-Nov-12 22:51:55

my ds4 was sucking his thumb on scan pics and did it from birth but yes got frustrated at not always being able to get it in, i helped him a bit but he had it sorted by the time he was about 8 or 9 weeks old, so you may not have long until he has cracked it smile

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 20:43:43

I had 2 dummy suckers and they were completely gone by 2 years old.

My dd was/is a thumb sucker and she is 8.

A word of caution, they find it hard to stop, and I read an article that said it encouraged smoking in later life. Certainly improves the chances of needing braces. (teeth) not trousers smile

I have no agenda, other than to inform smile

I would never encorage a child /baby to thumb suck if I had my time over again and swear a few nights without sleep would be worth it.

Caerlaverock Sun 04-Nov-12 20:49:23

I was reassured by various dentists that thumb sucking wasn't an issue. But now aged 8 she is about to have early orthodontic intervention because her lower jaw has not grown out enough because of the thumb sucking. My advise would be to use a dummy.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 21:14:02


I hope your dd is sorted soon and I'm sure the early intervention will be enough. My ds 1 girlfriend is 19 and still receiving treatment for the same thing. However, she wasn't referred until early teens and it does upset her. She has a lovely brace with blue jewels and its much prettier than they were in my day. But could still be avoided by others if they use a dummy instead.

Caerlaverock Sun 04-Nov-12 21:23:52

Thanks, she is having early referral cos we were at the dental hospital due to her damaging front teeth in bike accident, again this prob happened cos front teeth are prominent. I really wish I could go back and just give her a sodding dummy.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 21:44:05


If its any consolation my neice had a dummy until starting school and has had problems with teeth as a result. So either way I think unless either habbit is stopped early teeth will suffer.

My ds 1 born August put his dummy on xmas tree for father Christmas to take. (age 16 months) ds2 born December put his on bonfire (age 23 months)

I hope nobody feels I am being smug or smart or its ok for me coz I don't have to listen to your dc crying. I know this, and sympathise, and have been there thrice smile.

I really do wish with dd that I had not encouraged thumb sucking and done what I did with other dcs. Unless I watch her sleeping all night, pulling the thumb out it automatically finds its way to her mouth.

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