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If your baby started to suck their thumb, would you replace it with a dummy?

(75 Posts)
abigboydidit Mon 13-May-13 09:12:34

Just that really! DD (15 weeks) has suddenly became very sucky and discovered her thumb. A friend was visiting at the weekend and was horrified that I was letting her do so and went on to describe horror stories of her own DCs teeth being damaged by thumb sucking and how at least with a dummy you control when they have it.

This had never occurred to meblush I was just pleased she was soothing herself but I do see her point.. Any thoughts or experiences welcomed, thanks.

CheungFun Mon 13-May-13 09:16:54

DS was the same except he sucked his two fingers instead, he's now 16 months and he only sucks them when he's tired and wants a nap. My friends with babies the same age who have used dummies only let their babies have dummies for naps and at night. I don't think there's much difference tbh, just for me I didn't want to have to 'wean' DS off a dummy at a later stage.

I think it's personal preference really.

DaveyStott Mon 13-May-13 09:17:40

I didn't. I just let DD get on with it, & she stopped the thumb sucking herself at about 12mo.

blondiep14 Mon 13-May-13 09:19:22

Have 3 thumbsuckers (5, 3 and 7m), doesn't worry me, although it bothers many others!

I sucked my thumb but have no memories of stopping it so think it can't have been that traumatic.
I know others have had real issues stopping. MIL was still sucking her thumb when she married at 21 apparently!

I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I'm not worrying about it yet 'tho.

I personally don't like dummies (but wouldn't say it to someone using one for their child) so was pleased they all found their thumbs.

RandomMess Mon 13-May-13 09:21:30

Well I had a dummy sucker who was persuaded to chuck it at 5.

Then 2 x thumb suckers who we went throw torture getting to give up before they started orthodontic work.

The youngest was a finger sucker so we gave her a dummy based on the above and she finally gave it up about 7! (If you took it away she just sucked her thumb). Her school friend is almost 8 and her fingers are often often shoved in her mouth still.

So I would say dummy based on personal experience.

SirBoobAlot Mon 13-May-13 09:23:40

I did. I'm not a huge fan of dummies, but exP (DS's dad) really damaged his teeth by the amount he sucked his thumb. DS was doing it in utero, we saw it on the scan! And so when he was born, and had been doing it for a few weeks, we decided to introduce a dummy.

Like I say... I don't like the bloody things, but it seemed the better of the two options for our family.

Iwantmybed Mon 13-May-13 09:24:14

Personally I would although I prefer dummies to thumb sucking. Like mentioned above its personal preference. Having seen friends with stunted thumbs and buck teeth I don't really think its always harmless. I really like the dummy although only use it at sleep times its an indicator of when they should be asleep.

SoupDragon Mon 13-May-13 09:27:17

DD (7) is having private orthodontic treatment to correct thumbsucking damage. It is costing over £7k and will last until she stops growing.

I'd replace it with a dummy and then remove the dummy as soon as possible.

LifeofPo Mon 13-May-13 09:27:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LifeofPo Mon 13-May-13 09:28:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LifeofPo Mon 13-May-13 09:30:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

magichamster Mon 13-May-13 09:31:07

Ds1 is a thumb sucker, has been from the start. When I tried him with a dummy he would just take it out and stick his thumb back in. He's 11 now and only does it when he is tired. Just wanted to post this as sometimes you don't get a choice!

SoupDragon Mon 13-May-13 09:32:42

Because she is 7 and they don't do this treatment on the NHS. This will sort out her teeth and jaws without the need for removal of adult teeth smile

DS1 (now 14) also went through it for thumbsucking and the change was remarkable. His was considerably less though - damn inflation!

As it happens, DS2 (now 12) also had it, again, considerably cheaper than DD, because he always had his mouth open ("mouth breathing" I believe). Far less damage than the thumbsucking though.

SoupDragon Mon 13-May-13 09:33:55


VisualiseAHorse Mon 13-May-13 09:34:37

Yes I would try to give him a dummy.

But...that's because I was a thumb sucker, and sucked my thumb until I was 17 and had a bar fitted in my mouth to stop me sucking while my teeth were straightened. Four painful years of braces is not fun.

A dummy can be taken away at some point, and with-held so it can only be used at bedtime etc.

dyslexicdespot Mon 13-May-13 09:35:55

I offered DS a dummy when he started sucking his thumb at a few weeks old. He lost interest in it a few weeks later and has never sucked his thumb since.

I was really worried about him developing a thumb sucking habit, and I say this as a avid adult thumb sucker! My parents tried everything to get me to give it up but nothing worked. Instead I suffered though about ten years of extensive orthodontic work to correct a massive over bight caused by my thumb. My teeth are perfect, but I would never want DS to have to go though what I did.

madamginger Mon 13-May-13 09:36:15

6 year old DD has sucked her thumb from being utero too. She has a really bad overbite now. Her adult teeth are coming in and I'm worried that she's going to need braces.
Ds1 had a dummy for that reason, and ds2 never bothered

Katnisscupcake Mon 13-May-13 09:36:45

My Dsis still sucks her thumb, she's 32. Her DD also sucks her thumb, now aged 8.

But far worse is the person I know who not only sucks her thumb, aged 36, but who sucks it while holding a blue sheet/rag/blanket type thing that she's had since she was a baby. When I first met her (friend of DH's) she told me about it so that I wouldn't be shocked hmm [shocked]!!

Luckily DD has never been bothered with dummies or thumb/finger-sucking, but looking at how bad DNiece's teeth are, I think I would opt for a dummy aswell...

HappyAsEyeAm Mon 13-May-13 09:37:07

My DS2 is a thumb sucker. He is only 13 mo old smile. He sucks his thumb less now that he did as a smaller baby, and basically only does it when he is upset or tired. He puts his thumb in his mouth whenever he gets changed into his sleepsuit and sleeping bag as he associates this with sleeping.

Its been a wonderful thing, in my very selfish opinion, as he has been able to satisfy and pacify himselfwith his thumb, and he has been the most contented baby I have ever seen. Which makes for a calm(ish) family! I also haven't had to deal with a dummy falling out,a nd having to put it back in for him and repeat that process every night.

Branleuse Mon 13-May-13 09:39:34

I trief but she wasn't interested. she still sucks her thumb at 5 and has an overbite from it but we are working on cutting it down

abigboydidit Mon 13-May-13 09:42:45

Oh crikey. So sorry to hear about all the dental work. I had never even considered it. Oddly, she's not sucking when tired or in bed, more when she's in her buggy or bouncy chair. Think I will keep an eye on it for a few days in case is just a passing fancy and if is still happening swap for a dummy. Have to admit I never fancied using them because of the re-plugging issue but we did use one successfully with DS to help him with daytime naps (just took it out of his mouth as he was dropping off).

SoupDragon Mon 13-May-13 09:45:00

Its been a wonderful thing, in my very selfish opinion, as he has been able to satisfy and pacify himselfwith his thumb

I used to think that too.

RandomMess Mon 13-May-13 09:45:22

Advantage of the dummy is that you can restrict it just to bed time - mine weren't children who were allowed to walk around with them in!! If they wanted their dummies they had to go to bed wink

RandomMess Mon 13-May-13 09:48:20

SoupDragon me too!!!! I nearly had to go down the orthotropics route but fortunately the 3rd orthodontist I saw agreed wholeheartedly to do expansion work on the eldest for £500 and then did the rest on the NHS (long story).

DD3 is now on expansion, DD4 seems to be fine so far and I think dropped the dummy only because it's too small for her to suck now effectively!

Yonihadtoask Mon 13-May-13 09:48:44

I really hate thumb sucking. Especiallywhen I see older children doing it. If nothing else, it's pretty unhygienic.

As a new parent I was determined to never give the PFB a dummy. However after a few days I caved in. He eventually gave it up at about 3 yo. Sigh.

But how on earth can you take away a thumb?

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