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Thumb-sucking - how do I encourage DS to stop

(9 Posts)
TigerLily666 Mon 14-Dec-15 13:15:23

DS is 2.5yrs now. He has sucked his thumb since about 3-4 weeks old. It is now affecting his teeth and skin - he has a massive callous on his thumb which he is now chewing. I would like to encourage him to stop sucking but don't seem to be getting anywhere.

When he was young I tried substituting a dummy. No chance. DS threw it away. I have recent tried substituting soft toys to cuddle at night. He gets upset and throws those away to. I am now trying very patiently to keep saying 'take your thumb out of your mouth. You are making your thumb sore' and rewarding him with a sticker when he complies (and taking sticker away if he starts sucking again). This only works if he isn't tired as he tends to suck his thumb to sleep.

And am fed up with MiL telling me what an endearing habit it is. No it is not. And my mum keeps telling me I can't deprive him of his thumb.

Am I better just ignoring this for another 6 months or so? Or are there any other things I can try?? So wish he has just used a dummy as I could have taken this away at an early stage

NickNacks Mon 14-Dec-15 13:22:24

Hmm no idea- I still suck my thumb at bedtime.

NickNacks Mon 14-Dec-15 13:23:37

I meant to add- I've tried EVERYTHING! And nothing works. I just find myself doing it so subconsciously.

tootsietoo Mon 14-Dec-15 13:25:06

I would tend to say just to leave him to it as well. I sucked my thumb until I was about 15 with no ill effects, and I must have learned not to do it at school by a certain age because it was never an issue.

DD1 gave up by 12 months, DD2 (7) still sucks hers and it doesn't cause any problems. She doesn't do it constantly though, so I guess she can stop herself when she needs to. I think it's a small comfort which they should be able to make use of when they need.

I guess if it's causing physical issues with skin and teeth you may want to discourage it - a reward chart sounds a positive way to do it.

I once tried that foul tasting stuff with DD1 on her fingernails as she bites them, and once she got it in her mouth she cried and cried and I felt terrible - so I wouldn't recommend that!

SoupDragon Mon 14-Dec-15 13:26:53

DCs orthodontist recommended long football socks put on both arms underneath their pyjama top at night.

I think it's easier to do if a child is cooperative though, having had two thumb suckers I know just how hard it is to get them to stop.

originalmavis Mon 14-Dec-15 13:28:24

What about that stuff you paint on nails to stop kids biting them? It's awful.

stoopstofolly Mon 14-Dec-15 13:43:44

Thumb guard. I bought the smallest size for DS (and cut it down a bit) when he was 2.5 and it worked within 2 weeks. Utterly miraculous, and he was a devoted thumb sucker- it was delaying his speech and his social development and had misaligned his bottom teeth.
It's a stupid price (£40?) and DH was a bit grumpy with me for getting it, as its really only a bit of plastic and some multicoloured ties, but it worked amazingly. They can't take it off ever so doing it while he was young meant that no one really teased him about it. He didn't even seem to notice it was there once it was on.
He's 5 now and doesn't stop talking and has never sucked his thumb since smile

WhetherOrNot Mon 14-Dec-15 17:01:26

I once tried that foul tasting stuff with DD1 on her fingernails as she bites them, and once she got it in her mouth she cried and cried and I felt terrible - so I wouldn't recommend that!

But that's the whole point of it FFS !

3rdrockfromthesun Tue 15-Dec-15 19:02:39

Socks -that is the only way I could get rid of the habit but I was 15/16 not 2.5. You could do a thing about we only do it at night time and not during the day. Might give your son's thumb less sore???

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