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thumb sucking - how do you stop it?

(54 Posts)
mistressmiggins Wed 06-Feb-08 21:19:22

my DD is 3 (4 in summer) and sucks her thumb constantly
I'm sure it's affecting her teeth but I just cant get her to stop.
If you pull her thumb out, she puts the other one in.
I have said if she stops, she can choose a toy but that doesnt seem to encourage her.
I am hoping when she starts school in September, she may naturally stop from peer pressure but other than that, I have no idea what to do.

Mummywheel Thu 07-Feb-08 16:43:47

Both DS1 and DS2 sucked their thumbs, DS1 sucked his until he got a brace at 9 years. I put that nasty stuff that stops nail bitting on (you can get it from the chemist and I was told it was safe to use) DS2's thumb nails which seemed to do the trick, but he did only suck his thumb at bed time.
Good Luck!

fransmom Thu 07-Feb-08 16:51:17

i found this one by complete accident grin ( tho am sure some will shout at me) was out with dd one day and used some of that non-soap anti-bac stuff by cuticura - it worked, she said this tastes horrible mommy! she now only sucks her fingers if she is nervous in a new situation. it's mainly a comfort thing i have found (well for my dd anyway). good luck for you and your dd xxx

hana Thu 07-Feb-08 16:52:29

I don't see the problem with thumb sucking, apart from needing braces when they're older. my 3 all suck their thumbs, it's a great comforter to them all, from 16 months up to 6 years

puddock Thu 07-Feb-08 16:57:24

FWIW i sucked my thumb til i was nearly seven, resisting all attempts to prevent me. when i joined the brownies i decided overnight that i was now too grown up for such things, came up with the idea of putting a plaster round my thumb as a physical reminder, and that was that.
with hindsight i think my parents did the right thing just waiting for me to come to my own decision... hope i can be so wise with pfb when s/he comes along

chloesmumtoo Thu 07-Feb-08 17:47:46

My dd used to suck her thumb. It was stopped accidentily really when she started to wear her eczema clothing tops with enclosed hands at bedtime!

Iota Thu 07-Feb-08 17:52:44

WE told ds2 (4) that the dentist said that he was spoiling his teeth and would need a brace if he didn't stop. Also put a plaster on it to remind him (like Puddock). We only needed the plaster a couple of times.

Good luck

sweetkitty Thu 07-Feb-08 17:53:35

DD1 (3.6yo) sucks her thumb as well but only if she is holding my hand or her comfort bunny so it's not like she is walking around at nursery sucking her thumb all day. If she is tired or needs a bit of a hug she will ask me for my hand and suck her thumb or go find her bunny. I don't think she sucks it without either one. I don't see it as a problem and I couldn't and wouldn't be able to stop her, it's her thing and she will grow out of it.

hollyhobbie Thu 07-Feb-08 18:38:14

DD (2.10) also sucks her thumb and so far DH and I have made no comment about it- if she needs it, she needs it.

DH sucked his thumb at bedtime until he was about 14 and his teeth are fine. I never sucked my thumb or had a dummy, but then bit my fingernails for years, so I guess we all find comfort somehow.

Our attitude is that if we call attention to it then we'll make her more nervous and therefore more likely to suck her thumb. We're hoping it'll tail off gradually.

However, I live in Germany and here they think thumb sucking is terrible: that it will ruin teeth and that it will make the thumb thin hmm, I have had strangers removing DD's thumb from her mouth on public transport! shockangry

scanner Thu 07-Feb-08 18:42:18

Let her suck her thumb fgs, it's a comfort to her - why would you stop that?

My DD2 and DS both suck their thumbs are are in the first couple of years of school, I'm sure there will come a time when they choose to stop.

Glammama Thu 07-Feb-08 18:45:28

I have never chosen to stop. I'm 34 blush.

phraedd Thu 07-Feb-08 19:01:14

http://www.thumbguard.co.uk/

this is what we used and although it is quite pricey, it did the trick even when everything else we tried had failed

McDreamy Thu 07-Feb-08 19:02:36

Me neither Glam and I am nearly 37!!! [blush}

deegward Thu 07-Feb-08 19:07:45

41 (42 in May) and still sucking blush

Nina2 Thu 07-Feb-08 19:15:22

Sorry to the OP, you might be fighting a losing battle. I also still thumb-suck at night and can't sleep without it. I was in hospital overnight recently and had to pull the covers right over my head so no-one saw! My parents tried everything when I was young but nothing worked.

So, emboldened by others, I've decided to some out...I'm 33 and still suck my thumb! It just feels so nice...blush

I also have a theory that children either suck their thumbs or constantly put things in their mouths but rarely both.

Glammama Thu 07-Feb-08 19:18:31

Mistressmiggins, I'm sorry but we've inadvertantly turned your thread into Adult Thumbsuckers Support Group.

Glammama Thu 07-Feb-08 19:18:31

Mistressmiggins, I'm sorry but we've inadvertantly turned your thread into Adult Thumbsuckers Support Group.

Glammama Thu 07-Feb-08 19:18:56

OOps, so sorry I said it twice grin

chica666 Thu 07-Feb-08 19:38:10

I sucked my thumb until I was 12 or 13, and then the dentist fitted me with one of those removable braces (palate?) to stop me. It worked, because it just didn't feel right to suck it with the brace in. My cousin who's 24 still sucks her's when she's tired though.

mistressmiggins Thu 07-Feb-08 21:56:01

ok girls
I will stop worrying
its only cos I dont want her to wear a brace when older
FWIW my brother sucked his thumb while still at uni (according to my SIL)grin
thanks for all your replies

oh yes I sucked my fingers which my dad tried to stop BUT didnt affect my teeth
He used to put a surgical finger thing on at night - as soon as he left the room, I took it off so I know children will do what they want grin

foxymagoo Fri 08-Feb-08 12:57:11

I'm 36 and still suck my thumb as does my sister who is 39! My teeth are fine (as you will see from my profile pic grin).

We obviously only do it in the privacy of our homes although sometimes at work I can be found sucking away if I'm in the office on my own and am reading a report...

Its such a comfort and I would have hated the thought of my Mum forcing me to stop when I was wee.

speak2deb Fri 08-Feb-08 12:58:55

My mum told me that if I kept sucking my thumb it would get smaller and smaller until it disappeared entirely, just like a lollipop. That was enough to stop me.

pippo Fri 08-Feb-08 13:08:29

Although I know that thumb sucking can contribute to crooked teeth, I was told by a dentist that it is actually quite good for preventing plaque from settling on the teeth. I think this might be true, I still thumb suck at 32 have no fillings and slightly crooked teeth!

PrettyCandles Fri 08-Feb-08 13:08:35

IME they can only stop when they want to stop and can co-operate in learning to break the habit.

mrsbabookaloo Fri 08-Feb-08 13:19:07

Hurray: adult thumb suckers out of the closet! Me too: age 34.

To the OP: sorry, no top tips here; I just know how a determined thumbsucker can resist all attempts to get them to stop. My teeth are a bit weird, but not too bad considering I never had braces: and would probably have been fine if I had. Maybe I would have stopped if the dentist had made me get braces, and maybe he should have.

I think most kids give in to peer pressure when they get to an age where its unacceptable. I think I just didn't care.

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