How Do I Get My Child To Stop Thumb Sucking?

Thumb sucking.

It is something that everyone seems to have an opinion on whether kids should or shouldn’t suck their thumbs, but in my experience it really isn’t up to the parents!  You can encourage the use of a pacifier, but as I soon found out…it isn’t a sure thing!

How Do I Get My Child To Stop Sucking His Thumb?

Pacifier vs. Thumb

My oldest was a thumb sucker.  We pushed the pacifier nearly every moment of his first few weeks home, but he resisted and would end up with his thumb in his mouth.  The good news is that no child ever wakes up in the middle of the night looking for his thumb!  It is an easy thing for all involved to have what soothes to be attached safely to his body.

The problem is when it is time to start weaning, it is still attached to his body and quite automatic in its powers.

What worked for me was when he was old enough to understand, we had a conversation about how as he would get older, he wouldn’t suck his thumb.  I started with just suggesting that we stop sucking thumbs while he was up during the day.  I never really addressed naptime and nighttime, because I felt like I couldn’t be consistent enforcing that.  The daytime ban worked really well.  There were a few times that he forgot, but we had a silly sign between the two of us to remind him – I would playfully put my thumb to my mouth and he would giggle and remove his thumb.

The nighttime thumb sucking continued for several years, but I really feel like he wasn’t developmentally ready to give that up.  Eventually, he did.  And he has had braces to correct some front teeth protrusion, but overall it has been pretty uneventful.

My other two took a pacifier…which is a whole other story I will save for later!

Here are some of the best answers from our Facebook community

We asked our FB community {we heart you!} for some ideas and suggestions that worked for them.  Here are some that we found interesting.  You can click on the conversation box above for all the answers if this is something that you are researching.  Isn’t great that we can share with each other?

-My son’s dentist told me to put fabric Band-Aids on the thumb every night for two weeks and add in that awful anti-nail biting polish.   He stopped sucking his thumb after two days but I kept it up for the whole two weeks to really remove the pattern.   I called it medicine for his thumb.
I’ve sucked my thumb my whole life (36 years).     I do not have an overbite and I am very healthy.
It is more danger to them emotionally to force them to stop.   I’d rather pay an orthodontist than a psychiatrist.
How Do I Get My Child To Stop Sucking Her Thumb?

These are some of our  thumb sucking stopping tools

No one thing is going to work for everyone, so we want to give you as many resources as we could find!  Check these things out…affiliate links help support Kids Activities Blog.

Thumbuddy to Love – This is an adorable book about giving up thumb sucking that comes with a puppet and a success chart.
Thumbusters – A thumb covering that discourages sucking.
Thumb Love – A sweet story about a little girl named Lulu who vows to give up her thumb sucking.
Thumb Sucking Glove – Fingerless gloves that are brightly decorated that can remind kids not to suck their thumb.
Thumb Thing – This is a cross between the Thumbusters and the Thumb Sucking Glove.  I love the bright and cheerful coloring.
Goodbye, Thumb-Sucking! – Another adorable children’s book about giving up the thumb.
Baby mittens – These can help the habit never get started.

Here are even more great thumb sucking articles for you

Super smart online moms are always a good place to check out.  Here are some resources about stopping thumb sucking.

Break The Thumb Sucking Habit In A Week From No Sleep Til College
If you have other suggestions or resources that we missed, please stop by our FB page and add them there.  We update these articles periodically!

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