How To Stop Thumb-Sucking

How To Stop Thumb-Sucking

Continued thumb sucking may cause the teeth to be pushed outwards or can also lead to misalignment of the teeth

Toddlers have their own unique ways of relaxing. While many of them make use of a blanket or a stuffed toy for comfort, others trust their own thumb to unwind and calm down.

It might be very pleasing for you as a parent to witness your adorable rosy cheeked tiny tot sucking his Ther thumb – you may also smile at this habit, but remember this can bother you once the baby’ phase passes. Hence it’s important to scout for ways to avert this troublesome habit in your child.

If your little munchkin still continues to have a fondness for sucking the thumb, your mind may be filled with an array of questions like why do kids find the thumb so appeahng, will this behaviour cause upcoming dental problems and most importantly, how to get the child to give up this addiction?

Commonly, there are a range of reasons why children suck their thumbs. In most cases, your little one might pick up the habit when trying to seek a replacement for sucking on a milk bottle. Since sucking the bottle produces milk, which tastes good, they tend to put their thumb in their mouth when the bottle is not available.

Also, they begin associating the thumb with a feeling of being relaxed. So it might be a common sight for parents to catch a glimpse of their toddler happily sucking his kier thumb while watching television, while being quietly seated, or while fast asleep. This is because the child now finds it difficult to stop this habit. And once kids cultivate this habit, it is very difficult to get them to stop.

Continued thumb-sucking may cause the teeth to be pushed outwards, or can also lead to misalignment of the teeth. Furthermore, this habit can also lead to more adverse issues like speech difficulties, similar to lisping, If your toddler’s thumb-sucking habit has been giving you sleepless nights and all you want is to curb it, here are a few effective strategies that may help you deal with this issue.

Ways To Get Rid Of The Habit

Identify The Triggers
Parents should firstly try and recognize the conditions under which toddlers start to suck their thumb. Occasionally, they take to the habit owing to certain traumatic circumstances like stress, anxiety or discomfort and illness.

This habit may also occur, if there have been some major changes at home like the entry of a new sibling or shifting to a new home. Sometimes, shocking situations like death of a close family member might also cause the child to constantly suck his/her thumb. Try to soothe your child in ways like pampering, cuddling, hugging him or holding him close so that he does not resort to thumb-sucking.

This habit may be difficult to stop but continued thumb sucking can lead to adverse issues like speech difficulties, similar to lisping

Cover The Thumb
This practice is an effective solution to avert this practice. An enclosed thumb will not feel as appetizing or as supportive as a bare thumb. So parents can make use of a band aid to cover the thumb. However, the most challenging habit to break is sucking of the thumb at night, lithe baby continues to suck his/ her thumb all throughout night, parents can cover the thumb with a small piece of cloth.

Keep The Hands Busy
Boredom may also make your toddler fidget with the thumb and can also bring him/her close to resorting to thumb sucking. But if you keep him or her occupied with some activity or the other that involves the constant movement of both hands, your child won’t get a chance to indulge in thumb-sucking.

Make Use Of Positive Reinforcement
This method is one of the most effective ways to prevent children from sucking their thumbs. Parents should verbally praise their child, each time the thumb is not sucked. Also, offer something enjoyable every time the habit is tried to be broken. Screen improvement and as there is progress, provide a reward as a token of encouragement.

It is significant for toddlers to discontinue this habit, because it can adversely tamper with the appearance of their teeth. Thumb-sucking usually continues till the age of five and il it continues beyond this age, it can be damaging because the teeth start to develop and there can be damage to the same. Thumb-sucking can also cause the skin on the thumb to become dry and peel off, leading to various fungal infections brought about due to the deposition of saliva. So, it’s best to break this unhealthy habit at the earliest!

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