Parenting - Behaviour | 1-5 yrs

How To Stop Thumb Sucking?

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Thumb-sucking is a natural, self-soothing reflex in infants and toddlers. Most children stop sucking their thumb completely on their own between two and four years of age. But, in some cases, they have to be weaned out of this habit.

Kids turn to their thumbs when they are tired, scared, bored, sick, want to sleep, or trying to adjust to challenges, such as daycare. You don’t want your child falling ill putting a dirty thumb constantly in the mouth. Nor do you want her to have dental problems. Here are some strategies you can adopt to help her kick the habit.

If you notice that your child is sucking her thumb to get your attention, it’s better to ignore that behaviour. Praise and encourage your child when she doesn’t suck her thumb. Find out the triggers. For instance, if thumb-sucking is a way to cope with stress or anxiety, help your child relax in other ways like offering a hug or talking with her.

If she sucks her thumb when she is bored, keep her occupied using her hands in play. If she is sucking her thumb just out of habit, a gentle reminder is all she needs.

And, never punish. According to kckidsdoc.com: “Horrible tasting elixirs, plastic guards, and gloves can be perceived by children as punishment for sucking. This leads to anger and frustration, not positive change.”

To know more about the topic, read this ClipBook, which is a curation of useful links.  

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