Thumb Sucking Baby: 5 Ways to Stop Such Habit

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Before giving birth, my doctor told me to get an ultrasound to see whether my baby was doing well inside my tummy. I followed her advice and took the traditional 2D ultrasound since it was cheaper than spending $37 to $200 for a single session of 4D service.

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No regrets, but if I would have taken the latter, I would probably see her mannerism of thumb sucking, which she still does until now.

My daughter is already six years old, but she hasn’t outgrown her thumb sucking habit ever since she was born. It even goes with her favorite blanket all the time. If she were still a baby, I wouldn’t be making a fuss out of it. In fact, according to WebMD, it’s natural for babies to thumb suck since it’s an effective way to relax their bodies.

The good news is she does sleep well when is thumb sucking, but I already find it inappropriate for her age. Aside from that, it may affect the formation of her permanent teeth. Fortunately, her milk teeth are still intact. More importantly, I don’t want her to bring that habit until she grows old. I want her to stop before her permanent set of teeth comes out.

Ways To Stop Thumb Sucking

I believe that I’m not the only parent who has such issue. Parents who have thumb sucking kids would also want their own children to stop such habit before it becomes uncontrollable. If you happen to be one of us, then here are 5 ways on how you can cut the thumb sucking obsession of your child.

Avoid letting them wear mittens or gloves

Putting a pair of mittens or gloves on their hands is not ideal. While many parents feel that it is an effective way of stopping the problem, it will only cause the child to become frustrated. This will lead to an increased level of anxiety and make the child more likely to try to suck their thumb for comfort. Meanwhile, older kids can easily take the gloves, making them more eager to thumb suck.

Let your child be aware of his or her actions

Many children suck their thumb unconsciously. Because it has become a habit, they don’t know they are actually doing it. As such, it is important for our kids to practice self-awareness. Whenever you notice your child is sucking their thumb, ask him or her whether they know what they’re doing. If the answer is no, then make them realize their actions and look for another way of lulling him or her. You can give their favorite stuffed animal or a comfy blanket.

Don’t buy awful items that are said to be effective in stopping thumb sucking

It’s not nice to give your child a nasty-looking or unpleasant object just so you can prevent him or her from thumb sucking. Apart from that, it may not also healthy for your baby, so you better not do it.

Don’t scold your child

As much as possible, don’t raise your voice when you see your child thumb sucking. If you want to stop her, then do it in authoritative yet gentle voice. This is what I do sometimes. Because the more I yell at my daughter, the more she tends to thumb suck. But the most important thing is to recognize and compliment your kid when they are not doing their habit.

Be creative and resourceful

Apparently, it boils down on how you handle the habit yourself. As a parent, you should come up with a method on how you can deviate your child from sucking his or her thumb. For example, my daughter tells me that she is already a big girl. So I respond by telling her that she’s still a baby since she’s still thumb sucking, and only babies do such thing. In effect, she takes her thumb out and begins to act like a big girl. It’s effective when done consistently.

You can also do the reward system. Whenever you see your child not doing their habit, it will be nice to give a reward like candies or toys. But while you’re rewarding your kid, always make sure to remind him or her not to thumb suck.

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There you have it. Now, those are just a few methods that you can do to help your child stop their thumb sucking habit. It’s normal if your baby is doing it. However, as your child gets older, it’s better to stop the mannerism. If it’s not prevented early, then it will mess up his or her teeth and may affect other aspects of their lives.

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