How To Stop Sucking Thumb? – 4 Tips To Make A Not Of

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Being a parent can be an intense role sometimes. Especially, in the initial stages when you begin understanding your toddler. However, the discussion in this article pertains to thumb sucking, which is the most significant trait of any toddler. Most parents ask out of curiosity, why do toddlers suck thumb. Everybody has sucked their thumb when they were little, but little do we know it was not deliberate, but instead more habitual and an unmindful act. Before we tell you about how to stop sucking thumb, here are few things you should be aware of.

Why Do Babies Suck Thumb?

To answer this question, it is best to look at the human psychology. We are habitual species, when in the state of stress, we tend to do things that comfort us the most. Hence, we have habituated ourselves to rushing towards the source of comfort or safety when we are distressed.
On the other hand, toddlers are habituated to sucking thumb while they are being formed in their mother’s womb. Most parents may have noticed this in the advanced stages of pregnancy during scans. This behavior is bound to continue past the delivery and until the child reaches the age of four years. But, thumb sucking is dominantly observed over 2-4 years of age and may occasionally be witnessed a little beyond four years of age. So you are a parent who is concerned if this behavior is normal, then fret not, It is completely a typical response for toddlers to suck their thumb. But, if your child is persistently sucking her thumb beyond six years of age and sucking it with greater intensity it may be an indication of speech disorder and may need consultation with a speech therapist. In worst cases, it may lead to dental issues like teeth protrusion and misalignment of teeth. This sucking is not just limited to thumb finger; children can also suck upon other fingers as well.

But Why Do Babies Suck Thumb?

It is an instinctual urge for them to suck their tender fingers. This urge gradually decreases after the age of 6 months. Babies suck their thumb to calm themselves. The babies use this form of pacification to comfort them when they feel fear, hunger, sleepy or may be because they are bored. However, sucking the thumb beyond six years may be triggered because of anxiety or other emotional problems.

What Are The Problems Of Thumb Sucking?

Usually, children under four years sucking the thumb isn’t a concern because they have milky teeth and are not affected. But children older than six years and still sucking the thumb can cause misalignment of their teeth because of the teeth being continually pushed by their tongue and also by the pressure exerted by their thumb upon the teeth. It may cause the teeth to be pushed outwards. Teeth protrusion can be corrected in the early stages if the behavior is detected and stopped. More complex issues that may result from thumb sucking are speech problems, and the child may have issues being able to say T’s and D’s. They may often converse with their tongue thrust out and even lisping.

When Is The Right Time For Treating Sucking Thumb?

Often, identifying the symptoms at an early stage may save the child from enduring dental and psychological issues.
If you think you toddler isn’t able to stop sucking thumb beyond six years of age.
If the toddler is sucking her thumb with a greater intensity at the age of four and above.
Developing problems related to speech and detection of dental misalignment.

When feeling embarrassed, teased or shamed by others.
How To Make Your Child Stop Sucking His Or Her Thumb?

There are several home remedies, which one can follow to make your toddler stop sucking her thumb. Distraction is the best simplest way to keep her engaged and to stop her from wanting to suck the thumb because it is easy for a child to be distracted. But in extreme cases if you cannot stop her sucking thumb, then it is advisable to consult her to a doctor or dentist for successful stopping of the habit. However, it is advised to not force your toddler or chide her in order to make her stop sucking her finger else it may intensify if she feels insecure and scared.
Here are some traditional tips that most parents employ to make their toddlers stop thumb sucking at early stages:

Toys

Toys are excellent traditional means to stop your toddler from finger sucking. Then can keep a child engaged quickly and also helps develop her mental skills.

Rules & Positive Parenting

It is suggested to declare rules for time and places that your toddler cannot suck her finger. Hence, instead of immediately forcing her to stop sucking the thumb, you can gradually make her stop by telling her when it is inappropriate to suck her finger. She will eventually realize in due time.
Also positively praising and rewarding your toddler will encourage her to stop the habit. It can be done by putting stickers on the calendar on those days that she avoids sucking the thumb. And upon arrival at an agreed upon date, reward her for not sucking her thumb by arranging a little celebration.

Wrapping Your Toddler’s Fingers

Although, it is not one of the best recommended methods, some parents are known to wrap their toddler’s finger in adhesive bandage or to make them wear gloves, this may deter her from sucking the finger.

Consult The Doctor For Professional Help

Sometimes, it may not be sufficient to stop your toddler from sucking her finger by home remedies. Hence, it is essential to exercise patience and consult professional help instead of forcing the child to stop by other unsophisticated means. A doctor or a speech therapist may identify any underlying reasons and may suggest a more positive and safer resolve.
It is important for all parents to acknowledge thus that thumb sucking is a normal behavior among young children. Especially, pre-schoolers and younger children. Hence, there is no reason to panic when you spot your little one sucking the thumb.

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