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how to stop thumb-sucking habit

Discussion in 'Toddlers' started by Karthiga, Feb 10, 2006.

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  1. Karthiga

    Karthiga Senior IL'ite

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    hello members,
    I am karthiga, new member to indusladies. I find a lot of tips on all topics , very useful and interesting and especially on parenting for i'm having a boy kid. He is very active but having a habit of thumb sucking. This makes him loose appetite and inactive too. I'm trying very hard to stop this applying neem oil, plaster etc but in vain. so any of the members can give me a suggestion regarding this for i'll be thankful.
    regards
    karthiga.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2006
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  2. malar

    malar Bronze IL'ite

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    Thumb-sucking is not harmful

    Hello Karthiga,

    Welcome to the IndusLadies community.

    How old is your boy? If he is less than 5 years, you need not worry much for this is a common habit among infants. Normally kids stop thumbsucking between ages 2 and 4. They say different kids suck their thumb for various reasons like anxiety, fear, to feel secured or when they are bored.

    You can try distracting this habit by giving him something like a soft toy that distracts his attention from thumb sucking. Otherwise, what you are trying is fine...wrapping an adhesive around the thumb while at bed, applying something bitter to taste on the thumb like nail-polish, etc. You can tell him you will treat him with choclates or cookies if he stops thumb sucking. This will work only if he is able to understand that you don't like that habit.

    Good luck in getting your boy off this problem!
     
  3. Roshni

    Roshni Local Champion Staff Member Senior IL'ite

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    Do not force your kid to leave the habit

    Karthiga,

    As Malar had mentioned, this habit is common among infants. My daughter started this habit after she was 1 and still continues to suck at times. They say you should not force the kid to leave the habit by popping their hand out. They will get rid of it themselves.

    It is also common for people to scare you saying your boy my get this tooth alignment affected, etc. Don't worry it is not so really.

    Cheers,
    Roshni
     
  4. Karthiga

    Karthiga Senior IL'ite

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    thanks for the suggestion

    hello members,
    I am feeling very happy on seeing ur reply for my post and i really thank malar and roshini for their kind suggestion and advice.
    regards
    karthiga.
     
  5. Dejon72

    Dejon72 New IL'ite

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    Dear Karthiga,

    I would like you to know that I have a son who is now seven and does still such his thumb especially at night or sometimes while watching TV. Initially
    I tried stopping him (when he was two) but was advised by the doctor not to force him as it may due to some insecurities that he needs that soothing sensation & would on day stop.
    He is now at the stage where the milk teeth are falling and permanent set are coming up. What made me worry is that his front two teeth are not growing at their normal speed (like the ones at the side) and are protruding. I did visit a dental surgeon and who recomended two remedies 1. A metal plate needs to be fixed (removable) on his palate and that remindes him everytime he puts his thumb in 2. I need to take him infront of the mirror at least thrice a day make him put his thumb in and then talk with him asking him how he looks etc.
    I have given myself this last chance & the doctor too has advised that I try the second method. Which I hope will be a successful.

    Please donot neglect this as it does effect the child i.e. feeling of insecurity increases instead of vanashing & spoiles facial features

    I donot wish to discourage you but this is my personal advise.

    All the best.

    Anita (Dejon72)
     
  6. Mitra

    Mitra Senior IL'ite

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    Hi ,
    Thumb Sucking is a very common among children there is nothing to panic .They will get rid of this habbit once they reach 3yrs or sometime 4yrs.In some articles they said children suck there thumb out of insecurity also( its just a hint ).You have to think about alternatives to get rid of this habit only when she reached 5yrs and doesnot leave this habit .

    regards
    Miitra.
     
  7. diana

    diana Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi,

    Sometimes thumb sucking habits doesnt go at all. Its better to start habit of sucking honey-nipples. At least it can be thrown out in later stage. But whr will you hide his thumb???

    I have seen kids at the age of 14-15 also sucking thumb and not leaving it. They dont wish to take and try not taking too. But once they are in their deep sleep, absentmindly it goes in their mouth:mrgreen: .

    Think over it.

    Diana
     
  8. Neerjavakil

    Neerjavakil Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Karthiga

    you have not mentioned the age of the baby. my son too, had the habit of sucking thumb. This is most common. You should not worry about this habit as your baby will grow this habit will be automatically finished.

    when the child goes to school he automatically feels embarrasment for this habit and then he stops this habit.


    regards
    neerja
     
  9. smithaopillai

    smithaopillai New IL'ite

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    It is quite usual for kids to suck their thumb. People say that they will stop it once they get older. Even doctors say that there is no need for any worry unless they continue with the same after 5 years.
    But my observance is that kids will continue with thumb sucking if the habit is not curbed in the early stages itself. Many of my relatives' children who continued thumb sucking have ugly facial profiles. Moreover if we try to stop it at a later stage it will be a difficult time for both the parents and children.As you know, theory is always different from practicals. Follow "nip in the bud" policy once you see the kid putting his thumb in his mouth. As the old adage says, old habits die hard!
     
  10. diana

    diana Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi
    Read this



    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica][SIZE=+2]Thumb Sucking[/SIZE][/FONT]



    [SIZE=-1]Does your child still suck her thumb? While this habit usually goes as your child grows older, it's best to nip it in the bud. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Nandita is a 32 year old woman. She has a good job, is married, and has one child. She's a friendly woman, seems confident, is successful, and is happy. But Nandita has one strange habit. She still sucks her thumb. Every time things aren't going the way she would like them to, or if she's worried, tense or confused, her thumb finds its way to her mouth. Be it in the security of her bed or at a board meeting, this habit doesn't go away. Her colleagues mock her, and she's frequently the butt of jokes. Of course, she's taken it all in her stride and she probably won't change now, but she's sure of one thing. This is one habit she's not going to let her daughter develop. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]You needn't worry too much about thumb sucking as most children do kick the habit before the age of 5. But if your child is past the age of 6 and still shows no sign of reducing her thumb sucking, there may be a slight cause for concern. This this will almost definitely have an effect on her permanent teeth, so if you manage to get her to stop much before this age, there's nothing like it. In fact, some schools of thought are of the opinion that thumb sucking should be stopped as early as possible. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]You should consult your dentist, and let your dentist have a word with your child. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]A person's teeth - and facial features for that matter - develop the most when the person is between the ages of 4 and 14. Dental structures start getting formed from the age of 5, as this is when the permanent teeth slowly start appearing. Now if your child is still sucking her thumb, she is interfering with the natural growth of her teeth. [/SIZE]

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]An Overbite[/FONT]
    [SIZE=-1]Your child is almost certain to develop an overbite, which is when the upper row of teeth juts out over the lower layer of teeth. She may even develop Bugs Bunny teeth, where her front two teeth jut out prominently. [/SIZE]

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]Lisp[/FONT]
    [SIZE=-1]A poor alignment of teeth will almost certainly lead to some speech disorders, and could lead to a lisp. Even if she has braces later on in life, the habit of lisping might never go. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]To test the extent of damage caused by thumb sucking, a dental group studied around 400 babies in Iowa, United Stated, until the age of four. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]The researchers regularly questioned the parents about their children's thumb sucking habits. After the age of four, models were made of the children's teeth. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Needless to say, the teeth of those kids who stopped sucking their thumb before they turned one, were in pretty good shape. Damage to the teeth increased amongst approximately 6% of the kids who stopped sucking their thumb by the age of 2. Crossbite and overbite were more prevalent by 13 percent amongst those kids who stopped thumb sucking between the ages of 2 and 3, and this figure increased to 20 percent, in the group of kids who were still sucking their thumbs. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]While most of this damage is caused to the child's baby teeth, there is a chance that it will affect the permanent teeth as well - especially if the child continues sucking her thumb after the age of six. [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]Thus, this is one habit which is best nipped in the bud.[/SIZE]


    How can I help my child overcome thumb-sucking?
    [SIZE=-1]1. If your child is less than 4 years old:[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Thumb-sucking should be considered normal before the age of 4 and ignored, especially if your child is sick or tired.[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]If thumb-sucking occurs when your child is bored and is over a year old, try to distract him - give him something to do with his hands.[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Occasionally praise your child for not sucking his thumb.[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Does your child increase his thumb-sucking when he's with his other security items like a stuffed animal? If the answer is yes, these should be removed also as it may trigger the thumb-sucking habit in his case. If the answer is no, maybe you could try distracting him with his favourite stuffed animal or blanket as an alternate form of security. [/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Until your child is old enough to understand, any pressure you apply to stop thumb-sucking will only lead to resistance and lack of cooperation.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]2. After 4 years of age, help your child give up thumb-sucking during the day[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Get your child's commitment to give up thumb-sucking by showing him the harmful effects on his teeth[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Appeal to his sense of pride[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Ask your child if it will be alright if you remind him when he forgets[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Encourage your child to remind himself by painting a star or applying band-aid on his thumb.[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Use a mild physical deterrent such as wrapping a piece of adhesive tape around the thumb. This could turn an unconscious habit into a conscious event. The tape should be loosely wound and not smooth. [/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]If your child finds himself sucking his thumb, tell him to immediately start doing something else with his thumb - like putting it inside his fist for 10 seconds, or twirling his thumbs.[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Praise your child whenever he is not sucking his thumb in situations when he previously did.[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Give him a star in his chart or reward at the end of any day during which he did not suck her thumb at all. At pre-arranged stages, reward him with toys or outings.[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Avoid pulling the thumb out of your child's mouth[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]3. After daytime control is established, help your child give up thumb-sucking during sleep[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Thumb-sucking during naps and at night is usually an involuntary process. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]The following techniques can be followed:[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]a) Make your child wear long-sleeved nightwear, which will make it difficult for him to get his hand out from the sleeve and start sucking his thumb at night. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]b) Wrap an elastic bandage across his elbow and waist. Pressure exerted by the bandage removes the digit from the mouth as the child tires and falls asleep.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]4. Bring thumb-sucking to the attention of your child's dentist if your child still hasn't kicked the habit by the time he turns 6.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]5. Do not scold, slap your child's hands or do anything to punish him for sucking.[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]6. Use an agreed upon keyword like tyrannosaurus or chewing gum to remind your child in public that he is thumb-sucking, without causing him embarrassment.[/SIZE]


    All The best
    Diana
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2007
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