Thumb sucking

Hi Girls,

My LO is 10+1 and I just would like some advice on thumb sucking. Its really something I didnt want to let LO do...however like with a lot of things...its easier said than done when you dont have a LO. My main reasons for him not wanting to suck his thumb....
My niece is 13 and still sucks her thumb and is so goofy from it, that she was getting bullied until SIL got a brace sorted.....but she is still sucking and orthdontist said they will go back if she doesnt stop.
Also I find it a little weird when you see adults still sucking thier thumb and twiddling thier hair (I know that this will offend some people reading this as I know lots of people do it....but I am just being honest that I find it a little weird for full grown women/men to do it....I dont mind others doing it, just not my son as an adult)

HOWEVER all that said and done.....he loves sucking on his hands and fingers....which i think is totally normal for his age.....for those that have had thumb did you manage to stop it when they got older? At the min if he is doing it for comfort (not just exploring I dont mind that) I take his hands out his mouth and put his dummy in...hopefully I will be able to take his dummy away later...which I wont be able to his thumb. (I also said I would never give a dummy..haha so im not totally ridged in my ways) So for the mums of thumb suckers.....any advice on it if he ends up doing it do you stop it come a certain age...........are you going to try stop it before adult teeth come through?

I hope this has come across as me enquiring and not an attack...

Thanks x

editted as I just wanted to add....I dont think it is weird that LO's suck thier thumb....I think it is super cute. The adult thing is from a few friends I know who are secret 'thumb suckers' and we went away with friends last year from new years for a week and one of the couples were snuggled up on a sofa both sucking thier thumbs and she was twiddling her hair....he is 40 and she is just weirded me out a little.

[Modified by: akaLadyK on 13 December 2009 09:20:37 ]


  • My sister still sucks her thumb in her thirties! Although for the past 15/20 years, she has only ever done it in bed or at least in private!

    Our mum tried everything when she was younger to get her to stop but nothing worked. Like you say, you can't take a thumb away.

    I wouldn't worry too much at this stage. If thumb sucking does become a habit then my advice would be to try to stop it at an earlier age, like at the time you would remove a dummy. That way the child won't become reliant on it and will be young enough to forget.

    Hope this helps xx
  • Harry loves sucking his fingers and thumbs and crys if he can't. he hates a dummy so at least something gives him comfort. If he continues it when he's too old (haven't thought when that is) I will tell him big boys don't suck their thumbs and maybe do rewards but I think he'll grow out of it himself anyway. I don't often see someone older sucking their thumb xxx
  • I agree, they do get great comfort sucking their hands and part of me thinks it must be natures way to comfort as dummies arent natural I suppose.........I like the idea of saying 'big boys dont suck thumbs etc'......would be a good childrens book.....'the day dora the explorer stopped sucking her thumb'.
  • Abby started to suck her thumb, and I just replaced it with a dummy - which has it's own problems, but at least the dummy can go to the dummy fairy when she is older, and I can limit it's use to nap times. It is nearly impossible to control thumb sucking at all, and has a far bigger effect on the teeth/mouth. It's a personal choice though - and I am sure that you will be able to crack the thumb sucking thing when LO is older. Loving the dora idea! image
  • Hi

    My lo is a thumb sucker and to be honest i much prefer this than a dummy. He only does it to settle himself at night and its a lot better than keep replacing dummy in the night. We dont use dummies anymore and i personally think he will grow out of it as he gets older, but obviously i will address it at about 2years if he doesnt.

  • My LO sucks her thumb, has done since just a few weeks old. She sucks it when she's tired or wants comfort. We've never had to use dummies, which I'm pleased about as I don't really like them.

    I have a friend who's 27 like me and still sucks her thumb, and yes I think it's weird. For now though I think making an issue out of something that's so comforting for her would be cutting off my nose to spite my face. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! Hoping she'll just grow out of it.
  • I sucked my fingers and my brother and sister both sucked their thumbs. We all stopped at about 4/5 when we started our first year at junior school and our mother pointed out that thumb sucking was what babies did, not big girls/boys who were going to school. I think my sister had the hardest time giving up, but she got there in the end.

    A friend of mine and my sister-in-law still suck their thumb at moments of stress. I do find it a bit odd, but I'm sure I have some equally weird comfort habits, so I don't comment!
  • I also gave ds2 a dummy at around 6wks because he started sucking his thumb. It is personal choice really, but I did not want a thumb-sucker - my mum always said you can throw a dummy away, not a thumb.

    The dummy did bring it's own problems - he got v attached to the dummy, and wouldn't sleep without it. We got him off it at just under 3yrs, using toy-bribery lol!

    If he had sucked his thumb, I don't think we would have managed to stop it at this age - and the dummy had already slightly affected his teeth. The dentist noticed it - she said the adult teeth would grow through normally, but I dread to think what affect if he had been on the thumb instead of the dummy!

    Tbh I really don't like seeing older children with dummies or sucking their thumbs.

  • I'm sort of g/c but I would love to find out anyways of actually stopping the thumb sucking. My dd is 4 and I have tried everything I can think of to try to get her to stop, and it is just getting worse. She does it just because she is bored. I thought at 3.5 years I would try asking her to only do it in bed, that it was a sleepy habit but she started wanting to spend all day in bed just to suck her thumb, and will do it when we are out in public, which she never did before. I feel like since had her take notice of it, it's all she wants to do. I know I shouldn't mind so much but my mum was VERY anti thumb sucking, and as silly as this sounds everytime I see dd do it, I hear my mum's voice. I had hoped she's grow out of it. sigh.

  • Hi Hedgie

    Have you thought about using a reward chart, she can have a sticker for each complete day she doesnt do it and when she gets so many stickers she can have a reward. Might be worth a try, i would also tell her to stop everytime you saw her doing it. Although im sure youve probably tried that!

  • Hedgie - my SIL started putting socks on LO's hands when she had fallen asleep

    (ok and this is going to sound awful......)

    In the end she put the stuff that makes you stop biting your nails on her thumbs......however niece is a lot older but it worked after set number 4 of braces.....(she was so bad she would brake her braces on purpose and pretend it was an accident...she has train tracks now to stop her braking them just so she could thumb suck)

  • I can recommend applying a plaster but they have to be applied firmly so they cannot be easily removed and LO would need to be told not to take them off.

    Stop nail biting stuff never worked for my sis, she just got used to the taste but it's certainly worth a try xx
  • My son just stopped thumb sucking. I tried him with a dummy, but he spat it out after he realised there was no milk in Ended up giving him a bottle of very very weak juice. That used to soothe him, and he never had bad teeth or uti problems either!!
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