Easy Tips


9 Do’s and Don’ts to help your child get rid of Thumb sucking

Help your child stop Thumb sucking - Easy tips by ZenParent

A lot of babies put their fingers into their mouth to self-soothe in the infancy stage and most of them outgrow this habit. But some babies continue the habit of thumb sucking well into childhood. As they grow older, the reasons for thumb sucking include boredom, tiredness, nervousness and hunger. Many also thumb suck to fall asleep.

While many experts say it’s fine until they are 2-3 years old, it is natural for parents to get concerned once the kid is already 2 or 3 and is not showing any signs of stopping this habit since thumb sucking can result in poor growth of teeth, exposure to unwanted germs, skin infections and swelling, and nostril dysfunction amongst other things. In some extreme cases, aggressive thumb sucking could also lead to speech and breathing problems.

control thumbsucking- Easy Tips by ZenParent

So how do we curb this habit? Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to resolve this problem:

To begin with, DO try limiting the time of your child sucking his thumb only when he’s bored or at home. Calmly explain it to him that it is meant for nap time or just during the night.

Say no to Anger. DON’T sound confronting! It is not about stopping your child immediately or nagging him constantly. Instead, praise him or give him a little treat every time he doesn’t do it. (PS- don’t overdo it for your child to begin feeling that he can get more candies when he doesn’t suck his thumb)

DO talk it out! Tell your kid peacefully how bad thumbsucking can be for his health and facial features. And tell him that you will be around to help when he’s ready. Your child will eventually begin telling you that he doesn’t want to do it anymore. Just because you have empowered him to do so!

thumbsucking in frustration- Easy tips by ZenParent

DON’T forbid your kid aggressively if he tries to suck his thumb or fingers after being hurt or injured. At times like these, let him be in his comfort zone. Because stopping him from what eases him at the moment may traumatize the child.

DO discuss self-awareness practices with your child. Make him realize about this when he’s already doing it and take the discussion further to how bad it can be for his health. If he still doesn’t stop, try and distract him into an interesting story or offering him his favourite toy to cuddle with.

thumbsucking can be controlled- Easy tips by ZenParent

DO take up unique and creative ways to help your child realise that he is growing up and one day, every one will begin noticing this bad habit and may even make fun of him. Begin comparing your child with his favorite cartoon characters and make sure you don’t sound rude or biased. Just question him, “Does Bob- the builder/ Chota Bheem sucks his thumb? No, right? That’s because this is a bad habit. Do you want to take this bad habit up or be like Bob/ Chota Bheem?” This really works because children admire these characters and want to pick up their habits immediately.

DO breathe and relax as well because children generally grow out of this need. Sometimes, it is alright to stay cool and leave it as is before it’s really alarming.

Image source: via Google Images

Do tell us how you successfully made your child stop thumb sucking!

Published On  May 15, 2015 By