Thumb Sucking Habit In Kids: How To Stop It?
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In most kids, thumb sucking is quite prevalent. Usually, this habit begins during infancy and may go on to a stage where you may need to bring stuff in your own hand to break the habit. What else? If the thumb is sucked vigorously and frequently, the risk of oral deformity may also increase. Read on to explore a few tricks that might help your little one stop sucking his thumb all the time.

Why Do Kids Suck Their Thumbs?

Babies suck their thumbs because their roots and reflexes are natural. They put their thumb/fingers in their mouths with these reflexes. It is also believed that thumb sucking will make a child feel safe and secure. Some babies become accustomed when they need to relax particularly while sleeping.

When Does Kids Start Suck Their Thumbs?

From the 29th week of gestation, babies can start sucking thumbs. As they are born, this habit develops and can continue for up to 2-3 years. However, by the age of six months, most children stop doing so.

Thumb sucking in children is not a major problem. Actually, until permanent teeth of the child appear, it is not of much concern. Once permanent teeth begin to appear, it’s best for your child to stop this habit to prevent teeth damage or jaw alignment problems.

Most kids tend to stop sucking the thumb on their own. If this is taken too far, however, it may be time for you to intervene and assist your kid break this habit.

Side Effects 

  • Jaw deformities when the kid goes into adulthood
  • Teeth alignment damage
  • Teeth can be pushed around, leading in an overbite or underbite
  • Formation of a lisp owing to issues with jawbone alignment
  • Modification of the roof of the mouth (palate)
  • Deformities of the bone in the finger
  • Propagation of infectious germs

How to Stop Thumb Sucking?

So how can you stop a kid from sucking his thumb? Here are some methods approved by the doctor that you can try to answer how you can stop this habit. They will help your little one get over the habit and protect them against the adverse effects of prolonged thumb sucking.

1. Be Patient:

Remember, it is a prevalent habit for most children. Most kids give up sucking their thumb on their own with time. So, be a little patient, and wait for them to stop this on their own.

Though this habit in the initial phases can seem soothing and relaxing to the child, it also has its share of side effects These side effects are generally quite gradual and happens to kids who suck their thumb strongly and all too often.

2. Do not use tough techniques:

Do not use the products that are intended to cover the thumb of your child and cause a poor taste in your mouth. Some parents use gloves, bitter-tasting ointments, etc. to prevent the sucking of the thumb. These kinds of methods, however, are cruel, and will only lead your kid to suffer trauma. The thumb provides them with comfort, so you shouldn’t snatch it away.

3. Find out what causes thumb-sucking:

Pay attention to why your baby sucks his or her thumb. Is it a way to get your attention to them? If yes, then no attention would be given to the best way to prevent the habit. You should attempt to find the root of the issue if your kid utilizes sucking their thumb to deal with anxiety or stress. What causes anxiety? The best way to prevent this habit is to find the cause and address it.

4. Divert Their Attention:

Try to distract your baby’s attention whenever you see him/her sucking the thumb. Give them a stress ball if you believe they suck their thumb when they’re anxious. If the baby sucking his / her thumb when bored, instead make the baby draw, paint or play with toys.

5. Try Out Some Chewelry:

Switching to chewelry, which is basically chewable jewelry, can assist your baby stop sucking his thumb. You can discover the many alternatives for this online.

6. Warning about Germs:

Warn your kid about the germs on his / her fingers and how sucking the thumb may spread harmful germs and cause disease. The fear of harmful germs may cause some kids to give up the habit of sucking the thumb.

7.  Use positive reinforcement:

The best solution for your child’s anxiety is your encouragement and support. If your kid keeps sucking away from thumb for a certain period of time effectively, reward him with a little donation, such as an additional tale at bedtime or a cuddly toy. Positive strengthening is a great way to build healthy habits. Do not punish or scold your kid if it sometimes fails.

It is a natural occurrence and you don’t care much if you realize that your little one makes it a bit too often, but you can use any or all of these tips in order to ensure that the baby does not follow this habit in his or her pre-school or school years.

Also Read:  Good Habits All Parents Need To Teach Their Children