September 22, 2016

Finger and thumb sucking – What to do about it..


Finger sucking is often a symptom of hunger, boredom, shyness, teething, fatigue and sleep.

Some newborn babies put their fingers in the mouth as a signal of hunger. But around 3 month they again start putting their fingers in the mouth. Actually every child do this differently.

  • When my daughter started sucking her thumb she is just 3  months old. That time she looks so cute while sucking thumb and everyone say please don’t take her thumb out. Just watch her cuteness, but later it becames her addiction and weakness. she needs it badly while sleeping mainly.😢


  • Once or twice I told my daughter that its a bed time activity, suck your thumb when you are in your room or in the house. Now, she never take her thumb if someone except family member is around her. she doesn’t take it when she is in school or any other place except home. This shows that when children grow up little they become aware of good and bad things.
  • Now she turns to her thumb when she’s tired, scared, bored, sick, or trying to adjust to challenges such as starting preschool. She also use her thumb to help her fall asleep at bedtime and to lull herself back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night.
  • When child has learn grasping of object at 5-6 months, he tries to take every object to his mouth. The habit become more persistent and pronounced because of irritation of gums due to teething.
  • Finger and thumb sucking is normal development feature but may become a habit in some children.shri
  • Persistent and compulsive sucking of thumb in older children is sign of insecurity, dependency, boredom and sleep ritual.
  • In some families their may be genetic predisposition for thumb sucking. Yes its true, my sister-in-law and husband also sucks their thumb in their childhood. My mother-in law always remember their kids childhood by watching nirvi’s activity.
  • It may produce soreness or callus formation over the thumb and occasionally malocclusion of teeth if habit persists beyond 5 years.

Some important must read articles..

  1. 29 Home remedies to cure Constipation in babies&kids
  2. 21 General Knowledge Questions for 3 year kids.
  3. Homemade kesar badam(Almond) powder for Kids – An Instant Drink
  4. The First Four years of a child’s life

What to do?

    • The Condition should be handled with care and compassion rather than aggression and disdain.
    • The application of bitter substances over the thumb and use of restraining devices are condemned. They cause psychological disturbance and do more harm. Even I tried neem paste once but it make my daughter restless and I feel so bad. So I advice mothers not to do any such things, it hurts your delicate baby and you too.
    • Nothing needs to be done in young infants who put their fingers or thumb in their mouth while sleeping. Most children will grow out of the habit in due course of time.
    • When thumb sucking is excessive and occurs both during the day and night one should look for the cause. The common cause are insecurity, boredom and jealousy. The child should be distracted and provided greater opportunities for interaction and play activity.
    • Children are full of energy. Distract his mind in different activities like building blocks, coloring, give them paper pencil, clay or mud for modeling. Spend quality time with him. This will distract children from thumb sucking. I myself do all these things and it really helps. She forget to take her thumb when she is busy in different activities or when I make her learn something.
    • My mother in law invent a new way for my daughter and friends its working. She give nirvi a puppet when she is in bed for sleeping  in which she put her hand and try to sleep by playing with it. Now she fall asleep without sucking thumb.💃 This will definitely help you too.

  • When child grow up (around the age of 3 1/2 to 4years) , they started knowing that its a bad habit. My daughter is 4 now and she tries a lot to get rid of it. But the addiction will go slowly.
  • If you can identify the times and places when your child is most likely to suck his thumb – while watching television, for example – consider distracting him with a substitute activity, such as a rubber ball to bounce or puppets to play with.
  • Constant nagging and saying them no no all the time cause unhappiness, resentfulness and more insecurity. Do not ridicule, tease , shame or give threats to the child.
  • When You make lot of fuss about his/her thumb sucking, he may deliberately continue to suck the thumb as an attention seeking device.
  • In an older child a direct appeal can be made to him on the ground that its an infantile habit and that he/she is now a big boy/girl.
  • Observe your child’s technique. If he sucks vigorously, you may want to begin curbing his habit earlier, say around age 4. If you notice any changes in his mouth or teeth, or if you’re unsure whether your child’s thumb-sucking is causing problems, consult your dentist.
  • Try to recognize him and praise him when he’s not sucking his thumb instead of criticizing when he is. This behavior of yours makes a great change and gradually your little one try to avoid it as much possible for them.🙂
  • DO remember that a child will grow out of the need for thumb sucking or finger sucking when he’s good and ready. “Kids will eventually give it up.”

The danger of thumb sucking lies not in the act of thumb sucking but in how you view and tackle it. Thumb sucking does not cause any harm to the permanent teeth because most children leave the habit by the age of 5.😀

Hope this article will help you in choosing the right toys for your baby.

Feel free to comment if you have any doubt related to the article.

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Ref: The art and science of baby and child care.


Update (20/1/2017) 

Today, I am very happy that my daughter have finally stopped habit of thumb sucking. She is going to be 5 years old in coming March. Here’s what I did. I took her to the hospital and asked the doctor to put plaster on her thumb. She became quite afraid. Doctor explained her the side-effects of thumb sucking and put a normal bandage on her thumb and asked her to promise that she’ll not do it again. I continued to put fresh bandage on her thumb for 3 to 4 days at the time of sleeping and now she have completely recovered from this habit.😀


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