Thumb-Sucking Habit In Kids

Why do kids suck their thumbs?

Kids suck thumbs because they find it soothing and comforting. They use thumbs to fall asleep and also to lull themselves back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night.

What to do about thumb-sucking?

According to an American Dental Association, it is safe for kids to suck on their thumb as it doesn’t damage the alignment of their jaws or teeth. Bear in mind that not all thumb sucking are equally damaging as it depends upon the intensity of sucking and thrusting of a tongue. This deforms the teeth and makes braces essential for those kids. Those kids who rest thumbs passively in their mouth are less likely to have problems with kids who suck thumbs aggressively.  

Observe your child’s techniques- if you feel that your child is sucking forcefully, then you must limit this habit and if you feel there is a change in the mouth or teeth then you must consult your dentist. Moreover, if you see that the thumb is chapped or red; apply moisturizer when the kid is asleep. Don’t apply it when the kid is awake because they might end up sucking that too.

Learn more about the remedies for teething babies

Kids usually stop thumb sucking on their own when they are between the ages 2-4. Some prolong this habit but eventually stop it due to peer pressure at home or school.

There is no point of nagging your little one about the thumb sucking habit because they don’t even realize that they are doing it. Pressuring the kid to stop it forcefully may make them do it even more. So just let it go. Some parents put on an elastic band-aid on the thumb but it is an unjust punishment as many kids are into this habit for their own comfort and security. 

It is all a waiting game! If your kid is sucking thumb due to hunger, as soon as they will learn to open the fridge and eat on their own, they will quit the habit of sucking their thumb. They will soon be munching on a snack instead of thumb sucking.

Monitor the time when your tot sucks on the thumb. If you notice them sucking the thumb while watching TV then distract them with some other activity, like give them a ball to squeeze or puppets to play with. To prevent thumb sucking at sleeping time, then give them Philips AVENT soothers and pacifiers which will help them with their teething problems and eventually they will get rid of putting the thumb in their mouth. 

The key is to monitor the kids and then divert their attention by providing a better alternative. You can find all the solutions to the baby problems with the help of your baby only!

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