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Sucking Thumb: My daughter does it…Any advices?

Posted Nov 18 2008 8:54pm

My daughter will be five in March and still sucks her thumb. Sucking her thumb really calms her down and it’s really a comfort for her to be able to do so. She was a baby that never wanted a pacifier and she only started thumb sucking at the age of 2,5 years. I remember quite well that it was summer and she started being interested in the babies that were in the day care nursery. Some of them slept sucking their thumb and out of nowhere she started doing it also.

I know that I shouldn’t concern myself unless it continues after the age their permanent teeth begin to appear, around six years old. Experts say that the act of sucking implies some strength that can cause deformation of the teeth and in the future braces might be needed. My daughter sometimes just puts her thumb passively in her month and doesn’t do it aggressively, but I’m still concerned with the implication that might have in the future. For those who doesn’t know how your kid do it just closely monitor your kid and analyze her/his technique. If the child seems to be sucking vigorously, you may start thinking about curbing the habit earlier.

Punishing or nagging our child to stop won’t help, believe me, I’ve tried that several times. I thought about putting some stop nail bite on her thumb, I even tried that once, but is was too painful for her and me. She felt I was punishing her and I felt awful, especially since she indulges in the habit for comfort and security.

I’m going to follow some advice I found on the web and from some expert people I know. I’m going to try to find some alternatives to comfort her as a soft blanket or a teddy bear she loves. The key is to offer an alternative.

I’ve already spoken with a dentist and for now everything looks just fine with her teeth so he told me not to worry too much and that with time she will give up the habit.

What about you? Do you have any advice for me?

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