Wednesday, May 5, 2010

WFMW - I Can't Exactly Cut It Off!

See that? That cutie right over there-->.

He's awesome. He's smart, generous, caring, sensitive, smart, loving, cuddling, funny, witty, and smart. (Did I mention he is smart?).

He also sucks his thumb. He's closer to 5 than 4.

I don't know why he is a thumb-sucker. I was not. His dad was not. But he is. We certainly didn't teach him this trick.

It needs to stop.

We've talked to him about it. I've used a glove that has all fingers but the thumb cut off for him to wear, but it is hot and uncomfortable. We've tried bribing him. We've tried to restrict it to bedtime (in the hopes that we could then work with him from there). We've threatened him with the stuff you buy that makes it taste horrible. Nothing has worked so far.

Any recommendations that you have in getting this habit stopped would be much appreciated.

Because his little sister does it to, so I will need to keep an arsenal of tips on hand to find something that works for her in a couple of years.


Go visit We Are THAT Family to see the backwards edition of Works for Me Wednesday (where the blogger asks for tips rather than gives them) and see what other questions people have that you might could help them with!


  1. Ah, I feel your pain. My little one sucked two of his fingers on his right hand up until he was almost 5.

    Odd as it may seem, the thing that finally worked was his last dentist appointment. I asked the dentist about it and he said we probably should work on stopping it now that the permanent teeth were starting to come in. I turned to K and said 'did you hear what the dentist said? He said you need to stop sucking your fingers.' The dentist gave him a little explanation of why and he has not sucked his fingers since. I can't explain why that worked.

    He also quit carrying around his 'blankie' at the same time because he said 'it makes me want to suck my fingers'.

    What we did substitute was a very small stuffed snowman that he can curl his fingers around. That's his comfort item now and it gives his hand something to do. So, maybe you can find a substitute comfort item that will work for your son.

    Good luck!

  2. Somehow I got lucky and none of my kids were thumb suckers.

    My friend has a son that will suck either thumb. They wrap the thumbs in band-aids and have a sticker/reward system if he keeps the band-aids on for a pre-determined time period. They actually put some electronic game cartridges away and he earns them back by not sucking his thumbs.

    Good luck!

  3. My oldest is 33yr. old--she sucked her thumb early on. We never made a big deal of it and felt it would do more damage fighting her on her actions. She sucked her thumb until she was probably in 6th grade. However... we did put restrictions on her behavior and we talked to her about when and where she could "partake...". Once she started school, she was not to suck her thumb in public or at school. Everyday when she came home, she would go up to her room for about 10 min. and curl up with her blanket and suck her thumb. We left her alone and this seemed to be her quiet time. There were days up until 6th grade that she continued to take this brief time to herself. As she became more active and involved in activities afer school, this behavior gradually disappeared. I'm sure she sucked her thumb when she went to bed also. Today she is well-balanced, has great teeth(no braces), no addictions, and no oral fixations. My second daughter used a pacifier, and my third-nothing. I feel like if you make a big deal about it, it becomes a"big deal" and you have power struggles involved. I think it's best to talk calmly with your child and set boundaries---it worked for us!

  4. Don't worry. I still suck my thumb and am quite successful by anyone's standards. Heck, it's free, legal, convenient, effective, non-intrusive and very, very enjoyable. There are a lot of adult thumbsuckers. What's the problem?