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Remedies To Stop Thumb Sucking In Babies

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

Human life is strange in its own way. There is a definite time for everything to happen here. At a particular age, an infant grows his first teeth, and at a definite point, he or she utters the first words and later at a definite point, the first baby steps are taken.

In a situation like this, things like teething and thumb sucking are normal occurrences that must be treated with due regard in an individual's life. Now, the problem arises if this thumb sucking continues for longer than its ideal period. That is when you must take up remedial measures about the same.

remedies to stop thumb sucking in babies

Technically speaking, in this regard, it becomes a cause of concern when your child is well into preschool and has still not given up on sucking of the thumb. However, if such a thing happens to your little one, it is important for you to stay calm and not lose your cool.

You must know that children suck their thumb when they look for comfort and they have to soothe themselves. Thus, if your child is continuing with this activity, it may be because something is bothering him or her. At such a crucial moment, if you end up losing your cool, it will not do anybody any good.

• Do Not Turn Advice To Confrontation

Just like any other adult, children do not like to be confronted. Hence, opting for confrontation as a measure of solving this problem will not do you any good. In order to solve this problem efficiently, you will have to change your perspective of looking at the issue.

Instead of scolding your child when he or she sucks the thumb despite being told not to do so, try to look for times when he or she is actually following your advice. Make it a point to bring the same to your child's notice and praise him or her about it. This will motivate the kid to earn more appreciation from you and, as a result, he/she will end up giving up on sucking the thumb.

• Give Him Or Her Exceptions

Do not scold your child if you find him or her sucking the thumb after being injured or hurt. Understand that sucking the thumb is their way of comforting themselves. By not allowing your child to seek comfort and soothing, you are only making things more difficult for him/her. By traumatizing your little one in this manner, you will not be able to arrive at the desired result.

• Limit The Thumb Sucking Time

This is a time-tested and efficient way to tackle thumb sucking in kids. You can start off by telling your child that he or she is allowed to suck the thumb only when he/she heads to the bed at night. Once your child is accustomed to this, try to bring this down to thumb sucking every alternate day to finally thumb sucking only on weekends. If you continue with this, in no time, your child will give up on thumb sucking without you putting too much effort on your part.

• Do Not Compare Your Kid

We understand that the kid next door who is of the same age as your little one does not suck his thumb while your little one does, which is something that annoys you. You really do not have to bring the same to the notice of your child in this case. Doing so will have a very negative impact on your child. Under no circumstance should you compare your child to his older siblings, cousins or other children of his age. This holds true with respect to sucking of the thumb as well as all other issues pertaining to your child's growth and development.

• Practice Self-awareness

It is often seen that when pre-school goers suck their thumb, they themselves are unaware about the same. By bringing it to the notice of your little one, you will foster a sense of self-awareness in them. Once that is done, half the battle is won. Your child will then take sufficient efforts on his or her part to ensure that such a thing is not repeated.

• Be Creative

By the time children are at an age to go to the playschool, they develop an affinity towards certain characters. Try to use that to your benefit and using those details convince your child that thumb sucking is bad. Try saying things like, "Does Dora the Explorer suck her thumb?" or "Have you ever seen Noddy sucking his thumb?" Things like this will motivate your little ones to imbibe the qualities of their favourite character and in turn give up on thumb sucking once and for all.

• Do Not Opt For Mittens Or Gloves

Many parents are seen to opt for mittens and gloves in an endeavour to tackle thumb sucking. However, this is not a healthy practice. Doing things like this will infuriate your little one and cause anxiety. Another aspect here is the fact that since your child is of the preschool-going age, it is likely that they will be able to work out a way to get rid of the gloves. This will foster a sense of achievement in them and make them all the way more motivated to suck the thumb.

• Have Patience

It is important for you to realize that sooner or later your child will not feel the need to suck his/her thumb anymore. Just because most of his or her peers have given up on thumb sucking, it does not mean that you should worry yourself sick about the same. While it is important for you to follow the aforementioned does and don'ts, do not get disheartened if you do not see the desired results immediately. Remember that sooner or later, your child will no longer feel the need to soothe himself or herself by sucking the thumb and with time, he/she will eventually give it up.

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    Read more about: thumb babies habit remedies
    Story first published: Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 9:00 [IST]
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