Ten Tips for Thumbsucking
Babies are born with the need to suck. The intensity of this need varies from baby to baby. Here are some tips concerning thumbsucking:
- Allow your baby to suck. Babies suck their thumbs to comfort and soothe themselves.
- Try to offer your baby the pacifier instead. It is more difficult to stop a baby from thumbsucking; the pacifier can be taken away.
- Make sure your baby’s hands are clean.
- Many babies will stop sucking their thumbs by six or seven months. http://www.whhs.com/services/womens_health/pregnancy/articles/Parenting+Tips/BotheredbythumbsuckingIgnoringmaybebeststrategy.htm
- Ignore your babies’ thumbsucking. Do not make it a big issue. http://www.whhs.com/services/womens_health/pregnancy/articles/Parenting+Tips/BotheredbythumbsuckingIgnoringmaybebeststrategy.htm.
- Give your baby or child praise when she is not thumbsucking.
- The ADA says children should stop thumbsucking by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. http://www.ada.org/public/topics/thumbsucking.asp
- When trying to give up thumbsucking, do not scold your baby or child for sucking her thumb.
- Keep a chart of thumbsucking behavior to understand when and why your baby or child sucks his thumb.
- Replace thumbsucking with other comforts to reduce the amount of, and need for, thumbsucking.