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Parenting Tips


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:

  1. Allow your baby to suck. Babies suck their thumbs to comfort and soothe themselves.
  2. Try to offer your baby the pacifier instead. It is more difficult to stop a baby from thumbsucking; the pacifier can be taken away.
  3. Make sure your baby’s hands are clean.
  4. Many babies will stop sucking their thumbs by six or seven months.
  5. Ignore your babies’ thumbsucking. Do not make it a big issue.
  6. Give your baby or child praise when she is not thumbsucking.
  7. The ADA says children should stop thumbsucking by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt.
  8. When trying to give up thumbsucking, do not scold your baby or child for sucking her thumb.
  9. Keep a chart of thumbsucking behavior to understand when and why your baby or child sucks his thumb.
  10. Replace thumbsucking with other comforts to reduce the amount of, and need for, thumbsucking.
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