Doctors Say: Thumb Sucking Is A Rather Harmless Habit And Not Necessarily A Problem

Family & Kids

July 8, 2019 17:34 By Fabiosa

One of the most common children’s habits that should not escape parents’ attention is thumb sucking. It is an instinctive reflex that some babies develop in the womb already.

Such actions sooth the child, especially under stress, fear, or before going to bed. Also, thumb or fist sucking lets the parents know that the baby is hungry or has been weaned early and has not received enough comfort from communicating with the mother. Or perhaps the baby is teething.

If the reason is clear, you can take certain steps, the instinct will be satisfied, and the baby will stop sucking the thumb.

There are approximate age limits for when a child should give up this habit. This usually happens at the age of 6-7 months. But some pediatricians argue that children can safely suck their thumb up to 4 years of age, and this shouldn’t seriously concern adults and doesn’t require drastic measures. Anyway, it is still better to find out the reason for such behavior and why the child can’t calm down without sucking his or her thumb.

If the habit stays, then you can take the following steps:

  • tell the child that you want to help her or him cope with this habit;

  • agree to limit thumb sucking time only to before bedtime, not in public places;

  • make it clear that big boys and girls don’t suck their thumbs;

  • try not to fixate on these instances;

  • don’t use gloves or bitter tastes on the child’s fingers to force the child to drop this habit.

Trust us, your kids won’t keep sucking their thumb at their own wedding! Be patient and understanding to help your child cope with this habit.

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The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.