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    Old 03-12-2004, 08:24 PM   #1
    kfs333
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    Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    I have a 4 year old and she sucks her thumb. It is more pronounced when she is tired and wants to go to sleep or when we are in the car. Hot sauce will not work for her because she likes the taste ( she likes hot things ). Right now I am talking to her and telling her she is a big girl and doesn't need to suck her thumb. There are also dental reasons as to why I want her to stop sucking her thumb. Any advice available will be a help.

     
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    Old 03-12-2004, 08:28 PM   #2
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    I wish I had some advice for you. My almost 2 year old sucks his two middle fingers. Nothing works for him either. It is so hard when they don't suck on pacifiers or something else that you can just take away.

    I would talk to the dentist and get their take on it. I wish you the best
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    Old 03-12-2004, 08:37 PM   #3
    injured betty
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kfs333
    I have a 4 year old and she sucks her thumb. It is more pronounced when she is tired and wants to go to sleep or when we are in the car. Hot sauce will not work for her because she likes the taste ( she likes hot things ). Right now I am talking to her and telling her she is a big girl and doesn't need to suck her thumb. There are also dental reasons as to why I want her to stop sucking her thumb. Any advice available will be a help.

    I sucked my two middle fingers until first grade. My father tried cayene, threatening to cut them off by placing them on the chopping block and holding a knife over them, bribery, spankings, and talking to me. Nothing worked. I had to want to do it for myself. I quit on my own when I started school.

    I think that it was a security issue with me. Once she starts school the habit should drop to the way side accept maybe at night.

    IMHO we push kids before they are ready. Is the thumb sucking bothering you or her? Is it that you worry what people will think about you? All valid issues.

    As for the dental issues, I never had any. Since she just has her baby teeth and will in all likelihood stop before she gets her permanant teeth, that shouldn't be an issue.

    As long as she keeps her thumb washed, I see no problem. I grew up normal (well, whatever that means), healthy, and went on to higher education. Looking back, it was no big deal. It's like bottles, eventually, the kids throw them aside and want to be like everyone else.

     
    Old 03-13-2004, 08:00 AM   #4
    kfs333
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    I am not going to go to the extremes to get her to stop sucking her thumb. I will not spank her or threaten to cut her thumb off or anything else like that. I have never been one to care what anybody thinks of me. Her sucking her thumb actually doesn't bother me nor her. Yes, I do believe that it is a security issue for her.

    I took her to the dentist this week and he told me to get her to stop sucking her thumb if possible. We have a family history of needing braces because of severe overbites.

    I will call the dentist on Monday and see if he has any ideas along with her pediatrician.

    Last edited by kfs333; 03-13-2004 at 08:05 AM.

     
    Old 03-13-2004, 11:50 AM   #5
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    You could try that fingernail polish that tastes bad. I have not tried it but i have heard others that have and it has worked.

    Just My 2 Cents!!

     
    Old 03-13-2004, 01:05 PM   #6
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kfs333
    I am not going to go to the extremes to get her to stop sucking her thumb. I will not spank her or threaten to cut her thumb off or anything else like that. I have never been one to care what anybody thinks of me. Her sucking her thumb actually doesn't bother me nor her. Yes, I do believe that it is a security issue for her.

    I took her to the dentist this week and he told me to get her to stop sucking her thumb if possible. We have a family history of needing braces because of severe overbites.

    I will call the dentist on Monday and see if he has any ideas along with her pediatrician.
    Sounds like you are a good mom

    I think that they will tell you that these are only her baby teeth. I am sure that she will stop when she starts school.

    People who have oral fixations usually find someother way to fill that need

    Good luck,

    FWIW: My daughter switched to rubbing two peices of satin between her fingers and still does in her sleep. Kinda cute.

     
    Old 03-13-2004, 05:03 PM   #7
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kfs333
    I have a 4 year old and she sucks her thumb. It is more pronounced when she is tired and wants to go to sleep or when we are in the car. Hot sauce will not work for her because she likes the taste ( she likes hot things ). Right now I am talking to her and telling her she is a big girl and doesn't need to suck her thumb. There are also dental reasons as to why I want her to stop sucking her thumb. Any advice available will be a help.
    OH YES!!!! My 8 year old son sucked his thumb from the moment he was born until the beginning of 2nd grade. We tried not to make a big deal out of it. He went through 2 years of part-time pre-K and Kindergarden sucking his thumb and he felt comfortable. Once he started 1st grade, things changed and we didn't put too much pressure on him. We even used to hear him in the middle of the night sucking his thumb - we could hardly sleep!!! He is in 2nd grade and no longer sucks his thumb and is very happy and has no ill effects from sucking his thumb, etc. It's amazing how kids change and grow!! Good luck!

     
    Old 03-28-2004, 07:20 PM   #8
    ky girl
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    I have a friend that is 33 and still sucks her thumb at night when no one is looking.... It sounds like a problem that is simple but it's not simple to solve. My cousin has a ten year old that still sucks his thumb and he even does it at school. I think she has tried everything, I'll tell you a few of them. She tried the stuff you buy at the drug store that you brush on that tastes bad, she tried tapeing his thumb up so that it would remind him not to when he went to stick it in his mouth. She also is getting ready to try hot sauce. She has put that off for so long because she was afraid he might stick it around his eyes. I don't think I would be afraid to because if he is still sucking his thumb in highschool those kids are going to make an example out of him. Now at your childs young age I think I might try the tape something like surgical tape might be good. Don't worry to much though I guess what I have typed in may sound scarey but the majority of kids will stop when they get into school because they will be made fun of. Maybe the tape thing may help it can't hurt?????

     
    Old 03-29-2004, 09:00 AM   #9
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    My daughter stopped sucking her thumb on her own with gentle encouragement. It wasn't that hard to break her of sucking her thumb. In fact it was easier than I thought it was going to be.

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 09:02 AM   #10
    vlsl
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    well it's normal for young children to suck fingers... they'll stop when they're older

    Last edited by vlsl; 03-30-2004 at 09:03 AM.

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 09:24 AM   #11
    selene27
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    ohh im reading this and thanking heavens that my daughter has no desire to suck anything at all! she's only 9 months old but never liked the pacifier or her fingers hopefully i wont run into this problem

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 05:35 PM   #12
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    My Daughter will be 10 in July and she wants to stop sucking her 2 middle fingers, but she cant. SHe is very frustrated. She does it uncontiously and any time she is tired hungry sad or in need of any type of comfort. Also when I had an ultrasound of her while i was pregnant she was sucking the same fingers. Kids @ school tease her her brother (16) teases her but she just cant seem to break the habit. I have tried helping her with bandaids and other wraps but she ends up taking it off and giving in. I think she may have those fingers in her mouth when she walks down the isle on her wedding day. "you may kiss the bride"....after she removes her fingers....oops :-)
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    Old 04-08-2004, 03:27 PM   #13
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    I actually sucked my thumb into the second or third grade. I had quite an overbite that could not be corrected until I quite so my mother got the dentist to put in a device that actually made it quite impossible to suck my thumb. It was almost like a dam coming down in a u shape from the roof of my mouth every time I tried to suck my thumb this would stop it from going in far enough to suck on and I eventually gave up trying. I'm not sure how long I had to wear it for but I don't think it was more than a few months. I also don't recall it being too bothersome although it made it hard to pronounce S's.

     
    Old 04-10-2004, 11:33 PM   #14
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    Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    I never had a thing for sucking on anything either. But don't feel bad, because my second youngest cousin sucked his thumb until about the 3rd grade, which is probably why he wears braces now. You say your kid likes spicy, eh? Interesting. Have you tried something like lemon juice to coat her thumb with? I know my very youngest cousin Elizabeth (who is almost 4) enjoys eating lemons, so I can't guarantee success with that, but most kids that age prefer sweet and not sour. Give it a shot. If that doesn't work, maybe you could wrap some duct tape around her thumb I'm sure that has no pleasant taste.


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    Old 04-17-2004, 08:46 PM   #15
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    Smile Re: Trying to get a 4 year to stop sucking the thumb.

    Just my own opinion here... so take it for what it's worth.

    I sucked my thumb openly until I was about 9 yrs old. (then it went into hiding!! ) The only reason I stopped doing it in front of people is b/c my 3rd grade teacher made fun of me in front of the whole class. (now I don't remember exactly what she said... and it's possible it was very mild... but all I remember is how I felt- ashamed)

    Everyone in my family tried to get me to stop. Convinced I would have bad teeth, an overbite, what-have-you. But to no avail I continued. I can remember to this day the comfort I got from that sweet (and probably nasty!) thumb and my dear "miney" (which was any rag I could get ahold of to rub my nose with!). It was my best friend... always there and never ever did me wrong.

    Can I please say- that not only did I NEVER have to have any dental work (ie- braces, retainer, etc...), I don't even have the slightest overbite. And I'll be honest- I was A LOT older when I stopped my secret habit.

    Please think about how she actually feels about her thumb (that sounded silly when I re-read it but I still mean it!). There will come a time when she's had enough... but the person's comment before me was right. When she's ready there won't be an issue. Does she have any other security items around? My oldest daughter would not take a paci or her thumb. (I was her paci!!) However- she HAS to have my hair in her fingers before she can fall asleep. (she's 4 1/2) My youngest (2 1/2) has a paci, a bear, a blanket, AND she HAS to have a finger in my mouth before she can fall asleep. (or her daddy's!!) Talk about some ridiculous habits! (at least to me- but deinitely not to them!!)

    My advice is to leave her alone. Perhaps you can persuade her to make sure her hands are washed before the thumb pops in... but I know how unrealistic that may actually be. You clearly sound like you are concerned about her well-being... and not just trying to "pull the plug!"

    I hope this helps... and I didn't offend anyone. Again... only my opinion but from my own personal experience.

    Oh how I loved that thumb.

     
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