6 Easy Ways To Help Your Child Stop Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking
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6 Easy Ways To Help Your Child Stop Thumb Sucking

Margaret Solace

Thumb sucking is a common habit among children. It starts from infancy and may continue until it becomes hard to break.

Thumb sucking can cause deformities in a child’s oral health. Babies usually suck their thumbs because of the similar eating habit of sucking milk from their mother's breasts.

They usually assume their thumb is serving the same purpose. Some suck to signify their hunger or need for a nap.

Thumb sucking can start as early as the 29th day of gestation and can continue up to 2 -3 years. Some take it into adulthood.

In order to avoid this, you should try to stop the habit before it becomes one that is too hard to break.

Most children tend to stop sucking on their own while others might need a little help. Find below six ways to stop the habit of thumb sucking in your children.

1. Warn them about germs

Keeping germs away saves you and your children visits to the doctor. You should know that babies cannot communicate with you. Wait till they are able to understand and teach them about germs and the risk of putting their fingers in their mouth.

2. Use the switch method

You can opt for any chewable and safe jewellery. This will help them quit their thumb-sucking habit gradually. It also serves as a distraction.

3. Limit sucking time

Stop your kids from sucking until you know they are close to nap time. Limit their sucking habit by stopping them in public all the time.

4. Study your children

Know when your children suck. Do they suck when they are hungry or do they do it all the time? You need to know in order to find a way to stop it. You need to get ready for food and sleep time. Do not wait until they start sucking. This can help control their urges.

5. Never use force

This is the number one mistake parents often make. Do not stop the habit of thumb sucking forcefully. Some children suck for security. It is a habit they cultivate to make them feel more secure. If you try to force them to stop sucking or you use gloves or cover their thumbs with plaster, this might disturb them psychologically. They might feel insecure in their own body. Some will resume sucking as soon as you remove the plaster.

6. Be patient

Be patient with your children. Some children let go of sucking before the age of three, others at six months. If they do not stop, try to be more patient and continue trying.

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