Tips to Break the Thumb Sucking Habit

We all have our obsessions and kids are no exception. While thumb sucking isn't the worse habit your kid can have, if it continues for too long it can lead to some serious orthodontist bills later. Here are a few helpful tips to break the habit before it breaks the bank.

1. Focus on the positive
Rather than telling your child they can not suck their thumb, try praising them when you notice they are not doing it. This works especially well if it is a time when your child typically will suck his or her thumb (watching tv, just waking up, etc. )

2. Aviod the Gimmicks
If you ever had time to google "stop thumb sucking" you may have been tempted by some of the tricks and gimmicks that pop up. Resist the urge to use nasty tasting nail paint. As WebMD states, "
It's pulling the rug out from under your child and that's not fair." Or perhaps you have seen some interesting thumb only glove options like these. While these may be the next big rock concert accessory (move over fingerless gloves), they are just a quick fix for thumb sucking. And likely, your child will figure out how to pull it right off. 

3. Limit the Activity to Bedtime Only
Start slowly by explaining to your child that thumb sucking is only to help them fall asleep and not for out in public. If they forget, a gentle reminder may do the trick but avoid a huge confrontation about it. It is going to time them time to adjust. 

4. Find a Substitute Soother
Kids love sucking their thumbs because it is soothing for them. Try an age appropriate substitute like a nice soft blanket or stuffed animal. 

5. Give it Time
Do your best to be patient and explain to your child that when they are ready to stop thumb sucking, you will be ready to help them. It will take time but eventually your child will grow out of the habit. 

You can also check out these articles for more information. 

WebMD Help Children Stop Sucking Their Thumbs

Mayo Clinic Break the Habit

Do you have any great tips or tricks that worked for your kids?


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published