Number of kids: 2
Ages of kids: 5 and 3
Problem: HELP! My five year old daughter still sucks her thumb. It has now moved the skeleton of her jaw line. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Solution submitted by Jenifer from DesMoines, Iowa: This is more of a comment than a solution. I am a 26 year old wife and mother of two, and I still suck my thumb. I have done so every day of my life, despite my mother's efforts to help me stop. I grew up in a loving, happy home environment with little stress and no abuse. I sucked my thumb because it helped me sleep and still does. My husband has accepted this, and doesn't think I'm weird. I have given up trying to stop, because it makes me edgy and unhappy. I have perfectly straight teeth, have never had braces, and have never had any dental work except for having my wisdom teeth extracted. I am a successful writer with a college degree, and I am a good mother. I know I am the exception to the rule, but I want to appeal to those of you who are making a big deal about your kids and their thumb sucking. Please don't ridicule them. They will stop when they are ready. Until then, be supportive and encouraging. They don't understand why they do it, but they know it's hard to stop. It's no different than trying to stop smoking or drinking. Just be patient...either they'll stop or they won't. But don't love them less if they don't.
Another solution submitted by Kim T. from Lebanon, OH: I come from a family of 4 thumb suckers, my mother sucked her thumb, my son sucks his thumb. All of us have nice teeth no braces, my sons doctor says he thinks thumb suckers are easier to comfort. Please don't fight your child on this. She give it up when she is ready.
Another solution submitted by "Mom of Two" from Colchester, VT Most dentist's and doctor's say that if the child is creating dental problems, you should try to stop the thumb sucking, otherwise do not worry. There are some good articles that you could look at if you are near a college, with a decent library. What many of them say is if the problem is only at night then by using a wrap on the hand(s)(like boxing gloves)(anything that is way too big for the child to put in their mouth) for maybe 1 week then using an ace bandage style wrap for 2 weeks and then just a bandaid for a week or two, you should see a complete stop in the problem. You obviously need to enlist the child's cooperation, telling them that this will help them stop sucking their thumb, and praising them each morning for not sucking it. If the child is attached to a doll, blanket etc. and only sucks the thumb when holding the item try taking the item away for a week, and that may diminish or eradicate the sucking. Good Luck.
Another solution submitted by "^MAMA^" from Etobicoke, ONT, CAN: I was a thumb sucker to the extreme... I sucked my thumb until I was 13 years old! The only thing that broke my habit was to actually have a breaker put in (this was very uncomfortable and painful, made of metal with three spikes and placed across the roof or the mouth). My mother tied everything... comet, soap, hot pepper you name in... I never did it in public because it was at home that I was most uncomfortable, but I was unstoppable.... I do not write this to make you believe there is no hope, but to be honest.. please listen... LET HER GO... she will stop when she doesn't need it anymore. Think of a polite yet firm way to warn intrusive people with opinions when they see your daughter sucking her thumb.... including family:)
Another solution submitted by "Karol" from North Street, MI If you force her to stop she will start something else to replace the thumb sucking. Like hair twirling or nail biting. She is not ready to quit. It is embarrassing for you, people make comments right? Don't sweat it, she will stop from her classmates making comments more than likely. Hang in there.