Thumb or pacifier sucking is a very general habit that infants tend to develop. Check out how to stop child from thumb sucking.

Thumb Sucking

Generally thumb sucking is not a matter to worry about; babies develop this habit out of the sucking quest. Most of the times, babies can be seen using a pacifier or sucking their thumb or fingers. Actually it comforts baby and has a soothing and calming effect. Infants do feel like sucking all the time. It’s quite surprising but yes, some infants start sucking thumb in their mother’s womb itself. Thumb sucking is a comforting action and if your child is also prone to it, there is necessarily no need of restricting it.   
Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers
Infants, who are adequately breastfed, usually don’t develop this habit though in some cases, they do. During the period of breastfeeding, pacifiers must be avoided at least till the child gets 4-6 weeks old so that the breastfeeding doesn’t get disturbed. If your child uses pacifier, prefer to restrict its use, like when the baby seems to require the self-comforting behavior. Don’t use pacifier whenever the baby cries instead prefer to comfort him/her by holding in your hands. In case you need to use it, then use a one-piece commercial pacifier. Watch out and never allow the infant to get habitual of falling asleep with a pacifier.
How to Stop Thumb Sucking Child
What has been said earlier, thumb sucking or using pacifier is not harmful till the time it is not affecting your child. However, parents must endeavor to wean their child from thumb sucking or using a pacifier when the baby gets 6-9 months old.  After six months of age, use of pacifier must be restricted to the time when the baby lies in crib. This way he/she will begin to lose interest in it. Scientifically, this comforting behavior affects the child’s communication skills if not restricted before his/her third birthday. Here are provided some tips to help your child give up thumb or pacifier sucking.
  • Tender a reward or special treat to encourage your child to give up sucking.  
  • Praise your child and give due attention whenever he/she is not sucking thumb or pacifier.  
  • Start restricting the use of thumb or pacifier. Like, start with bedroom then house and so on.
  • Poke a hole in the pacifier and cut off its end so that air can be brought out.
  • With other comforts, such as, holding her hand when she feels appears sad, replace the comfort of sucking.
  • Give the child another alternative, and make his/her mouth busy by singing, playing any musical instrument or ingesting any snack.
  • Ask your child as regards how he/she would like to give up thumb or pacifier sucking.  
  • Don’t nag your child about his/her habit of sucking because such anxiety would result in need of extra comfort by pacifier or thumb.
  • When you find your child is motivated to stop, then cover his/her hands with mitten or glove just to remind that he/she was about to suck thumb.

How to Cite

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