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How to Stop Thumb Sucking for Children

Updated on September 21, 2016

Thumb Sucking Problem

Thumb sucking sometimes starts when a child is a fetus in the mother's womb. There have been ultra sounds of babies sucking their thumb in their mother's belly. Why is thumb sucking a problem? Well, first of all, thumb sucking can carry a lot of bacteria into the body. This bacteria can lead to asthma and other lung problems. Not to mention, thumb sucking can cause dental problems.

How to Stop Thumb Sucking for Children
How to Stop Thumb Sucking for Children

Self Control

There are individuals that have sucked their thumb from an infant up to their teenage years, or longer. I also sucked my thumb as a child. My parents tried to help me stop putting my thumb in my mouth. Once my father put hot sauce on my thumb while I was sleep. Yeah I know, sounds silly right? And my mother tried using wise words to get me to stop. But there was one thing she said that actually made me stop sucking my thumb. My mother said, “Girl if you keep sucking your thumb, you are going to have teeth like your cousin." No pun intended, but my cousin had an overbite, his teeth were hanging over his mouth. And I decided at the age of 13 that this is the last straw, I will not have an overbite like my cousin. So, at the time, I began to exercise my mind to resist. That is the keyword with most habits, “RESIST.”

Tactic Exercise

Now that I have children of my own, my third daughter started to be a thumb sucker as well. She started sucking her thumb as a baby, while I was pregnant with her. I would try different things to help make her stop putting her thumb in her mouth. But I did not try the hot sauce trick; it didn't work on me when I was a thumb-sucker. But a saying came to me one day. I just simply told my daughter that "she don't suck her thumb anymore." One day my daughter was sitting down watching cartoons, and then I walked by and calmly said “remember you don’t suck your thumb anymore.” This was a saying that I stuck with daily, because I prayed to God about helping her to stop sucking her thumb. Also she was showing signs of asthma, and I had asthma as a child as well. Some causes of asthma may come from thumb sucking. So yeah, I kept telling my daughter every day "you don't suck your thumb anymore." And gradually but surely, it was a positive saying that worked. My daughter stopped sucking her thumb by age 8. And I was so happy for her, although her asthma symptoms were still there, until she got to her middle teen years. Also her thumb had a bump on it that got smaller and smaller, until there wasn't a bump on her thumb.

Habit Reversal

Positive belief system; "when you drop a bad habit, replace it with a good habit."

In certain research studies, bad habits of thumb sucking can be linked to habits of alcoholism and smoking, later on in life. This is one study that I totally disagree with 100%. Because I was a thumb suckers as a child, and I don't have the desire to drink alcohol or smoke.

Remember, words are powerful, be consistent with positive word affirmations that eventually stop thumb sucking. Constantly use positive words to help the child break the thumb sucking problem.

Most importantly, "thumb sucking problems" can decrease quicker by starting your child on a new hobby like crocheting or other hobbies.

Do you know a child that sucks their thumb?

See results
Sandy the Girl Who Sucked Her Thumb: Ways to Stop Thumb-sucking
Sandy the Girl Who Sucked Her Thumb: Ways to Stop Thumb-sucking

Children's book that can help decrease and resist the thumb sucking habit; $4.99.


© 2016 Ann810


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    • Ann810 profile image

      Ann810 17 months ago from Sunny Cali

      Hi Dup Chal, Chitrangada, and Ms Dora; yes thumb sucking is better when stopped as a child, before they get older. It's a bad habit that can be replaced with a good activities. Thanks for reading; peace.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 17 months ago from The Caribbean

      Ann, I don't believe that thumb-to-alcohol theory either, but remember that one or two people are not enough to prove or disprove a theory. Your suggestions are good though, and I thank you for sharing.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 17 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice hub and I think it will be of help to many parents whose kids have the habit of thumb sucking.

      I have seen it in some kids of relatives who had to struggle a lot to control this habit of their little ones. If not controlled earlier they continue to do it even after they are a little grown up.

      Thanks for sharing your tips and suggestions!

    • Dup Chal profile image

      Dup Chal 17 months ago

      Thumb sucking can be stoped by lollipop and feeders.