Tips on how to stop kids from sucking thumbs

Many babies and young children suck their thumb as they find it reassuring and soothing and there are several reasons why a baby or young child sucks his or her thumb.

To help them fall asleep

 stop kids from sucking thumbs

Similar to how a dummy – more commonly referred to as a pacifier nowadays – can help children to fall asleep, some babies and toddlers suck their thumb when they are in bed to help them fall asleep.

When they are feeling anxious

Children who are prone to sucking their thumbs may do so when they feel anxious or worried about something, when, for example, they are in trouble or an argument is occurring in the house. Thumb sucking amongst children can also occur when they are feeling apprehensive about an event that is going to take place, or any change that is happening.

When they are bored

For many children sucking their thumb is a sign of boredom or when they aren’t doing anything physical or mentally taxing such as watching the television.

‘Teaching’ a child how to handle the above situations may, just may, mean they will be less inclined to put their thumb in their mouth. The following tips on how to stop kids from sucking thumbs in these situations may help.

To help them fall asleep

Instead of letting your youngster use her thumb to help her fall asleep, try implementing a good bedroom routine, which includes a bath, hot milky drink and a story.

You could try introducing a different ‘sleeping aid’, such as a teddy bear or a blanket.

When they are feeling anxious

Don’t let children feel anxious by arguing in front of them, do your arguing elsewhere. Have patience with your child so that she doesn’t feel nervous about approaching you with a problem. Teach your little one that change is not necessarily a bad thing.

When they are bored

Alleviate the ‘sucking the thumb due to boredom’ syndrome by entertaining you child with a book, playing a new game, going for a walk, or anything to keep their minds active.