View Poll Results: When do you recommend putting a lid on the thumb?
Don't let your kid thumbsuck ever 6 16.22%
Step in before the 1st birthday 4 10.81%
Sometime between the 1st and 2nd birthday 5 13.51%
Between the 2nd and 3rd birthday 9 24.32%
Between the 3rd and 4th birthday 5 13.51%
After the 4th birthday 8 21.62%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-28-2013, 03:51 PM   #21
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

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I am curious how you plan to intervene? Just remove the thumb? What about at night when you are sleeping?
Lol well I had thought about doing what a friend did with the pacifier: cut off a little piece every day until there's nothing left but a nub.

But really, I'm not sure. It occurred to me to sneak a drop of that nasty tasting thumb stuff on his finger to make it less appealing? Or maybe just try to give him something else every time he goes for his thumb, like a sippy or something? We co-sleep, so at night I could remove the thumb from his mouth and try to comfort him without it, sort of like the method for weening off comfort-nursing that's in the "No Cry Sleep Solution" book.

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Old 03-28-2013, 04:25 PM   #22
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

My nephew was a hard core finger sucker. My sister got him to stop doing it other than when he was asleep when he was about 3 or 4. Sometime during elem school he wore a pair of gloves to bed and that is what helped him stop. Nothing was upsetting to him at all.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:51 PM   #23
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My aunt sewed gloves on all her sons shirts til he outgrew it.

I also sucked my thumb til 5th grade. I used to rub my hair on my face while doing it. I'm 25 and I still rub my hair on my face and play with a little section of it all the time.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #24
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My doctor says 4 years if mine doesn't stop then when we need to help get stop.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #25
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

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Originally Posted by Sarahknavy View Post
My aunt sewed gloves on all her sons shirts til he outgrew it.

I also sucked my thumb til 5th grade. I used to rub my hair on my face while doing it. I'm 25 and I still rub my hair on my face and play with a little section of it all the time.
OMG, that is my dd! She is kinda weird about hair, she loves to sniff mine.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:44 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s@hmommy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahknavy View Post
My aunt sewed gloves on all her sons shirts til he outgrew it.

I also sucked my thumb til 5th grade. I used to rub my hair on my face while doing it. I'm 25 and I still rub my hair on my face and play with a little section of it all the time.

OMG, that is my dd! She is kinda weird about hair, she loves to sniff mine.
Uhh, yeah that was me too. It was all part of the experience. Smell and stroke the the hair, suck the thumb, that was heaven. Stroking a smooth ribbon of hair across my cheek was the nicest thing in the world. I could spend hours just enjoying that sensation. And I used to hate certain places and things just because of how the smell got into my hair. Church was the worst, I loathed how musty and old it made my hair smell, and it took all day until it smelled like home again. I also twirled my hair big time, and remember a couple times my mom literally had to cut my finger out because I twisted it into a knot.

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Old 03-28-2013, 09:38 PM   #27
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

This has been a fun read. I am a speech therapist and understand that extended thumb sucking or extended pacifier use can cause issues with speech. With my own kids, I was "mean" and didn't allow thumb sucking. My middle one could have cared less, but my other two tried and I would offer nursing or a pacifier, once nursing was well established. As they aged, we limited pacifier use to nap and bedtime. This helped us eliminate one speech problem that sometimes happens and that is a child not talking or engaging in as much vocal/oral-motor play as they could when they have something in their mouth during talking/play times. I have also seen a few kids who learned to talk around their thumb/pacifier and that created some nasty habitual speech patterns that needed to be corrected as the child learned incorrect ways to make speech sounds. An example would be making the /t/ sound. Without anything in their mouth, a child must move their tongue all the way to the top of their mouth to stop airflow for the sound. However, with a thumb or pacifier in the mouth while talking, the child only moves their tongue just a bit to make this closure while bringing their tongue to the object in their mouth. Unfortunately, if they practice this way enough, they often keep using this movement pattern to make the /t/ sound, when the thumb/pacifier is not in their mouth.
Even if the child doesn’t have the pacifier or thumb in their mouth while talking, the dental problems that can be brought on by their extended use can impact the production of some speech sounds. Finally, extended thumb sucking/pacifier use can prevent “optimal resting” position of the mouth. To develop optimal tongue strength and movement, it is ideal for the mouth, when not talking, to be closed with the tongue elevated to behind the upper teeth. Clearly, this is difficult to achieve with thumb/pacifier sucking.
Obviously, pacifier habits are much easier to break, and usually not a huge issue. I have had some families that I work with have success with unpleasant tastes on the thumb. There are also some appliances out there that fit over the hand. The child wears them and, when the child tries to suck their thumb, they are unable to create a seal/get proper suction, so it is not as soothing.
I will say that I love your avi. I think I remember seeing it now and again and have a twinge of mommy guilt that I didn't allow mine to have those sweet moments.

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Old 03-29-2013, 09:47 AM   #28
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

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Originally Posted by mom2cse View Post
This has been a fun read. I am a speech therapist and understand that extended thumb sucking or extended pacifier use can cause issues with speech. With my own kids, I was "mean" and didn't allow thumb sucking. My middle one could have cared less, but my other two tried and I would offer nursing or a pacifier, once nursing was well established. As they aged, we limited pacifier use to nap and bedtime. This helped us eliminate one speech problem that sometimes happens and that is a child not talking or engaging in as much vocal/oral-motor play as they could when they have something in their mouth during talking/play times. I have also seen a few kids who learned to talk around their thumb/pacifier and that created some nasty habitual speech patterns that needed to be corrected as the child learned incorrect ways to make speech sounds. An example would be making the /t/ sound. Without anything in their mouth, a child must move their tongue all the way to the top of their mouth to stop airflow for the sound. However, with a thumb or pacifier in the mouth while talking, the child only moves their tongue just a bit to make this closure while bringing their tongue to the object in their mouth. Unfortunately, if they practice this way enough, they often keep using this movement pattern to make the /t/ sound, when the thumb/pacifier is not in their mouth.
Even if the child doesn’t have the pacifier or thumb in their mouth while talking, the dental problems that can be brought on by their extended use can impact the production of some speech sounds. Finally, extended thumb sucking/pacifier use can prevent “optimal resting” position of the mouth. To develop optimal tongue strength and movement, it is ideal for the mouth, when not talking, to be closed with the tongue elevated to behind the upper teeth. Clearly, this is difficult to achieve with thumb/pacifier sucking.
Obviously, pacifier habits are much easier to break, and usually not a huge issue. I have had some families that I work with have success with unpleasant tastes on the thumb. There are also some appliances out there that fit over the hand. The child wears them and, when the child tries to suck their thumb, they are unable to create a seal/get proper suction, so it is not as soothing.
I will say that I love your avi. I think I remember seeing it now and again and have a twinge of mommy guilt that I didn't allow mine to have those sweet moments.
Thank you for your input! I put socks on my son's hands for a day or two when he was new, but I felt guilty every time I saw him try to get his thumb and cry that angry newborn cry. Of course, if it turns into a multi-year struggle to help him quit I'll feel guilty then too. Don't feel bad, there's no easy answer.
Thankfully he doesn't suck his thumb day and night, so he hasn't yet started to talk-around the thumb. But it's so great you mentioned how the tongue sits at rest, because I have always felt like my mouth was awkward without a thumb in it, like my tongue didn't know where to be. I wondered if everyone feels that way, now it makes sense!

I like the look of this program:
http://www.thumbuddytolove.com/about/
But my son is still too young to understand it.

I'm still so torn. I see two options...

1) Try the polish now in the hopes he'll decide his thumb magically tastes bad all of a sudden, so might as well do something else. Pros: he won't remember having to quit. Also the best way to ensure no dental or speech issues. Cons: he won't understand what happened, and I won't be able to explain it to him.

2) Wait another year and try to reason with him about quitting the thumb, or hope he stops on his own. Pros: gives him more control. Cons: Gives him more control. Easy to slip into guilt/shame techniques. Possible dental/speech issues by then. I also don't plan on cosleeping at that age, so might be harder to stop the thumb at night.

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Old 03-29-2013, 10:23 AM   #29
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

I am a former thumb sucker. I stopped around 5. My mother tried a lot of things but none of them worked until *I* decided I wanted to be a big girl and stop. I understood at that age that it was a habit that I did without thinking and would need reminders. Mom helped me remember during the day with kind words. For night time, she made me this cute little thumb cover out of terry cloth. It had eyes and a mouth and fuzzy yarn hair. She sewed a piece of bias tape around the bottom to finish him and extended the ends long enough to be tied on. She tied it on snuggly in a single shoe tie knot so that I could untie it if I chose to. The sensation in my mouth reminded me to not suck without being punitive. I think I also felt safer and more in control of the situation.

I was the same way with pooping in the potty. My time. My terms.

ETA: I did decide to poop on the potty BEFORE 5 though!
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:41 PM   #30
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

I think 2.5 to 3 is a great time to stop. There is a product called Thumbuddy To Love that is fun and positive and kids love it. Google "Thumbuddy To Love". We got it at our dentist's office but you can get it online.
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