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Old 10-09-2006, 01:51 PM   #1
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5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

Ok I have a daughter who is almost 5 she will be going to preschool here shortly and she is always sucking her thumb it is getting out of control her little sister sucks hers too but not as much as the older.
SHe will only suck it if she has her blankie so my question is sould i take the blankie away so she will not suck it anymore? we have made a rule no blankie out of the bed so now she lays in bed alot just to suck her thumb or she will sneak the blanket in her pocket or under her shirt it is a little tiny blanket.
I guess what i am wondering is should i force the issue or let it go I just think she looks silly now walking around with that thing in her mouth. At bed and nap I total do not mind but not in the day.

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Old 10-09-2006, 01:57 PM   #2
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

Yep - that's what I would do - no blankie when you suck your thumb. Personally, I do not think there is a prob with comfort toys that stay at home and travel with the child on scary trips - but she could get teased if she sucks her thumb at school... It should be easy to enforce since she always has her blankie when she sucks her thumb.
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

honestly I do not see the big deal about this. she is 5 not 10. She is still a baby. she still needs her security and one of those is sucking her thumb. This to me is no different then them sleeping in your bed or wanting to be held, rocked or anything else that they want or use to soothe themselves.
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:06 PM   #4
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

My parents tried everything to get me to stop sucking my thumb. Even went to the dentist and got some stuff you put on the thumb to make the taste horrible. It didn't bother me. I sucked my thumb until I was 12-13 years old. There was nothing anyone could do to make me stop. I never sucked it at school, just when I was bored, tired, sick, scared... etc... it was a security issue I guess. I grew out of it on my own. I did have issues with my parents getting mad or upset that I sucked my thumb. It made me feel like a "baby" and insecure of how they felt for me. I felt ashamed and embarased a lot even though thats NOT what they were trying to do. I still remember the harsh tones from my dad telling me "to get that thumb out of your mouth!!!" I cried when they would tell me that. I'm sure she'll grow out of it on her own. Especially if she only does it with a blanket.
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:50 PM   #5
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

But did it mess up your adult teeth that is my biggest concern i keep hearing its ok until they start loosing teeth is this true. I know my sister sucked hers for a long time my mom tried everything she has some teeth in front that stick out and they always so its because she sucked her thumb is this true I know it seemed mean all the things my mom tried I don't want to do all that.
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:02 PM   #6
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

My dd is 8 and sucks her thumb a LOT. Unfortunately, its not limited to holding a blankie....its EVERYWHERE, ANYTIME. Its been a really hard habit to break.

So, I've just waited until she has started getting her adult teeth in. We just recently spent $120+ at the orthodontists to have a tongue crib put in. Its basically just wires that remind her not to put her thumb in there and to make it really hard to get suction. She's only had it a couple weeks so I'm not sure how well this will work.....

ETA: My dd was a late teether, late in losing baby teeth too - just in the last 6 months or so she started losing baby teeth and getting adult teeth (was almost 1.5 when she got her FIRST tooth! lol).
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:44 PM   #7
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

Quote:
Originally Posted by marelle4381 View Post
My parents tried everything to get me to stop sucking my thumb. Even went to the dentist and got some stuff you put on the thumb to make the taste horrible. It didn't bother me. I sucked my thumb until I was 12-13 years old. There was nothing anyone could do to make me stop. I never sucked it at school, just when I was bored, tired, sick, scared... etc... it was a security issue I guess.
I could have written that except I think I was closer to 10 or 11 when I stopped...and I had a little encouragement. My dad said if I could quit for 6 months he would give me 20$. I quit. I think it was my time to quit anyways...because I could have EASILY cheated (parents were divorced lived with my mom).

One thing you asked about was teeth. I once had a space in my teeth about 1/8" when I quit sucking my thumb my teeth went back together by themselves and I dont have a gap anymore. They arent buck teeth either.

At 5, I wouldnt be terribly worried. Once she starts school she may quit on her own, I think thats when a lot of kids quit on their own.

Also, when my parents were fighting me...(about sucking my thumb) I was even LESS likely to quit. I would just find a way around whatever obstical they gave me. When my dad approached me about the 20$ thing, I was old enough to know how much money that was, and he did it very calmly. There was no attacking, or anything. It was just a he walked up next to me and we were looking at something. He said "I will give you 20$ if you dont suck your thumb until the 4th of july" and thats all he said and he walked away. That approach was the BEST they had ever tried. If he had came up to me and been forceful, I doubt I would have quit.
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:06 PM   #8
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

I think that if she mostly saves her thumb sucking for home I don't see the problem. My two youngest sisters sucked thier fingers but only at night when they went to bed. No one ever messed with them and my parents didn't try to make them stop. They both stopped around 7ish.
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:18 PM   #9
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

A former thumb sucker here too - I stopped on my own around 10ish. There was no real permanent damage to my teeth either. While I sucked them, my bite was misaligned and my top teeth did angle a bit - but after I stopped, they shifted themselves back and are FINE. My cousin is 25 and STILL sucks her thumb - she has beautiful, perfect teeth (and a hubby who adores her and too many friends to count - dispelling the myth that she won't be liked for thumbsucking).

You have to remember WHY kids thumb suck. Thumb sucking is a means of self soothing. You remove their ability to thumb suck, and you remove their ability to comfort themselves. As they get older, they will be able to better self sooth and not need the comfort of thumbsucking. Same goes for binkies, blankies, loveys.

Forcing kids to stop, taking away the blankies and loveys - it is not the healthy way to go about putting a stop to the behavior. Neither is teasing them about it. Or constantly saying "get your thumb out of your mouth" - it gets really annoying and makes you feel really bad about yourself. It is only effective in making kids ashamed of something wonderful and natural and soothing. ANd it is also pretty harsh and damaging to their self esteems - especially considering that these are sensitive kids who are already having some trouble selfsoothing.

As kids get older, you can discuss why they suck their thumbs and create some boundaries.
My neice is 9 - she is allowed to suck her thumb for comfort - but not boredom. Bedtime, if she is scared, upset - then she is not redirected. But if she is sitting watching TV, then my SIL will gently redirect her. Providing activities such as painting, coloring, building blocks - stuff that keeps her hands busy and out of her mouth - are great ways to combat boredom sucking without her even realizing it.

At 5, your daughter should not be made to stop, IMO. It will not hurt her teeth at this point. Especially since she is starting school and making a big transition, she will probably really need that comfort and security. She will quit as she gets older and is ready to do so.
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:27 PM   #10
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

I sucked my thumb until I was eight, and had a blankie too. My parents had the same rule about no blankie out of bed. Lots of kids in my second grade class sucked thier thumbs, my mom always said it was the smartest group of thumbsuckers you ever saw.

My teeth are perfectly straight. I was the only thumbsucker in my family, and the only one not to need braces.

She will grow out of it eventually.
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