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8 Effective Easy Tips That Help Wean Your Baby Off Sucking Thumb

Baby sucking their thumbs is quite a common practice, especially with toddlers and young kids. Though they find it very soothing but it is indeed a harmful practice. Children up to the age of 4 years are very commonly found sucking their thumbs but if this practice lasts beyond this age then it is surely a matter of concern.

Reasons Babies Suck Their Thumbs

Well we first need to understand why babies develop this practice. For babies, sucking is a natural thing. It sooths them and makes them feel comfortable. Whenever a child is hungry, thumb sucking is the immediate choice he has. When kids grow older, they tend to suck their thumb when they are nervous or scared or bored.

And whenever you try to remove his thumb out of his month, he gets cranky because you are taking away his comfort. So you have to be very smart and slow.

Duration of Thumb Sucking Habit in Babies

Usually when the baby turns 2 or 3, he tends to leave this habit as he begins to learn other skills. He feels more comfortable and can now communicate to ask what he wants. But in case your baby doesn’t seem to leave this habit beyond that age then it is alarming, it can cause various speech or dental issues. And in case this habit continues beyond 5 years or so, you really need to attend to this problem.

Thumb Sucking is a Problem When……

  • Your child has turned three and he still sucks his thumb then it is surely an issue. If your baby continues sucking when he is awake then it is going to have a bad impact on his oral health.
  • If because of this habit, your child is having issues in communicating or interacting with people then in that condition, you have to be more careful.
  • In many cases thumb sucking has been found interfering with teeth development. It can cause crooked teeth.
  • Children are diagnosed with speech delays because of this habit.
  • It can often lead to lack of confidence with children

In all these cases, parents have to be watchful and work harder to have them get rid of this habit.

8 Tips to Get Toddlers Rid Of Thumb Sucking Habit

We have listed a few good effective tips that ensure that your baby gets rid of this habit which is damaging in many ways:

  1. Wait For Some More Time

Thumb sucking mostly stops between the age of two to four. If you are fine with it then there is nothing wrong in letting your toddler continue with this habit as then he himself would leave it after sometime. Letting it happen naturally is always a good choice.

  1. Find Out the Reason

You have to be more watchful to know under what situations your child is more compelled to suck his thumb. Some kids do it when they are hungry, some do it when they are focusing on something, once you know the reason, you can always find the best solution to it.

  1. Distract the Kid

If there is a particular situation under which your child feels the need to suck his thumb then you must try and distract him so that he forgets about sucking his thumb and is engaged in some other activity. This way he would not even realize and would gradually learn to leave this habit.

  1. Remove or Cover His Thumb

When you find your baby putting his thumb inside his mouth very often then in order to prevent him from doing so, you can always remove his hand. You can also cover his hands up using gloves. This is another way of restricting him from engaging in this act. But do not do this every time as your baby might get cranky and irritated. But keep doing it gradually to see the results.

  1. Explain and Follow Time Restriction

To make sure that your baby is not always into this habit, you need to explain it to him that it is not right. Continence him for a particular time like when he is going to bed then he can suck his thumb. Smart bargain can be of good help to you.

  1. Do Not Completely Say a Big NO

If you will be so strict with your child then you may end up affecting him deep within. Don’t use harsh words instead talk to him and explain it to him. Whatever you do, do it gradually.

  1. Apply Different Things on His Thumb

Sometimes parents apply things that taste bad to restrict their kids from sucking their thumb. You may consult your doctor to apply something that is bad in taste and doesn’t even affect his health. Some parents cover thumbs with cell tape. This is quite a harsh method and should be avoided.

  1. Always Appreciate and Give Rewards

Whenever you find your kid not sucking his thumb in situations when he used to, it is time to appreciate him and reward him. This would work as a conditioning for him.


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