5 Tips to Help Your Child Stop Thumb Sucking

Make them think it’s their idea

Nagging your child doesn’t always work. Instead, encourage them to realize how much they have grown and changed. Show them what they have left behind, point out that they no longer use nappies, bottles, or high chairs. Praise them and ask them what else they think they should give up. If they don’t say thumb sucking, then you should suggest it.

Weaken the Habit

When you notice your child’s thumb in their mouth, try to distract them give them activities that will use both hands. This is particularly important before nap time and bedtime. Have them hold the book you are reading or hug a stuffed animal with each arm.

Help Them Notice

When your child wants to give up thumb sucking, tell them about a habit you gave up and how hard it was. Then decide on a secret signal between the two of you. When they subconsciously slip their thumb in their mouth—and they will—you can use the secret signal to help them notice. By using a secret signal, you replace what could be a shameful situation with fun.thumbsucking

Use Authority

Comments from your child’s paediatrician and dentist can help. We can help reinforce the message that they want to stop thumb sucking because they are growing up.

Consider Peer Pressure

Friends are very important to this age group. Having a sleepover with friends who do not suck their thumbs can be very helpful. If your child sucks their thumb and their friends mention it, this might be the motivation they need to stop.