Monday, August 2, 2010

Why Your Child is Sucking Their Thumb & How You Can Help Them

Thumb sucking is a completely natural habit that thousands and thousands of young children find difficult to break. The longer you wait to help them break their habit, the harder it will be for them to quit. While we know that thumb sucking is a very common thing among our children, we may not know some of the reasons why they are sucking their thumbs. Understanding these reasons can make it easier for us to assist them in breaking their thumb sucking habit.

If your child is still a young baby, they most likely are sucking their thumb because they are teething. This act will sooth the pain of a tooth that is growing through the skin. They also may suck their thumbs as a way to find comfort and relaxation before falling asleep. While these are not the only reasons that children suck their thumbs, it is important to remember that the habit is natural and that you must be patient and understanding when attempting to help them quit.

Remaining patient is key. You are not going to be able to get your child to quit sucking their thumb in a day or two. When they are about to suck their thumbs, distract them. Distracting your child by giving them something to play with or hold on to is a good way to keep their minds off of their thumb sucking habit. If they usually suck their thumbs before falling asleep, engage in other relaxing activities with them such as story telling or giving them a stuffed animal that they can hold on to with both hands. Then, monitor them until they are deeply asleep to make sure they do not go right back to sucking their thumb.

Of course, this all much easier said than done. Getting your child to stop sucking their thumb is an important step that also can be very frustrating. Thankfully there are products that can help in this process. One in particular, the Thumbusters glove-like device, is effective in helping children break their thumb sucking habit.

Whether you attempt to use a method or product, it can be a long journey for you and your child. So please, remember to be patient with them. Good luck on you and their journey to stop thumb sucking!

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