Thumb sucking in children

thumbsucking How many times have you witnessed babies and children sucking their thumbs and putting their fingers inside their mouth, playing endlessly with their saliva in the mouth whenever they get bored or are free? Probably a hundred of times.

Let us find the fact, fingers are handy and thumbs never get lost, so the child draws oral satisfaction by whatever he could find handy. What better than handy thumbs and fingers? You may find it very unhygienic seeing your child sucking his thumbs and fingers, which probably had millions of germs.

But have you ever thought why your child shows such a strong craving for sucking his thumbs?

One of the most common reasons for thumb sucking is that the child feels hungry, so he/she tries to seek comfort by sucking his/her thumbs to kill the hunger pangs.

Research has shown that babies who are breast-fed have less likelihood to develop this habit. This is because the milk in the breast gets over within 5-6 minutes of breast-feeding without mother knowing it. The mother continues to feed the baby satisfying the basic urge of child to suck.

It is normal for a child to suck his thumbs and fingers but as parents make sure that it does not develop into a habit. Usually small babies start sucking their thumbs just before their meal times or when they feel hungry.

Take care that sucking is becoming a habit, when a grown up child sucks his thumb even when his/her stomach is full. As children grow up the urge to suck usually goes off, however some children continues to suck their thumbs even when they are 5-6 years old.

It should also be kept in mind that some older children might suck their thumbs when they are under emotional stress, so it is very important for parents to know what is the cause behind the act. Sometime the child may suck his thumbs when undergoing teething problems.

In order to keep your child away from thumb sucking habit ensure that your child is well fed. Whenever you see your child sucking his/her thumbs, distract him/her and try to draw his/her attention towards something else.

As parents make your child feel emotionally secure. Be firm with your decision, keep the child busy and distracted and slowly he/she will forget about sucking the thumbs and fingers.


One thought on “Thumb sucking in children

  1. Basement dehumidifier says:

    Thumbsucking lasting beyond age 5 can usually be prevented if you avoid pulling your child’s thumb out of his mouth at any age. Also, don’t comment in your child’s presence about your dissatisfaction with the habit. Scolding, slapping the hand, or other punishments will only make your child dig in his heels about thumbsucking. If you can wait, your child will usually give up the thumbsucking naturally. If you turn the issue into a showdown, you will lose, since the thumb belongs to your child.

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