Thumb Sucking

I worked in daycare centers for quite a few years.  I never wanted my kid to have to have his blankie, but even more, I didn’t want him/her to have a pacifier at two or beyond.

Isaac had a pacifier.  It was great.  And then at exactly six months old he refused to take one, but loved his thumb.  This had advantages…his thumb was never missing or lost; It also had it’s disadvantages…..dirt and grim on a crawling child’s, not being able to force it in his mouth and now, not being able to take it away from him.

I’m ready for Isaac to be done with thumb sucking for one reason.  I don’t want him to end up with a habit.  I have a habit…a bad little habit of biting my lip…that I haven’t been able to break in the 14 years I’ve tried and then there is the playing with my hair (although I’ve never tried to give that up).  I so wish I didn’t have this habit, but even in home videos of me at five I was doing it, but I don’t ever remember it until high school.

Isaac doesn’t think about sucking his thumb.  I watch him.  He sees something soft and reaches for it with his left hand and his right thumb goes in his mouth.  He is bored…thumb in mouth.  He is intently thinking and playing with his toys…thumb in mouth.  He is tired…thumb in mouth.

I have heard that there is really nothing you can do to break a child of thumb sucking, that one day they just stop.  I’m trying to make Isaac aware that he is sucking his thumb.  If he is playing and I say “thumb” he’ll remove his thumb and continue what he was doing.  But if I say “thumb” when he is cuddling, he is immediately uncomfortable and squirmy until he puts his thumb back in his mouth.  Sometimes when I say “thumb” he’ll play with me and put the pinky finger on this left hand in his mouth and smirk; sometimes his whole hand.

Yes, for Isaac’s sake I want him to stop sucking his thumb, but the day that happens Isaac will be more little boy and less my little baby.  It’ll be a milestone, much like walking, or teeth or driving.  A bittersweet milestone.

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One thought on “Thumb Sucking

  1. Agreed. My son was not into thumbs but kept the pacifier just past the age of 2. It was a love/hate relationship for me. Loved that it kept him quiet. Loved how cute he was. Hated finding it in the middle of the night when it was lost in his crib and he was crying for it. Hated how dirty it’d get from all the times it fell to the ground. Some people are so anti-thumbs/pacifiers but it generally seems they are ok as long as it doesn’t go past the age of 5 or 6. This Moms’ Guide (http://www.1dental.com/moms-guide/) is a helpful resource. It suggests taking your child to the dentist by the age of 1 so that if there are any problems related to sucking, the dentist can catch them early.

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