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Thumb sucking

PostPosted: 09 Sep 2013, 21:36
by Svea
Anything I need to know about this?
This is new territory to me as DD1 had a dummy which she gave up at around 3, and DD2 never wanted dummy nor thumb. DS is a sucker though! Which is good in that he self soothes/settles with the thumb. But should I be worried about damage to the digit? What to look out for? He's not keen on the dummy though we have tried and still do...

Re: Thumb sucking

PostPosted: 09 Sep 2013, 21:41
by PerpetualMadness
As a long term thumb sucker (11) and mother of a 6yo thumb sucker, I can say that I have never known anyone damage their thumb but it does affect the alignment of teeth. But that's not a problem for now, and B who has wanted neither dummy nor thumb has an underbite so will likely have bigger orthodontic problems... Enjoy the self soothing.

Re: Thumb sucking

PostPosted: 09 Sep 2013, 21:59
by ToothFairy
Elsie was a thumb sucker, she stopped by a year. I've never seen harm to a digit, and we see a lot of thumb/finger suckers at work.

Re: Thumb sucking

PostPosted: 09 Sep 2013, 22:16
by Nix
Pippa was very keen on it about 4 monthsish but now she rarely does it. But when she does it melts my heart. So cute! She was sucking her thumb on our 23 week gender scan so I know it's a natural comforter for her.

Re: Thumb sucking

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2013, 05:53
by Svea
Well I was a thumb sucker until about 5y/o and I guess I am fine. I just know he has such a strong suck I worry about his dainty little fingers.


Re: Thumb sucking

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2013, 06:00
by Brigitte
I am the mother of two thumb suckers, but I haven't made it out of the thumb-sucking years yet so I don't have any long term perspective on it. For now, I will say that the self-soothing is a godsend and has improved the sleep situation for our whole family. My eldest daughter only discovered her thumb at 8 months, and it was a real turning point in that first very sleepless year. My youngest discovered it at 4 months (a month ago) and so far we've had a lot more sleep out of her than we did from her sister. Thumb-sucking also helps my eldest daughter calm down when she's upset.

Re: Thumb sucking

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2013, 08:52
by RJandA
I nearly posted on this subject a little while back.

Big A sucks two fingers still at 3.5. We had never thought much about it but I had done a bit of reading and concluded that she would probably drop it herself when she's ready, but doubted myself when nursery started encouraging her not to do it any more (without checking with me first - I was actually pretty angry about that!). Big A was getting upset by their comments which confirmed to me that she still needs it for comfort and given that she's pretty shy/sensitive we have decided not to push it and have asked nursery to leave it. She is also going through a phase of having some quite hysterical outbursts/tantrums and fingersucking seems essential to her calming herself down.

I checked with our dentist - she said it depends on the position of the fingers / thumb in the mouth as to how it will affect teeth but said it's fine for her to carry on for now, although did say that it could mean it's more likely (though not certain) she'll need braces as a teen. I have also noticed little bumps on her fingers where the teeth rest but the little research I have done suggests that they will probably disappear when she stops.

I have a good friend who regularly sucked her thumb until she was about 18 and still does now (in her 30s) at stressful times. She had some counselling relating to other issues and her therapists view was that if it helps her feel calmer and deal with her anxiety then it's really not the worst thing in the world. She does have pretty wonky teeth though but obviously I don't know whether that's a result of the thumbsucking or not.

Sorry - bit of an essay. My position for Big A is that for now the comfort factor is more important than the teeth / fingers, but if she doesn't drop it herself by school age then we might reassess.