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How to Break Thumb/Finger Sucking Habit in Babies

How to reduce finger/thumb sucking in kids

 

Thumb sucking is a challenging habit to break. More than a child, this habit is a big tension for parents. My son is 7 months old, and he started sucking his first 2 fingers when he was 5 months old. I researched a lot and asked many people how to reduce thumb sucking. I did not get a satisfying answer, and therefore I decided to visit the doctor.


He explained to me that most of the babies do thumb/finger sucking. The sucking of their fingers and thumb relaxes them and makes them comfortable. In other words, babies suck thumb/fingers to soothe themselves. He told me to monitor him and try to find out when he put fingers in his mouth. 


Mothers, if you are reading this article, that means you are worried about the thumb/finger sucking of your baby.


I remember that my son started finger-sucking when he was 5 months old. My grandmother told me that it's a bad habit and this should go. There was no one in my family who did not say, "STOP THIS BAD HABIT." 


My husband and I started closely monitoring him. I even did not work for 2 days just to watch him "when he mostly suck his fingers?:" 

WHEN HE IS:-

  • Bored
  • Sleepy
  • Hungry
  • Tired
  • Left Alone 

 

After figuring out the moments, we started focusing on them one by one. But before that, my husband and I had to understand that:-

  • This habit will not go instantly; it will take time. We have to go at a slow pace.
  • We need patience
  • Sometimes our plan will not work, and he will put fingers in his mouth. But, we do not have to give up.
  • We have to trust us that "he will stop finger sucking soon."
  • Not feeling bad or embarrassed that my son has this habit. People will say, but we have to keep going. They will not take any initiative in reducing that but will keep on saying, "Still he has this habit of sucking?". What we should do is just ignore them,

Here are some of the things I started doing. My son's finger sucking drastically reduced. We started finding out different ways to engage him.

  • Since I and my husband both are working from home, we have planned our work so that either he or I am with our son. We never leave him alone.
  • I do work/household tasks by sitting beside him and keep talking to him, such as folding clothes, cutting veggies, kneading the dough. It's fun !!!. Children love watching different activities happening around them. Most of the time, he is so busy looking at what I am doing that he doesn't suck. MY MOTIVE IS TO DISTRACT HIM. NOT EVEN LETTING HIM THINK "IT'S TIME TO PUT FINGERS IN THE MOUTH"
  • I have bought Hindi, Marathi and English storybooks, dot cards, books of animals, birds. He loves these books. When I show them, he forgets everything else.
  • Since he is 7 months now, he can sit, so I give him his water bottle. It's like a puzzle for him. He wants to drink water, but how to open it? Or I give him a softball. I have trained him to kick the ball. So he himself kicks it, crawls and then grab the ball and again kick it.
  • I give him carrots, cucumber in his hands. So he tries to chew it, and this activity also relaxes his gums because his teeth are coming.


We have been doing this regularly for the last 3 months, and the results are positive!!! He has not entirely stopped finger sucking, but I am very sure that he will stop it very soon. 


I would like to know from all the readers reading this ..how are you reducing the sucking habit of your baby?

 

Anshima Kolatkar is a passionate content writer and heads her firm "Writingwalkthrough". She pursued engineering in Electronics and telecom and PGDMA in embedded systems. In the year 2017, she quit her job to follow her passion of being a content writer. She is now a successful mompreneur. As a mom in working, she wants to share her journey into parenthood. Connect with her on Linked in at https://www.linkedin.com/in/anshima-nishith-kolatkar-84888821/
 

Found this article useful? Read more blogs at www.themomstore.in 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.


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