Children suck their thumbs for a variety of reasons, but they usually do it to provide comfort. You’ll notice your child often sucks his or her thumb before going to sleep. It’s a normal habit, but long-term thumb sucking can affect teeth development, so you’ll want to stop it at some point. Here are some tips to stop the habit.
1. Distract their fingers
The next time you see your child sucking their thumb, distract them. Find an activity where they have to use their hands, so that they stop sucking their thumb. Bed time is a big time for thumb sucking, so ask them to read you a book so that their hands are distracted holding the book and they don’t get the chance to suck their thumb.
2. Have the doctor talk to them
A lot of times a child will do something if their doctor tells them to. Next time you are at the doctor’s, ask them to talk to your child about why thumb sucking is bad. There is a large chance that they will stop when they hear from their doctor the damage it can do.
A great way to get your child to stop sucking their thumb is by rewarding them. If they don’t suck their thumb for a whole day, they get a star. If by the end of the week they have seven stars, they get a special prize. Many kids are motivated by rewards. Once they stop sucking their thumb for a few days, they are most likely done for good!
4. Cover the thumb
If your child is having a really hard time letting go of their thumb sucking habits, try covering their thumb with gauze and a Band-Aid. Hey, they cannot suck their thumb if it has a yucky Band-Aid on it! You’ll find that this really does help them to stop, unless of course they are ripping it off.
5. Wait it out
There is a chance that none of these remedies will help your child to stop. Some kids need to just figure things out on their own. Eventually they will stop; you won’t see them at 20 still sucking their thumb. The best thing you can do as a parent is to stay patient and let it happen when it happens.
Guest Blog by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventor of the Zipadee-Zip
The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: “Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time,” and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family’s reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker’s daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.
When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.
Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte’s startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!
To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
For more information, visit sleepingbaby.com.
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