Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thumbsucking 101


So my kid has been sucking her thumb since she was in the womb. She had to put her own spin on it by using boh-bah's. If you haven't read that post, you really should go check it out.

Fast forward five years. We told her when she was four that when she turned five and started kindergarten she had to stop. We have tried everything. The nasty fingernail polish, wearing gloves, scare tactics...germ phobia, nasty teeth, we gave her the "big kid" talk, you know the "only babies suck their thumb, you are a big kid now....blah, blah, blah, blah, blah". Didn't work.

During the day it isn't so bad, unless she is watching TV. So when she is watching a show she has to wear a mitten or glove. A very common phrase in our house is "Thumb Out!". At night time is when the thumbsucking is at its worst. So I have resorted to "the sock".


It worked for the first two nights we tried it. But then we noticed that in the middle of the night she would pull it off. So then we started pinning it, yes safety pinning it to her jammies.


That worked until she wriggled her thumb through a couple of badly placed pins. Maya usually falls asleep after Eden and she would yell "I hear her sucking! She got it out!"

So now we are using up to seven pins and a longer sock to keep that thumb out.


This HAS to work. The only thing left is cutting off her darn thumb! I would love some suggestions. My friend Amy suggested that we should just humiliate Eden until she stops. Which explains a lot about that family...now we know why Mike is so sensitive and why Aidan calls baby Jack names all the time. (I'm totally kidding...we love those guys)

For now we'll keep pinning and hope for the best!

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Lindsey said...

That is HILLARIOUS! Totally something I would do! Actually, I force the binkie.. it is a lot easier to take away. But, none of my kids wanted to suck their thumb anyway. You go! Looks like you are doing the best you can.

Becky said...

Her expessions are priceless. Let me know what finally works. Jessie is a thumbsucker, pre-birth also and ONLY on her right hand. We have to go through what you are in a year or two.

Lauren in GA said...

My parents tried the same exact things for me...I would take my pajamas off in the night so I could get to my fingers (I sucked my index and my middle finger upside down so I had really bad "buck teeth"). Finally...when I got braces, the headgear and the braces felt like they crowded my mouth so much that I finally quit. I remember putting a sock on myself when I didn't have to wear the headgear anymore because I didn't want to mess up the progress that my braces were making on my teeth. I know this answer is depressing...it is just that the oral fixation is sometimes almost impossible to break...it was for me anyway...but don't worry...my husband has never had to tell me to take my fingers out of my mouth ;) I finally broke the habit at about age 15.

Are you depressed now?


I'm sorry!!! I am sure you will think of something!!!!!!!

calibosmom said...

I'm sorry, I cannot comment on how to help you...I am a 35 year old thumb sucker. GO EDEN!!! Thumb suckers unite!!! In all seriousness, I think the only thing that will work is her own will to quit.

AMY said...

In my defense, I was talking about being able to wipe her bum! AND I said to say it in a sweet way in privat so it wouldn't be humiliating. As for the thumb sucking I'm at a loss because it took me having a cast on each arm to break the habit (I'll have to tell you the story)... I wouldn't recommend it though seeing how mine came after an injury.

The Hansen Clan said...

Those pictures are priceless... maybe we should send her and Brookie to some kind of a sucking detox program... and we'll go eat chocolate to help us cope.

Alison said...

Okay, I was a thumb sucker and so is Jack. My mom says that I was similar to her...just at night and I just stopped about age 6 or 7. I think one night she will just stop. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Or, another idea I have it that you could play the whole, "Your thumb told me it really hurts now that your teeth ar so big, blah, blah, blah, but your thumb wanted to you find a "new stuffed animal" to comfort you at night and during TV (hug the stuffed animal). Then go to the store and pick out a new friend. Then when she doesn't suck it, tell her her thumb told you it is healing and wondered what the stuffed animal was up to. Good luck!!

Leah said...

Hey, Jessica. It's Leah Fotheringham. I stop by your blog every now and then and can TOTALLY relate to this post since we are going through this exact same thing.

I just started using Mavala Stop on both my girls (ages 5 and 2) who are all day and all night die hard thumb suckers. They have not sucked their thumbs now for 2 weeks straight. It really is a miracle. I am still in shock!

I give my girls manicures with all sorts of special nail polish every 2 or 3 days. I just make sure the clear Mavala Stop is on the thumbs and they have no idea what I'm doing. So their fingers are pink and red and the thumbs clear and they haven't figured it out and think these manicures are very special. They know I put yucky stuff on their thumbs two weeks ago but they haven't figured out I keep reapplying it. I think the reapplication is the key. I went about 4-5 days between applications once and caught my 2 year old sucking her thumb in the car. When we got home my girls got manicures again.

At a cost of 6 bucks a bottle (from Amazon.com) I am hoping to save thousands of dollars in ortho costs! So far this is working flawlessly for us. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Erin said...

I got nothin' for ya. :) Milo is a thumb sucker. Thankfully, if he doesn't have one of his blankies then he doesn't usually go for the thumb--except at night after he's asleep. Our pediatrician pretty much told us that he'll quit when he wants to quit. Thankfully, it hasn't done anything to his teeth yet.

See, told ya. I got nothin'. ;)

nurse graham said...

Did you check with your dentist? If it isn't affecting her teeth right now, maybe let her just "grow out of it". There is an orthodontic appliance they can put in, but I think they reserve that for kiddos who are a little bit older.

♥Shally said...

My daughter is a nail biter. I have tried Mavala stop, cayenne pepper, and more. NOTHING has worked.

I am totally safety pinning socks on.

Thank you.

Melissa-Mc said...

Good luck with this one. With one of my children, we finally had to have an orthodontist put a dental device with spikes in the mouth to get them to stop.

Her strong will will serve her well in the future!

Ilene said...

Oh, Melissa that sounds like a brilliant medieval torture device for the mouth.

I would look into that because my sister totally screwed up her teeth by thumb sucking through grade school. Bribery never worked for her either. Besides, not being a thumb sucker myself made me bitter because while Winnie would earn prizes for nights without thumb sucking, I would get nothing. I seriously thought about taking up thumb sucking to get a Barbie.

Natalie said...

One of my funniest childhood memories was playing at my cousin's house. She and two of her siblings were thumb suckers and my aunt had tried everything. The pokey appliance that goes on the roof of their mouth and pokes them when they try to suck their thumbs, the nasty stuff that you paint on their thumbs and it tastes so horrible that they stop, right? Wrong. I remember going over there one day and all three of them had casts on their thumbs. It worked for one of them.

She is a sweety. I think that if she can sleep with her hands covered without having a nervous breakdown, she can do ANYTHING including stopping sucking her thumb.:).