Monday, 25 June 2012

Thumb sucking

Image by Nugget. Minx doing her best bucky beaver face.
The Minx wouldn't take the dummy. She was a screamy baby who refused to be 'plugged'. It was a nightmare for us, until she 'found her thumb' at about six weeks. Then she slept. We praised her thumb sucking. Thumb sucking was the bomb.

Over the past few years her thumb habit hasn't been too bad. She would suck it in bed. Sometimes in front of the TV too. Her teeth have have a bit of a casualty, but overall, not too bad.

Lately, she has increased her usage. It seems every time I look at her, she has her thumb in her mouth. It is starting to drive me mad.

Now before I go on, I have a small confession to make. I am a thumb sucker. I am 39 years old and I still suck my thumb. Not consciously, you understand, but when I am stressed out, I suck my thumb. Not one of my most redeeming features, but a part of me nonetheless.

So it is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black for me to insist that the Minx curb her habit. But, I reckon I would do anything for her to kick it.

The other day, while visiting her cousin Badoo, the Minx commented on the Badoo's dummy.

"Maybe I could have one?" she asked.

I thought about it. Could I be mad? Could it work? Could she swap the thumb for the dum and then kick her  habit? Oh, the cogs they were a turning.

I bought her a dummy when next at the shops. The Geege told me I was crazy, but I thought it was worth a try. She insisted she have her dummy before bed. As I tucked her in with her dummy, her dolly, her 'sucky' blanket, I started to think that maybe I was creating a(nother) monster for myself. 

As I cruised past her bedroom an hour later and saw her with her thumb AND her dum in her mouth, as well as her sucky blanket, I knew I had officially made a huge mistake!

The dums have gone. The thumb is still there.

I clearly have NO IDEA what to do about kicking the thumb sucking habit. My parents tried everything with me to no avail. Anyone want to offer some friendly advice? Maybe there's hope for me yet???


Miss Pink said...

You can buy this nail polish which tastes gross. It's just a clear polish, but pop it on her thumb nails and it may deter her?

Mrs B said...

I always give the same advice - just let her suck her thumb. The great news is she can self soothe.

My brother sucked his thumb and stopped on his own accord when he was 12. His teeth all moved naturally back into place when he stopped.

My mum was anti thumb sucking until one day at her work (radiographer at a major hospital) they had a young girl come in fitting uncontrollably. Nothing worked to stop it until during these massive fits, she managed to get her thumb into her mouth. Fitting stopped immediately. My mum figured if a thumb could do that, its a natural part of life.

Dolores said...

I was going to suggest the nail biting lacquer too. Good luck with it. 2 out of 3 of my kids love, love their dummies. The 5 yr old was weened off at 3 by the dummy fairy, it was hard but I talking Woody Doll was way better than a dummy. My youngest is 2 so I haven't even bothered to go there yet. I myself was weened off my dummy at 3 by my brother-in-law (I am the youngest of 8) with white pepper. I have never forgiven him. :-)

Sam-O said...

The other option (rather than the nail polish) is a band aid or woollen glove.

Another is to be militant in making her wash her hands everytime she had it in her mouth.

My God daughter is almost 8 and still sucking. Don't believe the stories about teeth moving back. She has damaged her palate not her teeth. It will be thousands of dollars in orthodontics in later life. She already sees the dentists quarterly but he parents have left it do long they feel powerless.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I just posted about this with B. It sounds like the Minx is more devoted that she was...only sucking during her sleep...but we talked with her about it over the past few months, and she genuinely seemed like she wanted to quit. She knew one of her thumbs was not "smooth".

We're almost two weeks of her sleeping with a sock on her hand. She thinks it's the coolest thing! When she got up this morning, she spontaneously said, "I love my sock!" ;)

I got this idea from another blogger, whose girls were older at the time...maybe close to 5? They wanted desperately to get their ears pierced, but she told them they only could if they stopped sucking their thumbs.

She recognized it was a very unconscious habit, so she pinned a sock to the end of their sleeves to break them of the habit.

Good luck to the Minx (and you)!!!

Mama of 2 boys said...

Oh I can imagine the look on your face when you saw The Minx with all three comforters in her mouth, hehe, the things they do to us!
I used to be a bit of a thumb sucker too, can't remember what age until, but it would have been at least 4.
Angus used to 'wrap' his thumb and stroke it with his other hand... yeah, you wanna talk bizarre. But it was kinda cute and it's stopped now, of his own doing too. Though I have noticed in recent weeks he holds his thumb up to his chin when concentrating or tired. But it hasn't reached the mouth... yet. At this stage The Mandrake doesn't suck anything! He's always way too busy screeching anyway.
Neither of the boys ever took to dummies... so I can relate to your pain from those early baby days.
You could just wait it out, I'm sure she won't be doing it by the time she goes to school.

joeh said...

She will stop and become a closet TS as soon as the first kid makes fun of her.

Just leave it alone and hope it does not get replaced by nail bitting, smoking or something worse.

Anna @ green tea n toast said...

My son is a thumb sucker. It's a tricky to stop isn't it?! He's only just about to turn three so I'm not overly worried just yet - and generally he reserves it for when he gets tired, but it's such a part of him that I don't know how I'm going to tackle it. Good luck whatever you decide to do x

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

This is a hard one, I was torn between a dummy or thumb. My theory was if they take a dummy you can wean them off and eventually throw it away, but you can't throw their thumb away! For baby number three we used to use a wrap over her hands, changed the taste and texture and she stopped on her own after a few weeks.
Good Luck, it's not an easy battle,

Quill and Ink Handmade said...

My Lyra is a thumb-sucker; but she's still so young, and for whatever reason, needs the comfort at night or when she's unhappy. I'm hoping that it'll just be something that she grows out of as she gets older, and have decided not to worry until school age (then we'll have a serious chat)

Good luck, MM - Sorry that I can't offer any constructive advice!


Maxabella said...

Maria says to rub garlic (or chilli if you want to be hard core) on the thumb before bed. It's stinky baby time, but she reckons it will be over in three days tops. Wash sheets well. x

Anonymous said...

Mr 4.5 is still sucking his two fingers, as he has done since we was about four months old. We have never made a big deal of it because I figured he would not stop if I did. He's now older and I sometimes talk to him about it and he says he likes to do it and it makes him feel better. Dentist offered a few ways to get him out of it, but I'm not willing to go through that. I figure he'll stop when he's ready. Who knows? My 2 doesn't suck his thumb or fingers and doesn't seem to care.

Harvey said...

I suck my thumb and am an adult. What surprises me is that you suck your thumb (at age 39, as of this blog writing) and are against your daughter doing it. Why? Where else can you find something that's legal, free, quiet, convenient, aids sleep and concentration, without drugs or calories, instantly calming and more?

I'd suggest leaving it alone and, if she never stops, consider her you! :)

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