Break your tot’s thumb sucking habit

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Break your tot’s thumb sucking habit

Thumb sucking is very common among kids.  Even if you pull the fingers out of their mouth, they would take it again to their mouth.  Doctors spot insecurity as the major reason for the child’s thumb sucking habit.

There is no need to worry about this habit, until the tot is 3 years old, since the child is obsessed by this habit while he/she was in the womb. Because, they would gradually forget this habit, when they are involved in lot of daily activities.   If the habit continues, after 4 years then, it is better to consult a doctor.   Since, long-term thumb-suckers are at threat for delay in speech and have major dental problems in the future.

Why do tots suck their thumb

–    When they don’t get the required attention from their parents

–    Out of stress or for their comfort

–    To get attention from adults

–    While watching TV alone

Why should you make your child stop sucking the thumb

–    Its an age old saying that, the kids, who suck their thumb loose their apetite

–    This will cause dental problems – sucking the thumb will disturb the alignment of the teeth as well as the roof of the mouth

–    Also, causes social problems – children who suck the thumb could be teased, not liked or oppressed by others

–    This could also cause, medical problems – causing the skin on the thumb to shrivel, crack or chap.  Moreover, it will take in the infections/germs around the nail to the stomach and cause other major medical problems

How to get rid of this habit out of your child:

Never force your child to leave this habit. Don’t revolt with them either stop this habit.  This problem should be sorted out in a very delicate way.

–    Try to explain the disadvantages to your child in a nicer way.  Tell them how their teeth would fall out of line and how bad they would look

–    Love them a lot, make them feel that you are closer to them everytime

–    Give a lot of work to their sweet little fingers, you can ask them to color or draw, play with clay, Outdoor games, play with toys etc., which require two hands.  When you do this, they would forget to suck their thumb.

–    While sleeping, give their favourite toys in their hands, so that they would concentrate on holding the toy, and forget to suck the thumb

–    Show positive reinforcements – Praise your child everytime when he is not sucking his thumb

–    Reward your child for not sucking his thumb

–    Try to cover the finger that is being sucked with band aid, finger puppet, thumb guard, mitten or sock

Even after trying all these solutions, if you feel that your tot is still sucking the thumb, take them to a paediatrician.

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    About The Author

    Dr.Nalini Sreekanth

    I have been practicing alternative medicine for the past 7 years in and out of India.Coming from a traditional family from Kerala, Gods own country.My fore fathers where into traditional Ayurveda practice over 7 generations.read more

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