Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Poll Discussion: Thumb/Finger Sucking

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Our newest poll is on thumb/finger sucking. It is helpful while I compile results if you copy these questions and paste them, then answer under each. If you do not have an answer for a question, you can just put "N/A."
  1. Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb?
  2. If so, which?
  3. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen?
  4. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what?
  5. Do you limit the sucking at all?
  6. What age did you wean from the sucking?
  7. If you have weaned, what method did you use?
  8. How did your child handle the weaning?
  9. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking?
  10. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again?

18 comments:

Jessie said...

Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
2. If so, which? Thumb
3. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? It just happened
4. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? No, but he's only 8 months :)
5. Do you limit the sucking at all? He mostly just sucks when he's in bed, but if he pops it in during wake time for more than 10 seconds, I'll offer a toy to distract him
6. What age did you wean from the sucking? Na
7. If you have weaned, what method did you use? 8. How did your child handle the weaning?
9. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? I did a bit of research, and what I found at the time is the less you make a big deal of it, the easier it is to wean. That is why I decided not to pull it out of his mouth. However, only time will tell!
10. Yes
10. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again?

Kathelle - Strandom said...

1. Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
2. If so, which? Thumb
3. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? A little bit but mostly just happened - we didn't use dummies.
4. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? Bad skin on his hand (separate problem) aggravated at times, but otherwise no.
5. Do you limit the sucking at all? No.
6. What age did you wean from the sucking? NA - grew less dependent on it after age of 1 1/2, now just for getting to sleep. (he's 2 1/2)
7. If you have weaned, what method did you use? N/A
8. How did your child handle the weaning? N/A
9. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? With regards to weaning, my son wouldn't take food as he was too busy sucking his thumb so I gave him his own spoon to concentrate on. Then he ate fine.
10. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? Yes, but I wouldn't "force" it - my daughter never took to it. Much more convenient than dummies ;) x

Alex said...

For my oldest

1. Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
2. If so, which? His two middle fingers on his right hand
3. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? He began to suck those fingers on his own when I did mid-nap CIO at about 4.5 months (before that, I would give him a pacifier to help back to sleep mid-nap)
4. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? No
5. Do you limit the sucking at all? I taught him to associate finger sucking with his lovey, so for a long time he has only done it when he's in bed with the lovey
6. What age did you wean from the sucking? He is four and I haven't made any formal attempt to wean it. He barely does it anymore, and if he does, it's only when he has his lovey.
7. If you have weaned, what method did you use? N/A
8. How did your child handle the weaning? N/A
9. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? Try to teach them to only do it at bed and nap time! I'm so glad he always associated it with his lovey.
10. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? Yes

Andrea said...

1. Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
2. If so, which? He sucks his thumb and forefinger together. It looks like he's just sucking his thumb, but when you count the fingers exposed there are only three!
3. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? It just happened.
4. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? Yes, the right side of his upper gum line is dented upward.
5. Do you limit the sucking at all? Currently we do, but we did not for the first two years of his life.
6. What age did you wean from the sucking? He is only partially weaned, but we did that about two.
7. If you have weaned, what method did you use? I told him one day that he could only suck his thumb in his crib. He almost started crying. When he started to suck again, I picked him up and started walking toward his crib to put him in it. He stopped immediately.
8. How did your child handle the weaning? He needs reminders occasionally, but mostly he has been amazing at it. We haven't decided how/when to approach weaning from bedtime yet.
9. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? At times it's wonderful! You never need to think about bringing it with you, losing it, or dropping it. But weaning is definitely tough because their thumb is always with them.
10. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? We tried a pacifier with our son, but it just didn't take. We'll try again next time, but if it doesn't work out, oh well.

beth maree said...

Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
If so, which? Thumb
Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? She was sucking it at her 20 week ultrasound, so yep. It's all her :)
Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? She sucks it when she's bored. I'm really fearing how to get her to stop - shes 18 months old now
Do you limit the sucking at all? We tried for a while but she is determined!
What age did you wean from the sucking?
If you have weaned, what method did you use? n/a
How did your child handle the weaning? N/a
Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? My little one loved the paci too but eventually chose thumb. I'm not sure if I'll allow thumb again. It's a bit of a crutch now...
Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again?

The Teacher said...

Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
2. If so, which? Thumb
3. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? It just happened
4. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? No
5. Do you limit the sucking at all? He mostly just sucks when he's in bed, in the car if trying to fall asleep on road trips or if he's sick
6. What age did you wean from the sucking? I have not and he's 3 1/2
7. If you have weaned, what method did you use? 8. How did your child handle the weaning?
9. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? I did my own research( ha) and I think they sleep better, can soothe themselves better and are healthier because constant bombardment of germs- immune system in high alert always
10. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? Yes

Amanda said...

Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? yes
2. If so, which? ring finger and pinky finger
3. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? It just happened
4. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? Some irritation on the sin at times, and for a stage between about 12-18 months she sucked a lot in social situations and wouldnt always play right away
5. Do you limit the sucking at all? she mostly just sucks when she's in bed or tired and getting ready for bed or nap. If its during what is supposed to be a play time I will tell her to take them out, then it turns into a game
6. What age did you wean from the sucking? Na
7. If you have weaned, what method did you use? n/a
8. How did your child handle the weaning?
9. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? I have a finger sucker and one that takes a paci, I think they both have their pros and cons although I have not dealt with weaning either (23 months and 8 months). In the long run I do think the paci may be easier to wean from, but we will see
10. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? yes

me said...


Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
If so, which? Thumb
Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? It just happened soon after we dropped the swaddle at 2 months.
Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? No
Do you limit the sucking at all? No
What age did you wean from the sucking? She only did it for a couple months and then weaned herself
If you have weaned, what method did you use? N/A
How did your child handle the weaning? N/A
Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? Obviously in my daughter's case there were no problems. I myself however sucked my thumb for many years and I know my parents tried everything.
Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? Yes, not too much you can do about it, am I right...?

Jennifer said...

1. Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
2. If so, which? 3rd and 4th fingers
3. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? It just happened after we got rid of the swaddle around 4 months.
4. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? No.
5. Do you limit the sucking at all? No. She only did it in the bed or in the car when she was tired.
6. What age did you wean from the sucking? We didn't. She just stopped around a year old.
7. If you have weaned, what method did you use? NA
8. How did your child handle the weaning? NA
9. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking?
10. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? I tried to encourage the pacifier with our new baby but he won't take it either. I would prefer no finger/thumb sucking since you can't take it away like a pacifier. I feel we got lucky with our first that she stopped on her own.

DMM2010 said...

Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
If so, which? Middle and ring finger on the right hand.
Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? I didn't encourage but I didn't discourage either! She kept spitting out her pacifier and instead of continually going in at night and giving it to her, this is the solution she came up with for self-soothing. I don't know if it is hereditary but my husband also sucked his thumb.
Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? Yes at her first dentist appointment, the dentist said there has been movement with her teeth. From time to time, she also has developed sores on her fingers that look almost like a pimple.
Do you limit the sucking at all? No. We have tried but it never seemed to work. She sucks her fingers when she is tired or bored.
What age did you wean from the sucking? She is 3 and is still sucking her fingers. We have tried to do different things, not talking about it and just pulling her hand out of her mouth, having the dentist talk to her, having the doctor talk to her, painting her fingernails as a way to encourage her to not suck her fingers (we wouldn't paint those fingers when she sucked them so she always looked funny with part of her fingers not painted). She might do well for a week or two and then something would happen to cause her stress (I would go on a business trip for a couple of days) and she would start over again.
If you have weaned, what method did you use? Anything we have tried has not worked.
How did your child handle the weaning? NA
Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? I wish I would have tried harder when she was younger.
Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? I am currently pregnant with our second and this thought has crossed my mind. No I don't think I would!! At first it was great because she could always soothe herself but getting her to stop is proving very very challenging.

This post couldn't be any timelier. My husband and I talk about this all the time and I just don't know what to try next! She will start pre-school next fall and I would really like to have this habit stopped by then. Can't wait to read what has worked for others.

LeighSabey said...

1. Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? Yes
If so, which? Thumb
2. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? It just happened. He never took a paci, but started sucking his thumb around 2 weeks.
3. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? Yes. His two front teeth are crooked and he has an overbite. He also gets very dry, irritated skin on his thumb.
4. Do you limit the sucking at all? No, but he has naturally been only sucking his thumb in bed with his lovey (a blankie) since about age 2 (he is now 4). He will occasionally suck his thumb when he is being shy around new people. We do discourage it when he does it in places other than his bed.
5. What age did you wean from the sucking? n/a
If you have weaned, what method did you use?
How did your child handle the weaning?
6. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? Start saving for braces now!
Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? Yes. It was much easier than a paci!

LeighSabey said...

Clarification on #3 answer: The dry skin on his thumb is only occasional and goes away quickly with Eucerin healing lotion. This only began when we moved to a dry climate a couple months ago.

ziggyslp said...

1. Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb? yes
2. If so, which? thumb
3. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? It just happened. Neither of my kids took to a pacifier, but my daughter always gravitated to her thumb.
4. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? Yes, she has a very small blister on her thumb knuckle, but so far there has never been any infection because of it.
5. Do you limit the sucking at all? Yes. She is only allowed to use her thumb at bedtime, or right around bedtime. I am ok with her using her thumb when she is getting tired and we are reading a book before bed or something like that. Some of the 'limiting' happened naturally since she tended to only suck her thumb when she was holding her lovey and she is only allowed to have her lovey at bedtime too. When she tried occasionally to suck her thumb at other times of the day, I would just say, "You only use your thumb for bed" or "you don't need your thumb right now" and she would take it out. Now that she is 2, she knows when she is allowed to suck her thumb, and if she is unsure, she will ask, "Have my thumb now?". :)
6. What age did you wean from the sucking? Haven't yet, though I have been thinking about when or how to do this!
7. If you have weaned, what method did you use? N/A
8. How did your child handle the weaning? N/A
9. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? I like that it is limited to bedtime simply for the germ factor. Part of her bedtime routine is washing her hands so I know they are at least mostly clean. If we are out and about I really don't want her putting her thumb in her mouth.
10. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? Yes, I wouldn't want to take that comfort away.

Renae Rich said...

1. Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb?
If so, which? Both mine are thumb suckers (now ages 5 and 3).

2. Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? Both started as very young babies. We used pacifiers a little bit, but they preferred their thumbs.

3. Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? Just trying to understand someone when they have a thumb in their mouth.

4. Do you limit the sucking at all? We tell them we cannot understand what they are saying with a thumb in their mouth. We are also starting to encourage and remind our 5-year-old to not suck his thumb during the day.

5. What age did you wean from the sucking? Haven't yet, but starting to suggest it with our 5 almost 6-year-old. I kind of wish we would have started earlier, but I don't think it would have done much good. He's very determined.

6. If you have weaned, what method did you use? Right now we are just reminding, but I think we'll have to try something more. I've heard good things about the book "David Decides About Thumbsucking."

7.How did your child handle the weaning? I think it's going to be a hard transition, but we'll see.

8. Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? No, but I'd love some ideas from others about weaning.

9. Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? Yes. It makes for some easy babies!

Allison said...

Did/does your child suck fingers/thumb?
If so, which? Yes, my five yo still sucks his right index finger. My 21 mo sucked his two middle fingers.
Did you encourage the sucking, or did it just happen? No encouragement, my older son didn't start sucking his finger until he was 2. He was a pacifier baby before that. We think he saw some other kids doing it in nursery. My baby never preferred the pacifier and sucked his fingers pretty much from the beginning.
Have you seen any problems associate with the sucking? If so, what? My 5 yo has pushed one side of his teeth out.
Do you limit the sucking at all? We try to limit sucking for our 5 yo during the day.
What age did you wean from the sucking? Trying to wean our 5 yo. Our baby weaned himself at about 14 mo. due to hand foot and mouth disease.

If you have weaned, what method did you use? With our 5 yo we have tried reminding him whenever we see it. We have put bandaids or tape on his finger but he takes it off. I have had him wear gloves to bed to try to discourage it at night. We have also tried the gross nail polish that is made to stop nail biters. I was grateful our baby stopped on his own! :)
How did your child handle the weaning? He is very aware that he should not be sucking his finger. He even told me, mom, what am I going to do? I am almost 6 and I am still sucking my finger.
Any tips for moms of thumb/finger sucking? I would recommend not letting it go as long as we have.
Would you allow thumb/finger sucking again? If I could stop it no. But with my baby he preferred it and I couldn't really stop it as he wouldn't take a pacifier.

Jessica Maxwell said...

1 &2 . All three of my kiddos have done both.

3. It just happened with all but I also didn't tie down their arms so then I allowed it.

4. Not yet. I have a 3.5 yr, 15 month, 6 weeks
5. None have been able to suck outside of sleep.
6. I haven't intentionally weaned; #1 just did it on her own, at 15 months #2 is still doing it.
7. N/A
8. N/a
9. Just let it happen.
10. Absolutely. Because they can suck their fingers/thumb they can TRULY self-sooth! It's extremely transportable and is no work on parents' part.

Emily said...

T1. 1st child: paci
2nd child: fingers (first two of right hand)
3rd child: no

2. 1st: gave paci at 2 weeks old
2nd: as soon as we stopped swaddling she immediatly found fingers
3rd: paci was used in a more "non prop" way to discourage attachment

3. 1st: no issues with paci other than the annoyance of it being a sleep
Prop and having to insert it over and over
2nd: fingers have seen major issues. She just turned 3 and no efforts to wean her from them have worked. She has sores on her fingers, obvious teeth issues due to them, and even the shape of her nails and tips of fingers are being affected

4. Paci was only used in crib / bed or in car during sleep times
Limited fingers to the same areas but harder to be consistent on it since fingers are attached to her!

5. Paci: completely weaned at 2 years old
Fingers: turned 3 and still no progress. Hoping 1st dentist visit will offer some tips to help

6. Cut the tip off paci! Worked great, easy transition
Fingers we have tried it all. Nothing works 😕

7. Paci was smooth, fingers have been hard. She does well with reminders not to suck outside of bed but when I attempted to wean from sleep sucking it caused issues during day.

8. Do everything U can to avoid finger sucking!!!!!

9. I hope to never have a finger sucker again but I truly don't think it was up to us. She instantly took to them and it's not really something in a parents control!

Valerie Plowman said...

Thank you to everyone for your comments!

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