using thumb as dummy
Hi. I breastfed my kid for a year. Then into formula milk afterwards. He have his milk at a glass at the age of 3. I was not able to use him any dummy. Now that he is 5 years old, why he still thumb suck? Is it normal? What could be the effects eventually?
I have read a lot of conflicting advice on whether thumb sucking causes problems with the jaw and teeth alignment, some say it does not cause problems, whilst others say it does. I have read some information that says it can cause the teeth to have gaps and not be straight. Regardless, if it is a habit you want to break, there are a few things you can try. Many children use thumb sucking for comfort. Do you notice him doing it when he's bored, tired, anxious, etc.? I would first try to use some type of fidget toy that he can play with during this time. It could be a small ball that he can squeeze or another type of toy that he can hold in his hand and fiddle with. I would avoid using any of the bad tasting products that some people use, as I personally think it is a bit mean and would really just upset the child. I know some people use spicy foods or special liquids for that, but I am not comfortable with it. You can also try talking to him about it and try limiting the time he does do it, without forcing him to stop completely, or else he will become anxious about it. It is most likely a phase and he will outgrow it at some point.
I was wondering if your son sucks his thumb during particular situations? For example, you may find he does it when he is feeling nervous - in which case you could try to reassure him or cuddle him. Has he started school recently as this can sometimes lead to increased thumb sucking (this generally settles down as children adapt to school)?
Many children of this age suck their thumbs (or fingers) when they are falling asleep. If this is the case you could try to introduce another bedtime routine such as milk and crackers just before bed. You should try not to worry or to make a big deal out of it but divert his attention to something else if you can. I agree with Jessica that I don't like the negative behaviour correction products which taste nasty.
I hope this helps,