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  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    10

    Thumbsucking: Should I stop it or not?

    Among other babies, I have only seen them thumbsucking. But my 3-month old baby tends to suck his index finger!
    Believe it or not, he does. When he was just 2 months old, he first attempted to put in his entire hand in his mouth. Of course, that was just impossible so he just ended up being frustrated until he discovered he could actually put the full length of his pointer finger.

    At first, everyone thought it was hilarious. But soon enough, we are in panic because there had been several ocassions when my baby vomits (not just possets) while sucking his index finger. Apparently, he reaches out too far to his throat (That's what I think since he makes that really loud gagging noise).

    Now, it seems pointless to scold my baby at this age but I'm afraid that if he keeps on doing it, he would just end up vomitting every other time. I am considering to find a way to really stop this budding habit but I also heard that thumbsucking (well, in this case, index finger-sucking) is important for babies to help soothe themselves even in the caretaker's absence.

    What should I do? If I am going to train him not to do it, how can I exactly do it? It's driving me nuts when he gags and vomits all of what he just drank.

  2. #2
    Hi Madysen,

    If you are breastfeeding and are not working outside the home, then I would put him to the breast each time you see him wanting to suck. Babies suck for two reasons. To eat and to soothe themselves (as you mentioned). I found that my babies didn't have a need to suck on a dummy or on their thumb/finger/hand, if I put them to the breast when they first showed signs of hunger.

    We also co-slept with our babies which meant that I could put baby to the breast easily at night and drift back to sleep which made it nice for everyone in the household... everyone got good sleep. But an added benefit of co-sleeping is that it helps with bonding and baby feels very secure, again reducing the need for pacifying on a dummy or their hand.

    If there are times when you really feel that baby doesn't need the breast and yet she still displays that she wants to suck, then you could use a dummy. With some of my babies I didn't use one at all. With others I used one very sparingly, but those babies always wanted to give it up by 5 months of age (simply weren't interested in it anymore). If you start to depend upon it, and pop it in baby's mouth every time she makes a peep, then she will become dependent upon it and you could be setting yourself up for a 3 year old who walks around with a dummy in her mouth. This just makes it much harder on the child to give up, when you've taught her to depend upon it for comfort.

    So I'd try just putting her to the breast more often, and if that doesn't work, then you can try using a dummy sparingly (like just to settle her and then take it out).

    Let us know your thoughts.

    Warm regards,

    Kate
    Last edited by 5Homebirths4Kate; 26th July 2012 at 11:40 AM.

  3. #3
    New Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    10
    Hi Kate, thanks a lot for that piece of advice. But with me working full-time, I am afraid that I cannot always do as you've suggested. I do try to avoid using a dummy to calm him down. I am just hoping that he does kick the habit away in no time.

  4. #4
    Hi Madysen,

    If you're working full time, then I'm guessing you're not breastfeeding (or maybe just a little) so that means that your choices are using a dummy or letting bub find his finger/thumb/hand. In this case, if finding the finger means he is choking himself and when he gags he throws up his food, then you may want to use a dummy for soothing him.

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

    Kate

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