How to Stop Thumb Sucking by a Concerned Mother

I have often wondered what I would do if I had a child who had an issue with thumb sucking. I believed I was out of harms way when it came to this issue, as when my first child gave up her pacifier, she did not immediately begin thumb sucking. That seemed to change almost overnight, after a nasty bout of the flu. By the following weekend, I had noticed thumb sucking was now routine and I was frantically trying to figure out how to stop thumb sucking habits in children.

Though many books and doctors stress the dangers of sucking on a thumb to teeth and gums, every time I asked one how to stop thumb sucking, I was never really given any clear cut options to break the habit. I did hear one nurse mention a thumb guard but she never really elaborated, even after I asked her to explain. I did have a frank and honest discussion with my daughters pediatrician who explained to me the trauma of the bout with the flu most likely caused fear in my child, which led her to suck on her thumb as a way to pacify and console herself. That did make sense to me, as that was how she used her pacifier when she was younger. I just did not know how to approach breaking such a habit.

I started researching ways to break the habit, and came across numerous options, with some just simply sounding frightening to me and many I just could not bring myself to even try. One option, a thumb guard, did catch my attention as it seemed simple to use and safe. The guard fits like a glove with the fingers cut out, all except for the thumb in question. The guard covers with material the thumb the child tends to suck on and thus needs to be broken of the habit.

After ordering a thumb guard, in a very girly pattern, I presented the glove to my daughter at bedtime and explained to her what it was for. Even at three years of age she understood how it worked, and the best part was because the fun print and colors on the glove, she did not balk by having to wear it.

Thank you Glovey Huggey,

– JannMarie