How to Break the Thumbsucking Habit

Does your child suck on his or her thumb? This isn’t uncommon for younger children. In fact, for many infants, it’s a relaxing way to self-soothe or fall asleep. However, if thumbsucking continues after a child’s baby teeth have fallen out, problems can develop when the permanent teeth grow in, including overbites and speech problems. These tips will help you break your child’s habit early on.

How to Break the thumb Habit:

  • Give Them Praise – Let your child know when they’re not sucking their thumb. This positive reinforcement can be a lot more effective than scolding them when they are.
  • Keep Them Calm – Many children still suck their thumbs because they are anxious or nervous. Finding out what it causing your child to feel stressed can help them break the habit.
  • Talk to Them – Don’t be afraid to talk to your child about why thumbsucking is bad for them. While this alone isn’t likely to break the habit, it can help your child understand why it’s important for them to stop.
  • Reward Them – Create a progress chart for your child. At the end of each week, offer a fun prize for no sucking. Just make sure that your child is actively involved in the decisions. Try deciding together how many slip-ups they’re allowed each week — and let them choose the type of stickers they want to put on the chart.

If you’re still having trouble getting your child to break the habit, give us a call! We can help you find the right solution to solve your child’s thumbsucking habit.