Tips for Thumb Habits
We recommend ceasing a thumb habit by age 3 in order to avoid permanent tooth movement from thumb sucking. Your pediatrician would suggest sooner to enable proper speech production and for your child to develop social skills with their peers. Breaking this habit can be a challenge for most parents but it is doable! Try these tips and remember it takes time: place a bandaid on the preferred thumb so your child will naturally avoid sucking on it because of the texture (buying ‘cool’ character bandaids for added enthusiasm is a great idea). At night, placing a sock on their hand once your child has fallen asleep can serve as a reminder; during the day, catching your child not sucking their thumb and reinforcing that behaviour with rewards such as a calendar with stickers or a jar with tokens can be great incentive. Children tend to naturally move on from the thumb habit when exposed to more social time with peers and preschool!