Mama Was A Thumb Sucker Too.

0591As an infant my daughter cried all the time. I know babies cry, but with Mai it was nonstop. There was not much that would soothe her. She refused a pacifier, didn’t like her swing or take to her bouncy seat. Then one day she found that magic digit on her hand. JACKPOT! Let the self-soothing begin. The thumb in the mouth was an instant sign that she was tired, frustrated or did not feel well. My husband and I were both relieved when she found her thumb. As soon as she started to get cranky the thumb popped right in the mouth. It was magical.

Lately, I have been getting a little concerned about the continued thumb sucking. Mai has eczema. It is the worst on her hands and especially on her thumb. It is cracked and red and the skin on and around the area feels like leather. I slather her thumb in lanolin and also a mixture of oil and honey whenever I get a chance. I worry about her getting an infection. It looks so painful and she scratches at it all the time.
It is also worries me that she will have a problem weaning off of it. I know that it is not uncommon for a 2 year old to still suck her thumb, but as a girl that sucked her thumb far into elementary school, I am worried about my daughter following in my footsteps.

As a child, my mother tried everything to try to get me to stop. She wrapped my fingers and put bitters on my thumb. I tore off the bandages and would spit and wipe the bitters off or sometimes I would lick the bitters off and continue on as usual. Even the other kids in school teasing me did not stop me. I wanted to stop, but could not. I sometimes didn’t even realize I was doing it. It was so natural, it was like breathing.

So, how do I keep this from happening to my little girl?

They say to offer them something else to help comfort them such as an animal or blanket. She has a security blanket already and also stuffed animals that she cannot be without.

They say to distract her with another activity when she is doing something that typically is accompanied with her having to put her thumb in her mouth, but we are constantly doing things. She sucks her thumb the most at bed time or when we are reading, but I am not willing to give up books because it is something that triggers her habit.

Do I wait this out? Will my daughter’s eczema ridden thumb fall off? Should I worry about her teeth? My teeth turned out alright. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please, mamas weigh in.

The word thumb was used 12 times in this post. Thumb! Make it 13.

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About The Pinterested Parent

I am loving wife to my best friend & mommy to our smarty pants little girl, who loves to learn, craft & play. I am an artist, a crafter & I am Pinterest addict. When I first started my blog it was meant to be an outlet for my Pinterest addiction. I was looking to inspire & be inspired. What it became was a wonderful journey for me & my daughter in which we chronicle our activities, crafts, lessons & a hefty slice of our life. Please join us as we navigate through this wonderful thing called motherhood.
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8 Responses to Mama Was A Thumb Sucker Too.

  1. Emma was a screamer and cried all the time with colic as an infant. She also wouldn’t take a pacifier either, but neither of my kids ever sucked their thumbs, so I have no real words of advice for this, but just know this too shall pass. I mean everything eventually does as they seem to outgrow each stage at their own pace from what I have seen with my own girls so far 😉

    • Thanks Janine. My biggest worry really is the state that her thumb is in now. It looks so painful. She scratches it constantly and I really am afraid that she will infect it. I had a thumb infection when I was little and it was horrible.

  2. My youngest started sucking her thumb when we transitioned her from bottle to sippy cup. At 3 years old she is still going strong. If she is really upset she will put one thumb in her mouth and the other in her belly button! Our ped says after 3, you are going to be buying braces. If you find something that works, let me know!

    • That is cute though. Lol! I didn’t need braces and I went strong for years. Her thumb worries me though. It is in rough shape. I will let you know if we find something that works. You do the same for us.

  3. Jess says:

    Nolan is a tongue sucker, meaning he suckles on his own tongue. Usually against the patch on his bear, but he’ll do it on his own too. I’m not sure I’d want to break him of that comfort thing…because what could I offer as a replacement?

    In other words, I’m in the same boat lol.

  4. Carrie says:

    I’m in the same boat too. My 2 1/2 year old is an avid thumb sucker and this mama was a thumb sucker until my 4th birthday (my teeth are fine). Wish I had some good advice for you. The only thing I would suggest is to not bring a lot of attention to it. Could you put some lanolin or coconut oil on her thumb after she falls asleep? My girl sucks her thumb at bedtime, but after she’s asleep, the thumb is out of her mouth. She’s a heavy sleeper, so I can sneak into her room and do just about anything without waking her up.

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