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How to get rid of my baby’s thumb sucking habit?

Learning is an innate behavior that children have once they enter the world and this can be seen at every moment. But just as they learn to crawl, to eat solid food, to say their first words, they can acquire behaviors that are not desired by their parents and that is why we will tell you how to get rid of your baby’s thumb sucking habit.

The habit of thumb sucking is one of the behaviors that many mothers hate and do not understand why they do it. Especially if they do not observe other children who adopt this unpleasant behavior in front of them. However, if your baby already sucks his thumb, don’t worry, because in this article we will offer you some useful tips for your child to give up this bad habit.

baby thumb sucking
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Why do babies get into the habit of thumb sucking?

In reality, there are many possible causes that provoke the child’s thumb sucking habit. But studies consider that this act is totally natural and forms a behavioral reflex that manifests itself in the first years of their development. Therefore, the baby when breastfeeding can resort to the finger as a form of self-indulgence.

In which he has the same sensation that he feel when you suck his chest and thus he will feel better and calm. If this habit is allowed to continue, it can be very harmful to the baby’s health. In addition, there are other risks associated with the sucking of the finger or pacifier, so it is best to stop this habit as soon as possible.

From which month do babies acquire thumb sucking habit?

Babies from a very young age can suck their thumb, even before leaving the womb. Ultrasounds have been performed where the fetus can be seen putting the thumb in his mouth.

thumb sucking habit
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Therefore, it is very natural that they do so when they leave the womb, but the age is very variable. However, it usually occurs at 6 months or when the mother stops breastfeeding. Or in other cases when teeth are starting to come out and they suck their finger to scratch the gum.

What are the consequences if you don’t break the baby’s thumb sucking habit?

Thumb sucking can have very serious consequences, since the child’s hand may have had contact with contaminated or germ-filled surfaces. And these are transferred to the baby, in the act of putting the finger in the mouth, thus producing diseases that are very dangerous for his health.

Another negative consequence of thumb sucking has to do with teething, in these cases dental malocclusion can occur. The continuous sucking of the finger for a long time can also produce malformations in the mouth. Above all, in the insufficient growth of the upper jaw or that originates a sinking of the palate.

In some cases it has been determined that children who usually suck their thumbs may have language problems. For this reason and others that we have already mentioned, it is necessary for parents to help their children to stop this unpleasant and harmful habit.

Related: How to Keep a Baby Safe At Home?

Tips to get rid of baby’s thumb sucking habit

You as a father or mother can apply some practical advice that will help your baby to put aside this bad habit. But it is best to start from the first day you see your child put his finger in his mouth to suck on it. Among the most appropriate tips to stop this behavior are:

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement should be the best option you have in order to break this bad habit, in which you will offer your child a reward. Depending on your child’s needs, this prize can be a toy, her favorite dish, take them to the movies or the park. The interesting thing about this method is that you can plan some goals that encourage your child to quit the habit.

give toys to squeeze
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Give him toys to squeeze

Many children suck only when they want to fall asleep, so a great option for you is to replace finger with another object. Applying the substitution method will give you great results. And you will see that in a short time he will stop feeling dependent on sucking his thumb.

Do not scold or criticize

As a last piece of advice that we can offer you so that you can eliminate the habit of thumb sucking in your baby. It is for you to talk to him or her, it is useless to scold, criticize and much less yell at them, they do not learn with these behaviors.

Simply tell him not to do it frequently and when you notice that he has this behavior, explain the consequences that this bad habit produces.