Habit Of Thumb Sucking

thumb-suckingThumb sucking is a common problem found amongst the babies. In psychological terminology, it symbolizes as a process of calming. Normally, when a baby is feeling lonely, worried, hungry or bored, he or she starts thumb sucking. The origin of it goes to the stage when they were in womb and it is a way to comfort themselves. There are certain side effects of thumb sucking like increased chances of getting sick, bad dental development, and yes, social acceptance issue. It has been generally witnessed that some babies kick this habit when they are two to three years old whereas some other continue it as late as six or seven years.

So how should parents handle this problem? The ideal way is to break the habit as soon as baby starts it. Toddlers and infants are commonly prone to this habit and that is the right stage when parents should get this habit out of their system. Parents should ensure that child is not hungry or should not be left alone. Babies should be comforted while they are found sucking thumb as it indicates the need for comfort.

In case you find toddlers sucking the thumb, gently take the thumb out of the mouth and it generally works. The habit of thumb sucking also develops when child has nothing to do. In such cases, give something creative to child so that he exhausts his energy. It could be baby toys or some other means. Sooner than later, you will find child has stopped thumb sucking. Don’t spank your child for this habit because that will lead to further psychological issues. Instead, adopt a loving and caring method. Motivate the child to quit this habit.

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