“Livvy was an avid thumb sucker from three weeks old. We thought it was cute and were pleased she could self-sooth from an early age!
As she got older we realised her thumb sucking was becoming more of an issue, especially as her thumb was frequently in during the day when she was speaking or colouring/ learning to write letters and numbers. She even started to use her left hand to do activities so she could keep her right favoured thumb in her mouth! The dentist also commented that she could tell Livvy was a thumb sucker and we needed to break the thumb sucking habit before she got her adult teeth.
To combat daytime sucking, which was at its worst when tired, watching tv or in the car, we cut out all the labels from her clothes (as holding a silky label went hand in hand with sucking her thumb), we also tried every advertised brand of nasty nail varnish. Neither were overly successful as she always managed to find something silky to hold and continued to suck regardless of how bad her thumb tasted – and some of the varnishes were BAD!
By constantly reminding her, the daytime thumb sucking gradually reduced, but never completely stopped and she’d sneak it in when she thought no one was looking! But nighttime continued to be a real problem. I came across Thumbsie thumb sucking guards during an internet search and talked to Livvy about them. She wasn’t at all keen but in the end picked out a horse and unicorn fabric, one for each hand. When they arrived she refused to wear them so we said we’d do it slowly and would start by putting them her on once she was fast asleep. The first few weeks of doing this was hit and miss and she’d wake up in the morning with it twisted round her wrist and a wet thumb, or would wake up in the night crying.
Gradually over time this stopped happening and she’d come running into our bedroom proud that she’d kept it on all night! It did mean we experienced some very early morning starts!!
We took the plunge after a month or so suggesting we put on her Thumbsies before going to sleep whilst we read her stories. We experienced a lot of resistance and instances where she ripped them off crying but again over time she finally fell asleep wearing them and was so proud of herself! By this point the daytime thumb sucking was a thing of the past.
On her 5th birthday, after using Thumbsies for over 6 months at nighttime we took a leap of faith and left them off and to date there’s been no thumb sucking since! ”
Laura, Mum to Livvy.
This is such a great, encouraging story and shows that persistence and the support of the family can really pay off. Thank you to Laura for sharing Livvy’s story.