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Thumb Sucking

What is the cause of thumb sucking?

What is the cause of thumb sucking? Why do children suck their thumbs? These are questions that many parents have asked themselves over the years.

While every child will have a slightly different reason for thumb sucking, there are common causes we see time and time again.

One of the most common causes is thumb sucking as a source of comfort. One reason for this is that a “sucking motion” is commonplace for a child when they are hungry and seeking comfort through food. Although this motion is most noticeably used when a child wants to be fed, it can also manifest itself in thumb sucking

Parents often ask us, is it natural for my child to suck their thumbs? The answer to that is easy: yes, absolutely! Thumb sucking often starts in the womb – sometimes as early as 30 weeks’ gestation. This is a totally natural reflex and is often used to self-soothe and help a child fall asleep.

So, when does it become a problem? Typically, a child will develop other means of soothing themselves by the age of four. If this is not the case, it may be time to look at options to help break the habit.

A particular concern is that if a child uses thumb sucking as a coping mechanism, the habit may flare up at times of anxiety – a change of school, a house move or the birth of a new sibling, for example. For any child, the world can be full of uncertainty with new places, people and experiences. At times of great change, a child can often fall back in to the habit of thumb sucking – seeking the reassurance and comfort that it provides them. Indeed, Between the ages of 7 and 11, one in every eight children in the UK are believed to have developed a thumb sucking habit.

At times like this, communication is key. It is really important to find out what is troubling your child, and how you can help.

Night time sucker?

Our thumb and finger guards can help prevent night time sucking. Buy Now

At Thumbsie® we appreciate that there are many different causes of thumb sucking. But our solution is tried and tested. Evidence shows that the most effective approach to help a child stop thumb sucking is 1. Protection 2. Encouragement 3.Rewards.

Thumbsie® are proud to offer all three of these solutions. Our thumb guards are the perfect protection against thumb sucking. They fit over the thumb like a glove and are secured around the wrist with Velcro, coming in five different sizes and over 40 possible fabrics.

We offer encouragement through our special inspirational book, “Thumbs Up for Ted’s Thumbsie”, which helps children feel encouraged and supported along their thumb stopping journey.

And we provide rewards via our fantastic rewards chart, complete with a variety of coloured stickers. Best of all, each child who stops thumb sucking thanks to Thumbsie gets a free “Success Certificate.”

Whatever the cause of your child’s thumb sucking habit, by following the protect, encourage, reward system, you can be confident your child can overcome it for good.


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