So why do baby elephants suck their trunks?
Well, as in all young mammals, they do it for the same reason — comfort. Just like human newborns, elephant calves are born with a strong sucking reflex, which prompts it to drink from its mother. And when a baby elephant is not feeding, it may suck it’s trunk for comfort, just as a human baby might suck a pacifier.
Aside from the comfort it provides, trunk sucking helps an elephant calf learn how to use and control their trunks. As newborns have little control of them they must learn how to use them. They must then master the use of their trunks for feeding. With more than 50,000 individual muscle units in the trunk, you can imagine how difficult it is to learn to control.
Though trunk-sucking is more common in baby elephants, older elephants — even mature bulls — have been seen sucking their trunks when they are upset or nervous. Apparently 12% of human adults admit to still sucking their thumbs.
Children who suck their thumbs are able to at an early age, some are seen thumb sucking in their mothers womb, to meet their own need for sucking. These children may be able to fall asleep more easily, and many even sleep through the night much earlier than infants who do not suck their thumbs. The problems only arise when the toddler gets a little older.
Monkeys, apes, chimpanzees, dogs ,cats, lions, bears and I am sure may more mammals suck their thumbs so our children are not alone.
At Thumbsie® we don’t plan to start making thumb or finger guards for an elephants trunk, I don’t think we could afford the fabric, however we do have some great elephant materials. We have Pink, Teal and Navy elephant Thumbsie®thumb guards we even have them in red and pink finger guards too. But if elephants aren’t your thing we have lots of other animal fabrics to choose from.