Fun thumb & finger guards to help stop thumb sucking

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

Jo Bates, founder of Thumbsie® would like to share her personal thoughts on how to help your child to stop thumb sucking. Not claiming to be an expert, but Jo is just a mum who has had a child that sucked their thumb and have made many Thumbsie® fabric thumb guards over the past six years that have helped other children.

Thumb sucking is such a hard habit for the children to break. When our children first start, many of us think it’s cute, some of us are relieved that our children can settle themselves in the middle of the night when they awake, others just think they will grow out of it when they get to school. It’s one of those things that we keep putting off as we know it’s going to be difficult and stressful to try and stop.

Many experts say that children stop thumb sucking naturally at the age of 4 or 5, which is great if they do. All too soon, however, we start to worry about the risks, about the potential damage that it’s doing to our children’s teeth, we get a ticking off from the dentist and then we want to find a way for them to give up this habit. It’s so hard for the children, especially if they’ve been sucking for a long time. It’s their comforter, their soul mate and we want to take it away!

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Here are my top 10 tips on how to prevent thumb sucking;

  • Take notice of when they are doing it, try to keep them busy during these times.
  • If they associate their thumb sucking habit with a favourite toy or a muslin/comforter, then try to only allow them this at sleep times or just when they are in bed. Difficult I know, but disassociating with it really can help during the day.
  • Don’t shout but remind them that they are sucking their thumb, all too often they don’t know that they are doing it. It’s a good idea to come up with a code word so you are not always saying “stop sucking your thumb!”. My daughter used to argue with me when she was on the sofa that her thumb was nowhere near her mouth!
  • Try and talk to them about it, show them pictures on the internet of children wearing braces and of “open bite” teeth. One lady wrote to me saying that just showing her daughter the website was enough for her to stop sucking her thumb – amazing!
  • Offer them help to stop and let them know that you understand that it’s difficult. This is where a Thumbsie® fabric thumb guard can help.
  • If you decide to buy a Thumbsie® get your child to look at the patterns on the website and get them to choose the materials that they would like.
  • I can’t stress enough how important it is that you need to be consistent, like all things with children, they need to know their boundaries. I have found that parents get better results if they tackle the night times at the same time as during the day.
  • To ensure that they do wear it all the time it helps if it fits properly, it’s great if they don’t even know they have it on and can carry on with their normal activities.
  • Encourage and reward your children – any little step is an important one and should be rewarded. Give them plenty of praise.
  • Engage with your child’s school teachers – they should support you. Our school even spread the word to other parents as they thought it was so great!

Don’t just take our word for it see how three dentists describe the problems with thumb sucking and why they think you should try and help your child to stop digit sucking.

Watch this video to see how our thumb guard can help stop thumb sucking.

We had a lovely email from a mum that summed up everything that we really want to say. It’s parent reviews like this that make us want to keep on making Thumbsies®.

“I would just like to thank you so much for the success we have had with the Thumbsies!

My daughter Sophie (age 6) has not sucked her thumb for 29 days now and says that she never wants to suck her thumb again. Our dentist told us that her thumb sucking was preventing her teeth from coming through so we had to do something.

Sophie loved choosing the designs and they have lasted so well with repeated washing! The reward chart was great and we will continue until we have filled the whole chart with stickers. Loads of friends, her teacher and extended family have commented on how great they are – I wish they had been around when I was young!” Katie
We hope that this has given you ideas on how to stop thumb sucking and that you decide that Thumbsie® will help you as a family. It’s a great feeling when they stop!

Please go to the section shop for thumb guards or shop for finger guards to purchase your Thumbsies® to help prevent thumb and finger sucking.