Parenting after 35

RP: Help..DD is starting to Suck her Tumb :-(

DD is 3 months old and has never taken a pacifier.  She always spits it out or gags on it. She absolutely hates it!  This past week she has discovered sucking her thumb.   We're not thrilled about this for obvious reasons(crooked teeth, etc). 

Did anyone else's LO do this and were you able to break the habit right away?  We would prefer DD to take the pacifier vs the thumb b/c at least we can always take away the paci later on  but we can't ever get rid of the thumb.  Any suggestions on getting DD to take the paci instead? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.





Re: RP: Help..DD is starting to Suck her Tumb :-(

  • The need to suck is very strong for babies.  I'm afraid I don't have any good ideas for you to make her prefer the paci. I think it's good when LO's are able to self-soothe, to me, that's like their first baby towards beginning to build independence.  Both my girls suck their thumbs/fingers.  At least a thumb can't fall out of the crib in the middle of the night, making mommy or daddy have to get out of bed to get it.  Smile
    Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.
  • I don't know what to say... because I was a thumbsucker and sucked far too long. But, again, sucking is self soothing... so it's a toughie.

    I'm inclined to say let her suck for now, since she's so little. But find a way to break the habit later. Though perhaps ask your pediatrician for advice, too.


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  • I tend to agree with PP. Its part of self soothing which is a wonderful step towards confidence and independence.  Ditto that it doesn't fall, get lost or roll under the couch and get dog hair on it..::cough cough uh hummm::  not that I speak from experience on that last one. Maddie does both, so even if you get your LO to take the paci, it doesn't mean it'll will replace the thumb.

  • This is a tough one.  My little guy took a paci until 15 months.  Gave it up easily for 4 months and then started to suck his thumb and still does!  It's hard to break the habit and I hate it!!  Good luck! 
  • Anything your baby learns to do that allows her to soothe herself is a positive, in my opinion.  I think the thumb is way better than a paci because it won't get lost, dirty, fall out in the middle of the night, et cetera.  Having to keep up with a paci can get old really quickly. 

    Your daughter is still a very young baby and it's tough to tell right now if she'll turn thumb-sucking into a longer-term habit.  Even if it lasts into toddlerhood, it's not necessarily a bad thing.  Little ones that can self-soothe are fabulous!  They can put themselves to sleep, comfort themselves in a carseat when you're driving down the road, et cetera, et cetera.  The benefits are endless.  These are just my immediate thoughts after having gotten two children through infancy.


  • Both of my girls suck their thumbs and it really doesn't bother me and honestly, you are not going to be able to stop it.  Heck, I love that I don't get woken up because of a lost/dropped paci.  My 3 year old sucks hers more - it is a huge comfort thing for her. We do remind her now to stop sucking it when we know she is doing it out of boredom but she mainly does it when she is tired or upset and it has gotten less often on her own.  My 1 1/2 year old also sucks as self comfort and sometimes when she is tired but not as often as her big sis and she has a lovie that my older DD never got into so I think that is a huge difference.  My older DD is very oral in that she always has something in her mouth it seems - her finger, she chews on things all the time and it drives me nuts but it comforts her. 
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
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