Thumb Sucking or Pacifier Use

If your child uses sucking to relieve boredom, keep his hands busy or distract him with things he finds fun.
Praise or reward your child when he does not suck his thumb or use the pacifier. Star charts, daily rewards, and gentle reminders, especially during the day, can be very helpful.

Apply a bandage on the thumb or finger, or wear a glove at nightSucking is a natural instinct for infants. Sucking thumbs, fingers or pacifiers canmake children feel secure and happy, and it helps them learn about their world. When does pacifier use and thumb, or finger sucking become a problem? If your child sucks aggressively on a pacifier, his thumb or fingers beyond 2 to 4 years of age, it may affect the shape of his mouth or how his teeth are lining up. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth. Breaking the habit often occurs on its own. But if your child’s habit continues beyond age 4, there are several thing you can try:to act as a reminder. No matter what method you try, be sure to explain things to your child. Never use harsh words, teasing or punishment. Upsetting your child is not an effective way of getting rid of the habit.
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