Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Breaking The Habit

Thumb suckers. I have two of them. Olivia first found her thumb at 8 weeks old. Boy was it sooooo cute to see her put her hand up to her face and search with great earnest for her thumb. And then when she found it, the look of absolute comfort in her itty bitty face. We tried to encourage her to suck on a pacifier but she clearly had no use for it, so we didn't push it on her and just allowed her to suck her thumb.

A look of utter comfort on her little face.

The years went by, her thumb sucking increased. It was always in her mouth. I knew that it was going to be a hard habit to get her to "break".

You see, when I was young I sucked my finger. I clearly remember the comfort it brought me.  My mom tried EVERYTHING to get me to stop; pepper on my finger, band aids, nasty tasting stuff, and just plain old smacking my hand every time it was found in my mouth.

And none of it worked.  Nothing, could stop me from sucking my thumb.  It wasn't until I was 8 Years old that I decided that I needed to stop sucking my finger......Olivia seems to be EXACTLY like her mommy.

Since she was three years old we have been trying to help her to stop sucking her thumb.  We started with sticker charts.

Nope, a cheap dollar store toy every week was NOT worth it.

I gave up for a while. I actually didn't try that hard with her at that time cause honestly I didn't want to have to deal with her crying and fussing for weeks on end, especially at night.

At about 4 years old we tried the "stop nail biting" nail polish.....she figured out how suck her thumb, and then drink some water, then suck her thumb, then drink some water etc.... until finally tadaaaa! No more nasty tasting nail stuff.

Olivia and Sophie....thumb sucking buddies! we are 7 1/2 years later and Olivia is STILL sucking her thumb at night!  Her mouth is permanently changed now due to the constant sucking and her teeth.  She will need braces.

On the positive side though, it seems her little sister Sophie has prompted her to really want to stop sucking her thumb at night.

You see, Sophie is a thumb sucker too.  She started sucking her thumb at around 3 months.  And she too, sucked it ALL THE TIME!!


Well, the other night Mickey decided to put some Bitter Cherry spray (this spray is actually made to stop puppies from chewing and licking things....) on her thumb......and Sophie agreed!! Not only did she agree, she actually fell asleep without sucking her thumb and with NO FUSSING!  Sure, it took her a bit longer to fall asleep and she woke up a few times in the night, but not once did she complain, or cry or anything!!

"It can't be this easy" is what the hubby said to me.

The next day while Sophie was watching TV not ONCE did she suck her thumb!!  And she didn't even have any Bitter Cherry spray on her thumb!!

Sophie NOT sucking her thumb while watching a show!!!

Needless to say, the fact that Sophie is no longer sucking her thumb at night has seemed to prompt Olivia to do the same.

Gotta love sibling competition.


  1. Ah, my oldest daughter was a thumb sucker, it was the cutest thing. I worried about how we were going to break her of the habit because it was changing the shape of her mouth as well...And then one day when she was about 8 she just up and quit all on her own!
    That's awesome that Sophie can watch tv without sucking her thumb because that is when a kid usually does it the most, when they are relaxing and not thinking about it. Thank God for sibling competition!! lol

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  3. Nothing annoys me more than when my comment double posts!