Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Thumbsucker

Take a look if you will at the picture in header.  You see that little guy second from the left with his thumb in his mouth?  That would be my 5 1/2 year old, Edison.

Edison has been a thumbsucker since he was a baby.

He sucks his thumb a lot.  It's usually when he's in rest mode (in other words, not bouncing off the walls).   But, as soon as he slows down and he's no longer in motion, that thumb goes in.

I was looking through my collection of downloaded pictures to find some examples of Edison with his thumb in his mouth.  Surprisingly, there weren't as many as I thought there would be.  But, I guess in most pictures I have of him, he's actively engaged.  

But, here's what I found.
 Sucking his thumb with dirty hands. 

 There's the thumb again.

 And again

 And yet again.

And, there he is in the background, not wanting to participate in a family picture.
Sucking on his thumb

We had a dentist appointment yesterday.  She has mentioned his thumbsucking before.  But, yesterday she made no bones about it.  He is doing permanent damage to his teeth (pushing the top front ones out and the bottom front ones back), his palate, even the growth of his jaw.  

So, now this has moved beyond a childhood habit that I figured would eventually diminish on it's own to something that is potentially serious with life long effects.

Here's my question to you dear readers.  Have any of you had thumbsuckers?  What methods have you found effective in helping your thumbsucker break his or her habit?  I'd appreciate any words of wisdom you may have!


  1. When I was little, I refused to let go of my binky and my bottle. I think I was about your son's age, if not a little younger when my dentist told my mom the same thing. My mom sat me down, and showed me what the dentist was talking about and it scared me so much I just stopped, cold turkey!

  2. Sadie was a big thumb sucker. We used Mavala Stop- the bitter (clear) nail polish. It worked like a charm for a couple months, but she's had a few episodes of falling back into the habit. So, we get the polish out again and it really helps. She's almost five. One draw back (for her siblings) is that if she gets really annoyed at them, she sticks her thumb in their mouth and they go running away, gagging. Pretty smart, if you ask me:-).

    Here's the post I wrote about it if you want to read more...http://thyhandhathprovided.blogspot.com/2009/11/thumb-sucker-no-more-mavala-stop-nail.html

    Miriam sucks two fingers, so we're going to end up dealing with this again one day. Yippee.

  3. I remember my mom trying various tactics to get me to quit sucking my thumb. The worst (best?) was a drop of tabasco sauce, though if I was really in the mood I could eventually suck off all that nasty flavor and have my delicious strawberry thumb back again. Good luck!

  4. Karen-
    love the ice fishing - what awesome experiences your sons have- they are blessed.
    Love your new armoire- I want it.
    As for the thumb sucking- AHHHHHHHH
    My last sucks his thumb and I don't worry about it too much unless I start thinking he might not stop. This post is reminding me of that.
    He is my youngest and he is so cute- I know you are probablly thinking been there- done that .
    I do know he gets upset if he has cream on and he can taste it.
    I might try that nail polish one of your commenters mentioned.
    What do you do if that is what he uses to put himself to sleep?
    expensive dental bills vs. sleep for mom-
    That is a hard call for me- lol

  5. my middle one sucks her thumb to fall asleep but lately she's been using it more for just relaxing so I'm glad you posted this. I need to stop it, she's almost 3!
    I know someone who had to get some kind of apparatus to stick on her daughter's thumb. Almost like a cast. That was the only way to her to stop, and it worked!
    Good luck!

  6. Hi, just stumbled across your blog. My mom had to help my middle sis stop. Of course, this was 25 years ago...but she always sucked that polish stuff off. My mom taped up her thumb with that white medical tape at night. Is that cruel or something nowadays? I'm not sure. My kids never sucked their thumbs...She stopped though.

    Good luck. I know it is difficult. I am an elementary school teacher. I hear lots of stories.

  7. Good luck!That is a tough one.


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