'I do not know what to do! Sarah sucks her thumb and I have done everything they have advised me to quit, but it makes me desperate! He gets sick all the time and I think that's why. Does this situation seem familiar to you? Perhaps you have heard it among your friends or are living it with your son. Let me explain what may be happening to your little one so that you can solve this that causes so much concern.The dos and don'ts to stop your child from sucking their thumb.
At birth, babies have a so-called sucking reflex. This is a normal, physiological reflex that appears since the child is in his mother's tummy, and which leads him to want to suck or suck all the time. As he grows, his body is discovered: self-examines or puts toes or fingers in mouth. It is a totally normal process that is part of the development of every child.
Thumb sucking, known as finger sucking or finger sucking, is considered normal until 2 to 3 years of age, but what happens when thumb sucking becomes a habit?
From 3 to 4 years of age it is already necessary determine the source by which the child continues to do so, being able to obey multiple causes:
- Because they feel fear or anxiety.
- Because they're bored.
- To lull himself or to fall asleep.
- As a method of consolation.
- Because they're nervous.
- When they scold them.
It is a way that they have to satisfy themselves and the only way to achieve it is by using the resources they have available to counteract a feeling or face a certain situation.
Thumb sucking It is one of the most difficult habits to eradicate, because it gives children security. There are occasions that spontaneously leave it, but there are certain cases where it is necessary to intervene to avoid more serious consequences such as respiratory and intestinal infections, language problems or dental malocclusion.
Mothers often use inappropriate and archaic techniques to eradicate this habit: they apply spicy spices, enamel paint, put vinegar, cover the finger with adhesive, put a plaster on it, tie the fingers, put gloves on ...
Countless things that do not work, because first of all you have to investigate what is the cause that leads the child to suck his thumb. To do this, it is important to first determine when it does it, what situation it is associated with and in this way treat the cause, therefore the resources that can be applied are the following:
- Distract you the moment you go to suck your thumb. It can be playing or coloring, that is, doing something that occupies your hand at that moment and leads you to forget that you were going to put your finger in your mouth.
- Reward and reinforce you through stickers, a fruit, or something he likes.
- If you suck your thumb at bedtime, give him a plush to accompany him.
- Propose challenges. You can make a schedule with the days of the week and stick it on the fridge and in his room; For every day that he does not suck his thumb, stick stickers and, at the end of the week, reward him.
And another that you should do or, rather, that you should not do is:
- Don't scold him.
- Do not humiliate him in front of other people that makes you feel embarrassed.
- Under no circumstances smear things on the fingers or use homemade methods that will not solve it, as it will be seen as punishment and this will further reinforce the habit you want to eliminate.
You must understand that it is a long process, that takes time, that will not be eliminated overnight, but in the case of having applied the above and having no result, consider necessary the assistance of professionals such as speech therapist or child psychologist to apply techniques specialized and eliminate this custom.
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