Thumb sucking, despite everything you hear, is a perfectly normal, natural and healthy activity for your newborn and infant to partake in. Normally children outgrow this habit by the age of three if they started doing it at all, with no physical or psychological side effects whatsoever.

However, some children do not break themselves of this habit and if it continues to the ages of 4, 5 and ever 6, your child may be at risk for, or already developing some of the problems associated with thumb sucking. Some problems can be misaligned teeth, a lisp and improper development of the mouth and jaw. You can also know how to stop finger sucking by using finger sucking guards.

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Good question and here is the first tip. Don’t yell, nag or get upset with the child if they are still sucking their thumbs. This will only reinforce their thumb-sucking habit and make it even harder to get them to stop.

There are a few ways to go about getting your toddler to stop sucking their thumb:

1) Praise – When the child does not suck their thumb for specific periods of time, be sure to praise the child. This offers positive reinforcement of something well done.

2) My Special Shirt – This is a specifically designed shirt and behavioral pattern program to help the child and parent successfully overcome thumb sucking. This program also comes with a professionally made agenda as well as support systems from the developers.

3) Pay More Attention to the Child – Thumb sucking often continues due to a sense of insecurity and the need for comfort.

4) Taste – There are products you can place on your child’s thumb that taste pretty nasty. These are, of course, completely safe and doctor approved. This reinforces with an immediate stimulus of thumb sucking is bad with the bad taste of the thumb.