“I’m getting big.”

Lilah still sucks her thumb, but possibly not anymore.

I thought last year she might be on the verge of quitting thumb sucking, but I guess she just wasn’t ready and she still continued to self comfort, and I think she did it a little more frequently too.

Tuesday night something had happened to her right thumb. There was some sore on it, no doubt from thumb sucking, and the other thumb just wasn’t ‘comfortable’ and it was very frustrating for her. To help calm her and get her to sleep, it was around 10 o’clock because of the play we went to, I got out a Hello Kitty Band-Aid that had been a part of a birthday present and put it on the sore. This helped and she went to sleep without too much whining. The next day she was set on keeping her band-aid nice and it was kinda funny, except when she wouldn’t do things for fear of bending the band-aid. We took it off later that day and she has avoided sucking her thumb due to the sore.

Just a few moments ago she told me she wasn’t going to suck her thumb anymore. I asked her why she had made the decision. If she just didn’t want to or if she was getting too big? She replied she just didn’t want to and then expanded that “I’m getting big and big people don’t suck thumbs.” (Earlier today she was wanting pacifier but I said she was too big for a pacifier and we joked a little. She was saying she wanted something to comfort her.)

I’m mostly OK with her sucking her thumb, but I do admit I like the times she’s unable to because I hope she forgets that she wants to suck her thumb and I hope she’ll stop. I try not to say things but I do try to prevent the girls from sucking their thumbs when in public, but mostly for sanitary reasons.

Only time will tell if this is the end of thumb sucking for her, and I’m OK if it’s not.

2 Responses to ““I’m getting big.””

  1. andrea Says:

    When I saw Amber in UT she told me that I needed to stop my baby from sucking her thumb, but how do you stop an infant. I pull it out of her mouth occasionally, but there’s nothing I can do when I lay her down to sleep and she pops the thumb in her mouth. One night I took it out and she just cried, until she popped it back in. I read this and I dread the thought that she may still be sucking her thumb 4 years from now.

  2. Jonathan Blake Says:

    I think the social stigma surrounding thumb sucking is unfortunate. Aside from concerns about dental health, it’s harmless.

    It’s generally self limiting anyway. Most kids (85% according to one study I saw) give up thumb sucking on their own by age 4. Often those who persist in sucking their thumb do it because 1) they have been in a power struggle with someone over thumb sucking, 2) they have had an emotionally unstable environment, or 3) its simply a habit. If it’s the one of the first two causes, then there are probably deeper problems than the thumb sucking. If it’s the third cause, by the time where the child is old enough to become embarrassed by public thumb sucking, they’re probably old enough for the parent to help them kick the habit.

    WebMD seems to have sensible advice.