How Did You Get Your Toddler To Stop Thumbsucking

11 Replies
DDT - May 25

My ds1 is 27 months old. He has been an avid thumbsucker since he was 3 months old. We thought the appeal may be waning a couple of months ago but lately it seems like all he wants to do. He has gone for 2 dentist check-ups. She is very happy with his teeth but noticed his slight overbite. She told me that we have till he's 3-3.5 before we take drastic measures to stop the thumbsucking. I have tried putting bandaids around the tips of his thumbs, but he screams and tears at them until I cave and take them off. I have no idea what else to try. Does that stuff you apply to their nails really work?


MNMOM - May 26

Hi DDT-I wish I had some advice but I don't, really. Is your son sucking his thumb during the day when he is awake? I guess I would say distraction is your best bet then. Forcing him to give it up or using the stuff on the nails just seems cruel to me, but I am a softie and that is just my opinion. My son is a thumbsucker too, but just at night as he is falling asleep, so probably that is 10 minutes a day max, not a big deal in his case. I figure he will give it up when he decides he is ready to. Good luck!


Buffi R. - May 26

I hope you get some suggestions because I'll be watching for them! I have a 6-year old (he'll be 7 in Sept) who still sucks his thumb. Always when going to bed, and also when he's wide awake traveling in the car or watching TV. I've tried bandaids too, but he pulls them off himself and tells me they 'fell off'. The nail stuff didn't work for him and I wouldn't recommend it either. I actually tasted one of his thumbs myself right after applying it, and I couldn't even taste it. I've talked to our dentist and his response was "braces are cheaper than psychotherapy" implying that we'll warp him mentally if we force the issue with anti-thumb sucking appliances or anything else. But I can't help myself. I make him turn off the TV if he sucks his thumb (after a warning) so I'm probably make him even more anxious which I'm sure isn't helping. He started losing his baby teeth this year, and I'm hoping when he has no teeth in the front it'll feel differently to him to suck his thumb and he'll finally give it up. Sorry that this doesn't answer your question much, and like I said I hope you get some good ideas.


MNMOM - May 26

Buffi - thanks for sharing your story. That made me feel better. My son will be 6 next month and I kinda figured I was the only one with a SON that old still sucking his thumb! Good comment about the teeth - I wonder if that will change things! My son just lost his first tooth - a bottom one - I bet the top front teeth will affect things. I like your dentists att_tude too - I mean, there are so much bigger things to worry about than sucking a thumb! :)


aug_mom07 - May 27

I have a 2 year old daughter with the same problem. They say it isn't a problem until they're about 4 and then it messes with their teeth. Unfortuantely her dad was also a thumbsucker so I think the habit might stick around for awhile. Anyways, if you go to the one step ahead website they have something for stopping thumbsucking, but it's kind of spendy. Hope this helps.


kimberly - May 29

My sister used something called "thumb suck" it is suppose to be safe but taste really bad. I also heard of using toba__sco sauce because it is hot and the hot stays on thier hands, but it seems kind of cruel to me. You can find it in the pharmacy area at Wal Mart.


in the woods - May 30

I think I found something that may help - search on Amazon for MALAVA Stop Thumb Sucking - it's like a nail polish that stays on the nails. Haven't tried it yet, but with 278+ positive comments... My daughter just turned 6 and though we started really talking with her last year, before her school (big girls don't suck thumbs, big girls wipe their own bums etc) she manages, stil, to suck her thumb while falling asleep. She just got her firt permanent tooth and good thing I was told about this nail polish that helps. To all moms of thumb-sucking toddlers there - it is a hard habit to break off, because the thumb is always there. If I had another child, I'd give him a binky, no matter how much I was against binkies to start with. I ended up with 2 thumb-sucking children. (My son is 4). Anyway, will try this nail polish on them.


Buffi R. - May 31

I checked out all the comments on line about the Malava Stop nail polish and it looks like it'll do the trick. I know, a nasty way to deal with the problem, but at my son's age (almost 7) we can't beat around the bush any longer. I ordered a bottle and should have it in about a week. I also got a good idea from one of the parents who reviewed the product on line. She told her 3-year old daughter that there was a special fairy who would decide when she was old enough to stop sucking her thumb, and when that time came, the fairy would make her thumbs taste bad. One night, her mom played "fairy" and used the Mavala Stop. The next morning, her daugher noticed the bad taste and was so excited that the fairy had come, that she never sucked her thumb again, or something like that. Playing off of that, this morning, we told our son that a fairy would check how his teeth are growing, since we've already told him he's big enough not to suck his thumb, and that if he keeps it up, his teeth will be crooked. If she decides that his teeth are growing in crooked, she would make his thumbs taste bad to help him remember not to suck on them. We also decided to completely stop scolding and reminding him not to suck his thumb. I told him I wouldn't scold or remind him myself anymore because I know he can stop on his own, trying to build up his self confidence. I told him the fairy would check on him in a few days, and if she thinks he needs help, she'll make his thumbs taste bad, not to punish him, but to help remind him. All day today he's been really excited about NOT sucking his thumb. I've noticed a few times while he was watching TV (when he would normally be sucking his thumb) that he wasn't, and I've given him lots of praise. Hopefully by the time we get the Mavala in the mail, he'll stop on his own, but if not, we can fall back on that. I'll keep you guys posted. I know I wasn't the original poster on this question, but thanks for the suggestions from everyone!


Justine1 - June 3

Nick (2) doesn't suck his thumb but sucks 2 fingers when he goes to sleep. I don't plan to do anything about it until he's 4 or so if he hasn't stopped by himself then. Fortunately Sophie never sucked her fingers/thumb. Nick tends to only do it when he's tired to go to sleep and sometimes its useful as we know he is tired so we know why he's grumpy. I think when he's 4 I'll just try talking to him first with the big boys don't suck their fingers - look Papa doesn't suck his fingers. That approach worked with Sophie for something else. I hope I can get him to stop it before he goes to school at 5 but at the moment it doesn't bother me - he looks cute going to sleep with his fingers in his mouth cuddling his Peter Rabbit toy.


Ginny - June 5

My mom tells me that I was a little thumbsucker - until I came down with an infection along my cuticle that spread to my throat. (Gross - sorry!) I had to sit with my thumb stuck in salt water each day to help rid the infection. I was pretty germ-hating as a kid and that made such an impression that I couldn't suck my thumb anymore. Not sure how helpful that is - but if your little one is easily grossed out, hearing that story might help. Good luck!


nounou159 - June 13

my daughter is 2 years now and she is a thumb sucking sine she was 3 month or may be before that and when she turns 1 year and she doesn't stop it i asked her doctor and she tolled me about a nail polish for the thumb sicking,i ordered it from amazon because i cant find it in any store its name is (Mavala nail polish for thumb sucking and nail biting)and believe me i put it on my daughter's thumb for 3 days and from the first day she stopped sucking because it had a very bad taste and its safe for them really its a miracle,try and tell me...good luck


MyLifeNotYours - July 25

I have a 12 year old that still sucks her thumb. They have to stop on there own. I'm tired of trying.



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