Its true, the earlier a child stops sucking the better.
But before 12 months, mouthing is normal.
So we need to provide optimum opportunities for kids to suck and chew on oral developmentally-appropriate toys.
By doing this, babies should turn into kids that have had optimal oral experiences and sucking habits lapse.
At the age of 4 and a half to 5 years old – the so-called “Magic Age” children are bright and receptive and are often ready to stop their sucking…. This is a great age to begin a formalised program.
Any mechanical or aversive approach to stopping
a child younger than 5 can result in withdrawals (Don’t laugh!! Remember the body’s natural chemical opiates!)….
This includes bad behaviour and transfer to another habit (think nail biting, cheek chewing, clothes chewing).
Children under 5 years are little people, many are still babies really…..
It is at age 5 that children can understand long term consequences of their actions, are able to take a bit more responsibility and they usually really want to please….
This is the best time for a behaviour modification program to be initiated and the best chance for success.