When should I worry about my child’s thumb sucking habits?



As parents, we are bombarded with so much information, particularly surrounding our child’s health. We are on constant alert, like a tiger ready to pounce at the sight of anything that may seem suspicious. We can’t help it. It’s our parental instinct. But with so much worry already on our plates, we don’t need to add more to the load if it’s not necessary, particularly when it comes to your child’s sucking habits. So we’ve put together our top tips to try and take some of that worrying off your shoulders. 


If your child is under age 1, don’t worry! 


Sucking is part of normal development. Get your child on track with their eating, sleeping and development milestones as a priority. Trust us, that is very important with an oral habit, and remember that the exploring babies do with their fingers at this age is crucial in helping to establish this.


If your child is under 3 years old, keep an eye on their sucking habit.


Most children stop sucking their thumb at age three, so if your child is under three and thumb sucking, be sure to keep a close eye on it and monitor when and how often they are sucking.


Wait until your child is over three before trying to stop the habit.

If you’re wanting to try strategies such as bitter nail polish, be sure to wait until your child is over three years old as their taste buds will be fully developed by then, making it more effective. This is the same with strategies such as gloves, don’t force your child to wear them. They work most effectively when the child is ready and wanting to break their habit.


 At age 4- 5, your child may be ready for a program so see the Thumbsucking Professionals trained by me in the only evidence based program in the world.


Thumbsucking Professionals can guide you on a parent-lead program to help your child grow out of their sucking habits. They are worth their weight in gold and can help to determine whether your child’s sucking is just a phase or an actual habit (all the while easing your stress and anxiety!) Be sure to check out our list of providers for someone close to you!


Tell me, have you got burnout from trying to stop your child’s sucking habit?

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