Stopping Your Baby From Thumb-Sucking: SOS Moms

baby sucking thumb color_fullHas your baby been too attached to the thumb? Is this becoming too noticeable now? Worried? Then you are like our SOS Mommy with a query this week: Mum Tanya Bhateja’s 11 month old baby boy sucks on his thumb when he is hungry or sleepy, to the extent of sometimes ignoring food. She asks ‘How to get rid of my baby’s habit of sucking thumb all the time?’

The mums on our SOS Mom forum came up with a list of tips, ideas and advice:

  • This could be a sign that baby is teething. Give a teething toy, a biscuit or a carrot stick and it may help.
  • Do discourage but do not scold. Try and make baby understand that food is what needs to go in the mouth. It will be quite a task, but be patient and calm.
  • If baby has not been on a pacifier or nipple till now, no need to introduce one now. Instead, give frozen/chilled vegetable sticks.
  • Try and give simple and small feeds every 2 hour, if baby is not taking proper meals with interest. Another reason may be hunger.
  • Cover baby’s hands with a mitten
  • Distract baby. Read from a story book, sing rhymes, put on some baby music.
  • The habit will gradually decrease as baby grows up. Discourage in baby steps.
  • Try wrapping baby’s fingers in soft cotton cloth at night. Try and observe a few times and keep removing the hand every time baby puts it in the mouth.
  • Try putting salt or mashed kareala (bitter gourd) paste on baby’s thumb. The bitterness or taste of things that baby doesn’t like may change the habit.
  • Encourage your babies in other activities and distract as much as possible.
  • Don’t give too much attention to the act. Sometimes, babies do such things to gain more attention. Try and ignore and see if it works.
  • Ask everyone in the family to remove baby’s thumb from the mouth in a friendly, nice manner, not in anger or slapping it away. Keep doing it without making a show of it.
  • Applying home-made aloe vera gel (from crushed aloe vera) is very bitter and can be applied on fingers. It is also a good medicine for stomach ache and cough, so will be no harm if baby ends up sucking.

Special thanks to mums n dads:

Laura Visirin, Sivan Nadar, Hema Canchi Jauhari, Preeti Kaur, Aarti Vedpathak, Trina Basu, Lopamudra Nayak, Shruti Maligi, Amrita Vyas Purohit, Bijal Vora, Anju Puri, Neha Kaushal Sharma, Riya Mamta Chhajer, Tamizharasi Vajjiravelu, Rashmi Agrawal, Kalpana Hiran, Abbraju Rao, Archana Mj, Tina Jain, Neetu Bagi Laddha, Gaurav Puri, Deepti Dani, Supreet Saini, Sushma Reddy, Faiza Ismail, Veena Giri, Lekha Sasidharan, Swati Patle, Komal Ahuja.

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One response

  1. Maybe you can try using neem extract. It worked with mine. 🙂 Good luck

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