Thumb Sucking in Children

Children are born with the natural ability to suck; it is not something that needs to be taught to them. They easily latch on to the mother’s breast and begin to suck for milk; it is more often the mother that needs to learn the correct are of breast feeding.

Children are not able to suck their thumbs in the first three to four months. They do not understand their bodies and are unable to co ordinate something as easy as putting the fingers in the mouth correctly. This reflex develops later and the baby in the first few months will just throw his hands about in or around the mouth and try to suck their finger.

Once they are able to do that correctly they will begin to suck either of their fingers or the thumb. Not all babies do this. What most people do not know is that the infants who take to thumb sucking are the ones that have not been able to suck enough at the mother’s breast. Even if you are breast feeding allow the child to suck for a little more time just to get into a comfort zone. Once the baby starts thumb sucking most parents want to stop it right from the onset.

Once again by doing this they are not allowing the child to suck and he is going to be very upset. It would be better to get the child a pacifier and allow him to suck on it. A pacifier needs to be clean and kept in boiled water for a while. A pacifier is harmless and does not have a hole so there is no danger of the baby sucking large gulps of air. It is easier to get the child off the habit of sucking a pacifier rather than getting him to stop sucking his thumb.

Even if your baby has begun sucking his thumb there is not much you can do. They may gradually suck on it less as they grow older and may eventually do it only to go to sleep. All children at some point will give up the habit. But the harder you try the more difficult it will seem.