Thumb Sucking and Finger Sucking: How to Break the Habit

Thumb Sucking, Finger Sucking, Habit

Thumb Sucking and Finger Sucking: How to Break the Habit

Does your little one have a habit of sucking on their fingers or thumbs? Are you looking for practical ways to discourage the habit? If so, here are a few tips you can use to prevent finger-sucking-related health issues.

Use Positive Affirmations

Whenever you see them not sucking their fingers, praise them. Your positive affirmations will help them in leaving the habit. At the very least, they’ll stop in front of you so you can appreciate them. Also, you can give your toddler a reward for their positive attitude, such as telling an extra bedtime story or giving an extra cookie.

Look for Triggers

Some children have a trigger that prompts them to suck their thumb. They might suck their thumb when they feel disturbed or some overwhelming emotion. Identifying triggers will help you determine the real issue. Once you know what the trigger is, you can offer a hug or reassurance. You may also provide them with other ways to cope with the situation, such as a pillow or stuffed toy to hug.

Learn About Finger Sucking Together

If your child learns from cartoons, use cartoons and movies for this purpose. Watch a cartoon series where the character stops practicing a bad habit, and it improves their life. Then, talk to your child about their finger habit and encourage them to adopt a similar approach.

Offer Gentle Reminders

Sometimes, even when a child is ready to lose the habit, they unconsciously return to it. In most cases, they forget that they did something wrong, as the thing becomes natural for the habit becomes second nature for them. In this case, you can offer gentle reminders. Ask them to take their finger away from their mouth whenever you see them.

Apply Bitter Nail Polish

If it’s hard to remind your child after a few hours or you’re too busy to perform this task, you can apply some bitter nail polish to their nails. This way, whenever your child puts their finger in their mouth, the bitter taste will avert their behavior. Over time, they’ll drop the habit.

Bottom Line

Besides the above-mentioned tips, keep in mind that it will take time. Your little one most probably has built this habit over a few months or years. So, you need to give them a couple of months to leave the habit.