Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Addicted to Thumb

Remember how I wrote that Natalie had to stop sucking her thumb or else the dentist was going to put something on her teeth to ensure that she doesn’t?


This is how that’s going:


Her next appointment is in September so we still have time. However, this child is so incredibly stubborn. I explain that sucking her thumb messes up her teeth. She doesn’t care. I explain that she’s too old to suck her thumb. SHE DOESN’T CARE.

“I love my thumb!” she’ll wail. “I LOVE MY THUMB!”

She reminds me of those people on that Intervention show on A&E who freak out when others point out their flaws.

“You don’t need your thumb anymore,” I’ll say gently.


You see? Just like those people on Intervention.

“I understand that you love your thumb but it’s destructive behavior,” I said. Well, okay, so it’s not DESTRUCTIVE behavior but whatever. Then again, in a way it is, because if she jacks up her teeth, guess who has to PAY for them?

“I asflkjdfa,” Natalie answered. All garbled because her THUMB WAS IN HER MOUTH!

“Think of all the germs that must be on that thumb. Do you want to get sick?” I tried another tactic.

“Yup,” Natalie answered from the side of her mouth.

“You start Kindergarten soon. Kindergarteners don’t suck their thumbs anymore,” I said.

Natalie suddenly leapt of the couch. “You,” she said, popping her thumb on the mouth. “ARE MEAN!”

I’m mean? I’M MEAN? HOW AM I MEAN? I can start being mean. I’ll get the stuff that I can put on the thumb that makes it taste like crap. In fact, that’ll probably be my next step. I’ve tried reasoning with her and I just get yelled at.

So, let’s move on to the Icky Thumb Stuff and see how mean she thinks I am then.

(I’m a little scared. Not going to lie.)

(Yes, I’ll blog about it.)


  1. How about bribery? Does she like her nails painted? If so, let her pick out a color of adult polish (reason for adult is that it tastes awful when you suck on it for any length of time, plus, it won't dissolve when she sucks on it the way the kiddie polishes will). Big girls who don't suck their thumb get to wear nail polish. If you catch her sucking her thumb, strip the nail polish because she isn't a "big girl." Make her go a day or 2 without thumb sucking before you paint her nails again. If she stops sucking her thumb for a week, let her pick out another color. Might cost you about $30 over the course of the summer in nail polish colors, but hey, at least it is "reward based" which tends to work better with stubborn kids.

  2. I don't know how much better this will make you feel, but I was one of these kids. My parents had a special retainer put in my mouth that helped prevent thumb-sucking. Only I quickly figured out that chewing gum helped pop it back out. We were at the Dentist A LOT that year. However, it was successful. I don't put my hands near my mouth anymore except to put on make up. So there is a light at the end of your tunnel! Promise!

  3. Never was a thumb sucker, but I knew people who were. There was a girl that I was in 5th grade through 8th grade with and she sucked her thumb the entire time. The sad part, she was a popular kid. Made me so mad. I was like, "Chick sucks her thumb and she's in middle one else finds this weird? ...and disgusting?"

    Anyway, I said that to say this, hopefully she'll grow out of it. I'm all about some bribery, but I also know that you can't force a child, especially that young, to stop any habits. They have to do it on their own, which I know isn't comforting. Try this icky thumb crap though...I hear it works!

  4. Well hun, if she thinks YOU'RE mean, wait til she gets teased by the other kids! Better to get this taken care of now, for her teeth, your wallet, and everyone's sanity.

    You have to find her motivation. You have yours, but you haven't found hers yet. She wants her thumb. You have to find something she wants more! Good luck!

  5. A friend of mine had to get a gate on her 8 year old's teeth to stop the thumb sucking. Hopefully you can get Natalie to stop without it because it took Kaylin some time to learn how to speak properly with the gate in!

  6. Like I posted before. I used Mavala Stop! That I bought off of Amazon. Painted both of my girls thumbs and in three days they were both done with thumb sucking for good. Just make sure you reapply it for around a month so that the habit is good and broken. My eldest was seven when we did this, and my youngest was four. I was a thumb sucker myself and I know how hard it is to break the thumb sucking habit, but by seven it HAD to be done. Good luck!!

  7. Not the thumb!!! I sucked my thumb till---well I'm too embarrassed to say. Still, she's darn cute doing it. I know, not what you wanted to hear!!!

  8. No one ever starts HS sucking there thumbs...once she is in school and she that her peers aren't doing it she will probably stop unless she is tired! At least thats what I hope happens! Good Luck from a former mean mom!

    1. Not true. LOTS of adults still do, if stealthfully (but not always on the sly).

  9. I sucked my thumb for years - maybe until I was about seven - and I am of the school of thought that kids give things up when they are ready. I was a super anxious kid and turned into a nail biter. Sometimes, we all just need a little comfort, right? It's why I like wine. :)

  10. I will tell you a dirty little secret (don't tell anyone, okay??!!)...I sucked my thumb until I was 8. That is right, 8. You know what got me stop...when I knew that the next year or so would be when I would start going to sleepovers. So I stopped.
    Guess when I didn't suck my thumb? College.
    Don't sweat it, your baby girl will be fine! :)

  11. my sister sucked her thumb foreverrrr and she has perfect teeth {without ever having braces!} she'll stop in her own time.

  12. let me know how the icky thumb stuff goes. if you want her to stop and decide to use the icky thumb stuff don't feel bad about it. the people who say "she will stop in her own tim," and "don't worry about it" aren't paying your dental bill!

  13. and when I say tim, I mean time! lol

  14. Just gotta say ~ being a mom is hard, hard, hard.

  15. Does she realize that if she doesn't stop now, by herself, that the dentist is going to put something on her teeth to MAKE her stop? If she understood that then maybe she would make the decision to stop on her own. Just a thought. I've never had to break a that's all I've got.

  16. Ok, I have to admit... I chuckled, a lot. Not because it's a laughing matter, but because of the conversation regarding how she doesn't need her thumb and it's destructive behavior. I have four kids, and I'm not sure how, but I skated by the thumb sucking issue. Thank God! To be honest, I sucked my index finger until.... well, I still do in my sleep, when I'm stressed out. Not something I'm proud of, but hey, I need my finger ;) Anyways, a friend of mine went through this with her son, and she ended up getting some of that bitter spray that you spray on things so puppies will quit chewing up stuff. It's completely non toxic and safe for human consumption. She only had to use it twice, and he quit sucking his thumb completely! good luck!

  17. I am in the same boat! My 5 year old sucks her thumb too and I would love to get her to stop. I would LOVE to know what you find that works!

    Anjie @ Of Pandas and Pirates

  18. The thumb is such a tough thing. Wishing you lots & lots of luck.

  19. Miss 10 sucks her thumb - she only took it up at about 7 years old and we are battling to get her to stop. She knows she shouldn't because she sneaks around and hides so she can suck it. I have given up and just remind her regularly in the hope it eventually goes away *sigh*

  20. I sucked my thumb for much longer than necessary. When I was in 1st grade, my teacher caught me sucking my thumb in class. She made me stand in front of the classroom and suck my thumb for the rest of the day in front of everyone. That was the end of sucking my thumb at school...

    My parents used the nail polish for thumb suckers. It worked.

    Good Luck!

  21. Ha! I still suck my thumb. Lots of adults do also. Where else can you find something that's free, legal, quiet, non-intrusive, without calories or drugs, enables a natural form of meditation, is instantly calming and aids in sleep, convenient and more? Now...if only the social stigma can end it'd be perfect.


Thanks for the comment!

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