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A member asked:

Should i try and stop my baby from sucking her thumb?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jason Perkel
Pediatrics 26 years experience
No: Sucking is a fantastic self-soothing behavior and if it is "forced" to be eliminated, one may see other behavioral problems soon follow.
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Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental and Behavioral 51 years experience
When you put her in her crib drowsy but awake so she can learn to self-regulate & consolidate sleep, it'll be there for her. If she nights wakes after 6 mos.& you allow her to get herself back to sleep so she doesn't make it a habit, her thumb won't have rolled out of the crib.
Nov 15, 2012
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 54 years experience
Not yet: Sucking reflex is normal behavior. Most children give up thumb as toddlers. If thumb or finger sucking persists beyond age four it can cause narrowing of upper jaw, slow down lower jaw growth, and create serious orthodontic problem. Digit habit beyond age 4 should be gently discouraged...It's not a harmless habit. If still present by school age, child may need professional emotional support.
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Similar questions

A member asked:

When is a normal time for my baby stop sucking her thumb?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics 23 years experience
Its highly variable: The age at which children will stop sucking their thumb is variable. Some give it up in the toddler phase and some will continue literally into adulthood. The key is how long does a parent want them to suck their thumb. The problem is that its not just about calming and reassurance. It is a habit that destroys teeth in many kids. Most dentists and pediatricians recommend stopping at 1-2 yrs.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Apr 27, 2013

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