3 doctors weighed in:

How can I stop my child from thumb-sucking?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics

In brief: Teddy bear can work

A toddler (I hope s/he is at least this old) uses the thumb to self sooth while exploring the world.
If you give them a teddy bear/soft snuggle of some sort, that will keep one hand/arm busy,it helps them self sooth. Since they need a free hand/fingers to touch and explore, they stay out of the mouth.Don't fuss at them about it, as that gives them anxiety, which requires self soothing.

In brief: Teddy bear can work

A toddler (I hope s/he is at least this old) uses the thumb to self sooth while exploring the world.
If you give them a teddy bear/soft snuggle of some sort, that will keep one hand/arm busy,it helps them self sooth. Since they need a free hand/fingers to touch and explore, they stay out of the mouth.Don't fuss at them about it, as that gives them anxiety, which requires self soothing.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
Thank
Dr. Malaika Witter Hewitt
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery

In brief: Try various things

There are ingestible substances which ahve an unpleasant odor or taste.
You can try using a sock or mitten to cover the thumb at night. You can also have an oral appliance installed.

In brief: Try various things

There are ingestible substances which ahve an unpleasant odor or taste.
You can try using a sock or mitten to cover the thumb at night. You can also have an oral appliance installed.
Dr. Malaika Witter Hewitt
Dr. Malaika Witter Hewitt
Thank
Dr. Michael Amster
Pediatrics

In brief: Slow extinction

You really can't "make" them stop, but you can start by incentivizing them to stop.
Painting fingernails for instance, so they don't want to destroy the pretty image. Or working with them to go perhaps a morning without sucking, and if they do they get a sticker. Get enough stickers and they get a small prize. Usually the social group will get rid of it with peer pressure.

In brief: Slow extinction

You really can't "make" them stop, but you can start by incentivizing them to stop.
Painting fingernails for instance, so they don't want to destroy the pretty image. Or working with them to go perhaps a morning without sucking, and if they do they get a sticker. Get enough stickers and they get a small prize. Usually the social group will get rid of it with peer pressure.
Dr. Michael Amster
Dr. Michael Amster
Thank
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