View Full Version : Thumb-sucking problem ... Advice needed

07-22-2005, 01:23 PM
My 7-month-old started sucking his thumb about 1.5 months ago. He does it so often and so aggressively that he has a sore between his thumb and index finger that can't heal because it's always wet.

What do you do?

When does it become a medical concern?

Anyone dealt with this?


07-22-2005, 01:26 PM
Have you talked to your pediatrician?

I don't think our method would work well for a 7 month old. We didn't try to stop DD2 sucking her thumb until she was 3. We got some Thum from the pharmacy. It's nail polish with caynne pepper extract and I made sure I kept crackers in my purse.

The other thing my doctor mentioned was something that you put on your child's thumb so it's too big to get in their mouths. I'm not sure if there's something else icky tasting (but not spicy) that you could put on his thumb.


07-22-2005, 01:29 PM
I'm really dreading dealing with this because Gabe finally started sleeping through the night because of his new friend, his thumb. I really don't mind that he's sucking it ... I'm just concerned about that sore.

07-22-2005, 01:31 PM
I would check with the pediatrician first, but I wonder if that liquid bandage stuff would provide enough of a moisture barrier that the sore could heal?

07-22-2005, 01:31 PM
I'd suggest you call and talk to the Dr's office first.

Does he suck on it much during the day? You could try putting some neosporin on it in the morning.


07-22-2005, 01:36 PM
He sucks it all the time. He'll be playing on the floor, and then he'll sit up and pop it in.

I just talked to a nurse (my dr. is on vacation). She said to either put a mitten on his hand or cover his hand with a bandage wrap until it heals. She thought some of this might be due to teething so she said to offer him cold teething rings, etc., throughout the day.

He's just going to hate this ...

I have never seen a baby get a sore from sucking his thumb, so I was wondering if anyone else had advice ...

Like I said, I'm not too thrilled about dealing with this. I was liking my sleep. :)

07-22-2005, 01:37 PM
Mariel did develop a sore on her thumb, but she was older when it started to become a problem.


07-22-2005, 02:11 PM
When I was about 3 my Grandmother told me that if I didn't stop sucking my thumb I'd suck a hole through it!:eek:

She said I took it out of my mouth, looked at it for a few minutes, put my hand under my lap and never sucked it again. :p

07-22-2005, 03:05 PM
I don't know how to get the thumb sucking stopped but I would start putting a soft blanket or even a baby quilt in the other hand anytime the baby is going to sleep. Maybe that way he will have a replacement lovey for the thumb. I would even suggest having at least two blankets the same in case you lose one/wash one. My last two had blankets for sleep. We left town once without it and my DS didn't sleep for 3 days!

Good luck, I too would ask the doc.

07-23-2005, 05:27 AM
I have 2 thumbsuckers. DD is 4 now and she really wants to stop, but it's such a habit with her that she can't stop. We remind her constantly and she's working on it. As soon as she's tired, the thumb goes right back in.

She had bad sores on her thumb, dry skin, etc. I just put lotion on it or an emoillient. Yes, she did put her thumb in her mouth with lotion on it- no harm done cause it's really a tiny bit. When she was 18 month, she quit completly and then a couple of months later, she started again.

It's not such a bad thing for them to be able to comfort themselves like that. Yes, the do sleep better! We pop all thumbs out when they're sleeping.

My son isn't half as bad, but he does it, too. He's not so aggressive with it.

The dentist said that it "can" affect permanent teeth, but if you get it stopped early enough, it's not necessarily a problem. DD's teeth have moved, but there is still hope that when her permanent teeth come in, they'll be just fine. They really don't know if it will affect them or not. I know a lot of people who were thumb suckers who have perfectly fine teeth. And then I've also hear horror stories, so you just don't know.

7 months is a bit early to be worrying about it (IMHO).

Luv to Cook
07-23-2005, 06:34 AM
Hi Susan,

Just wanted to post this product for you:


It looks horrible, but my cousin used it with her daughter after lots of suggestions from friends who have used it successfully. She only got it after her daughter WANTED desperately to stop sucking her thumb at 5 years old. Anyhow, it worked great and her DD is so happy and confident.


Traveling Skies
07-23-2005, 06:46 PM
I was shocked when my mom told me about this, and it seems kind of cruel, but it worked like a charm for my cousin. This was about 25 years ago. It was my grandfather who thought of it. He put empty cardboard rolls (from either paper towels or toilet paper) on my cousin's arms. She couldn't suck her thumb because she couldn't bend her arms.

I'm not sure how old she was, though, and this was definitely not during the day. I'm not a parent and wouldn't go around recommending this, but it is shockingly funny and actually worked.

Kathy B
07-23-2005, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by Cookin4Love
I would check with the pediatrician first, but I wonder if that liquid bandage stuff would provide enough of a moisture barrier that the sore could heal?

Since the sore is the issue, I would check on this suggestion with your pediatrician. Sounds reasonable to me, but I'd still check to be on the safe side. Can't think why it wouldn't work. Good luck! :)