I was NEVER going to allow my kids to suck their thumbs. At least, I would never be that mom who has a five-year old still sucking their thumb. Ever.
Until I had my fourth kid in five years. Frankly, I was happy she was soothing herself, as a baby. I was even more deliriously happy that she was sleeping through the night and I didn’t have to get up and pat the floor around the crib to find that elusive paci. She was a happy (as they get) baby and did not even try the pacifier once. Nope. She spit that thing out as many times as I tried to stick it in her little mouth. I did my job attempting to prevent that most scandalous behavior. But, she loved that thumb, and I didn’t have the heart to make her gag and spit out soothers after the first 10 attempts on my part.
So I shrugged and thought to myself “How long will she like that thing anyways? She won’t go to college with her thumb in her mouth…will she?”
At this point? A valid question.
I have not made a big deal of it hoping that she would naturally just stop sucking the handy self-soother eventually.
My first baby spit out his soother and couldn’t find it, so at 13 months old, he was over it. My second baby loved her soother and I didn’t make her give it up until after she was three. We had a big move right around that time and potty training and soother good-byes were too much. So we took it, after our move, in a blaze of glory. She didn’t give up easily. Our third had ear infection troubles and the ENT told us to get rid of it. No big deal, he did awesome! So, I thought, it would be with the fourth. Call me naive, call me stupid, call me inexperienced (ha!).
Enter thumb-sucking five-year old.
How in the world do you unattach someone from their thumb? How do you motivate someone that’s been doing it all their lives?
Poor thing. I had to get wiley. I put bandages around them. Bandages she couldn’t take off. Then she learned how to take them off, but didn’t tell me.
I tried the yucky stuff. You know, the stuff that tastes terrible? Yah, that didn’t work all that well either.
I kept putting bandages on every night and then some nights we’d forget. Bless her, she didn’t forget! I bribed her with this. You have to check these items out, especially if you are a parent to a SPD child.
Photo credit InnovAID
My mom and dad came to take care of the kids, when we took off for Jamaica, and I thought we may have a relapse, if you can call it that, since I’m pretty sure she never stopped. She had a callous on her thumb from it’s overuse. After we got home my dad mentioned that he hadn’t seen her sucking it, so I looked on her thumb and sure enough, her callous was all but gone!
I guess the bribery worked. Or us going away. Or some good, old-fashioned prayer