Ever had your baby aggressively suck their thumb for no clear reason? Or are you the parent of a kid who without knowing places their thumb in their mouth to softly suck on it?
Is The Habit Of Thumb Sucking Normal In Babies?
The act of thumb sucking is natural and there are many kids out there who do the same. In actual fact, a number of ultrasounds reveal that the action of thumb sucking may begin in the womb!
At what age do babies find their thumb?
Every baby finds their thumb at a different time. A lot of find their thumb in the womb whereas others don’t ever hit upon their thumb. Though, if you your baby is going to find his or her thumb it’s usually in the first three months of life or not at all.
Why Do Babies Suck Their Thumb And How Long Does It Last?
There could be numerous reasons for a baby sucking their thumb. From thumping away dullness to keeping anxiety at woof, it lend a hand to your child to deal with with the environment. While many parents look down upon it, it is in fact an act of emotional development. It is a symbol that the child is avowing independence. Rather than weeping, they have used their own resources to familiarize to their surrounds.
At what age should you stop thumb sucking?
The short answer is – after 6 months and as early as achievable.
There are some who believe thumb sucking is beneficial to the psychology of a child, but thumb sucking isn’t as a lot of a comfort habit until past the first year. Thumb sucking is a habit that causes the child to depart and ‘zone out’ instead of engaging. This may appear as though the child is calmer but really it’s a habit that encourages ‘checking out.’
In addition, many seem to believe you shouldn’t fret about thumb sucking until permanent teeth arrive but this merely is not true. Baby teeth growth set the path for adult teeth. Moreover, as your child gets adult, this habit will only be harder to break.
Can Thumb Sucking Cause Any Problems?
All through infancy, thumb sucking isn’t a problem. In actual fact it gives you as a parent sufficient breathing room to pursue other activities. There are a number of misconceptions for example the belief that thumb sucking can result speech disabilities.
On the other hand, thumb sucking starts becoming a problem later as the child’s milk teeth begin to drop.
When Should Parents Intervene?
As the major danger of thumb sucking is indecent teeth alignment, parents should interfere when their kids initiate to get their permanent teeth. The best way out is to follow a wait and watch approach.
Deformed teeth and Thumb Sucking
When your kid sucks their thumb, the force can result the teeth to tip frontward. This can cause a couple of malocclusions, including:
- Anterior open bite – When the front teeth don’t come collectively but the molars do.
- Posterior cross bite – Where the front teeth overbite and the molars under bite, generating misalignment all through the teeth that cross over around the canines.
- Anterior severe over jet – A deep overbite where the top teeth considerably hang over the bottom teeth.
Consequences of Thumb Sucking
- Narrowing of the jaw or palate
- lessening the airway
- Distorted breathing patterns
- Deprived swallow patterns
- Indecent teeth position
- Mired speech
- Speech problems
- Changing the form of the face
- Anomalous tongue rest
One of my major concerns for thumb suckers is that it changes the place and posture of the tongue. Deprived dental growth can build their airways smaller, which results sleep-disordered breathing later on in life.
The signs of deprived breathing at night comprise:
- Sleeping on stomach
- Daytime tiredness
- Restless leg syndrome
Valuable Ways to discontinue Thumb Sucking In Infants
- Don’t Be unkind: One of the major faults that parents make is getting upset about thumb sucking. As the action is provoked due to apprehension, adding up negativity is only going to augment the stress level for the infant.
- Finding Their Own Path: Most infants sooner or later grow out of the habit devoid of any intervention being needed.
- Distractions: Find out when your baby begin sucking on their thumb. These must help you make out the triggers for thumb sucking, for example watching television or being left alone in a room. You could divert your child using words or actions when you are in the room. In case you require going out of your baby’s field of vision, get a toy that you know would keep them engaged.
- Converse to Them: Use baby talk to help them understand that thumb sucking isn’t good for them. Though it may seem like a futile exercise, research has revealed that infants are capable to understand words better than previously thought.
- YouTube Videos: Technology has lend a hand to parents’ access information with no trouble. You could attempt the same on your newborn by showing them videos of the dangers of thumb sucking.
- Praise: An examination carried out on infants proved that they are well-aware of the suggestion of praise. Be sure to make them feel good about not sucking their thumb daily.
- Substitutes: Due to a few of the dangers linked with thumb sucking, you could attempt alternatives for example a blanket or cuddly teddy bear.
- Pacifiers: One can make use of pacifiers to wean their infants away from thumb sucking. Select specific times throughout the day when they can use the pacifier and slowly decrease the timing till they don’t need it any longer.
- Mittens: You can try to physically cover up the hands with the help of some soft gloves, mittens or a thumb guard.
- Bitter Medicine: Apply some sour ointment (that is harmless to eat) on your child’s thumb to wean them away from the habit. evade making it a penalty by showing constant warmth.
- VISITING A DENTIST: Visit dentist or practitioner who focus in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) – This will not only aid your child discontinue the habit, but your dentist will also be able to help correct any early dysfunction caused by thumb sucking.
Thumb Sucking Vs Pacifiers
- Easy Access
- Teeth problems later in life
- Emotional independence
- Quicker sleep compared to pacifiers
- Reduction in breastfeeding
- May cause ear infections as it opens the auditory tubes
- Control over the sucking by parents
- Sucking in sleep reduces risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
OTHER PREVENTIVE THERAPIES
While parents being concerned about their kids are understandable, you must understand that thumb sucking is normal to most infants. Although there are some inbuilt dangers to it, a gradual approach of weaning your kids eventually is enough for them to lash out the habit.