Thumb Sucking


Sherilyn the thumb-sucker at 3 months.


2 years on…. and still a happy and cheerful thumb-sucker.

Sherilyn’s other obsession is thumb sucking. From the time she was in my womb till now, age 2 yrs 3 months, she has always been a compulsive thumb-sucker. She finds such great comfort, security, relief and syiok-ness sucking her thumb. She sucks her thumb when she’s sleepy, hungry, bored, happy, sad and when she sleeps.

Many well-meaning friends and relatives urged me to wean her off this habit but I don’t think I want to do do it just yet. I actually find this thumb sucking in Sherilyn so…. well, syiok. I simply adore seeing her suck her thumb. She looks so baby-ish, so adorable, so manja, so helpless, so very cute when she sucks her thumb. So why do I want to take away this feeling of comfort and security from my little baby girl? I am confident that she will weane herself off this habit when she’s ready, when she knows the feeling of embarassment, when she’s matured enough to understand that it doesnt’ look decent and cultured to be thumb-sucking in public. So, I’ll just let it be and let time takes it course.

Here are some excerpts on thumb-sucking from my Dr Benjamin Spock baby book on thumb sucking for the benefit of my readers who have toddlers who are thumb-suckers:

1. If you keep on worrying (about thumb sucking), even though you resolve to say nothing, your child will feel your tension and react against it.

2. Remember that thumb sucking goes away all by itself in time.

3. Eventually it disappears for good.

4. It rarely stops before three years.

5. It usually peters out between three and six.

6. Thumb sucking by itself is not a sign of unhappiness or maladjusment or lack of love. In fact, most thumb suckers are very happy children and children who are severely deprived of affection don’t thumb suck.

7. Dentists point out that if the baby gives up thumb-sucking by six years of age, as happens in a great majority of cases, there is very little chance of its displacing the permanent teeth. (what a relief!)

8. Don’t nag or bribe your child to stop thumb-sucking.