Jessica used to suck her thumb since she was a baby, and the pediatrician told Sandra that it was a normal reaction from her daughter. But when the girl turned 4, the habit of sucking her finger began to worry Sandra, who did not know if it was still normal or if she should force Jessica to leave it. What should be done?
Thumb sucking is a natural instinct in most children, even when they are in the womb. You probably remember when they did the ultrasound that you saw your little one or your little one who was sucking his finger. It is part of their learning, as they prepare themselves to feed after birth.
It is also normal for babies to suck their thumb (the big toe) during the first few months after birth. Some even suck other fingers, the whole hand, the pacifier and practically almost everything that is in their way. Sometimes it means that they are hungry, other times simply that they are exploring the world around them and some do so to calm down.
In short, almost all babies do it until they are about 6 months old and naturally they stop doing it after that age.
If your son or daughter continues to suck their finger until 2 or 3 years old, it is still normal. Many children continue to do so as a habit when they are tired, afraid, hungry or bored. Although you have to worry about this age, you should take it as a warning to start motivating your little one or child to leave it, before it becomes a problem.
And when does it start to be a problem that they suck their fingers? Exactly, when it becomes a difficult habit to leave. When a boy or girl continues to suck his finger after turning 4 or 5 years, he runs the risk of having problems with his teeth.
For example, sucking your finger for a long time can cause your child’s teeth to twist or protrude forward, and sometimes it can also cause malformations of the palate. These problems can be corrected on your own when your child stops sucking, but the longer it lasts with this habit, the more difficult it will be to correct them and you will need orthodontic treatments (braces, etc.).
Remember when you were in school and everyone made fun of a little classmate who could not speak well? Well that happens when children suck their finger for too long a time. His tongue does not fit well to speak and can get it out too much by saying certain words or speaking with “seseo”, which is when the letters “s”, “c” and “z” are pronounced in a strange way. You do not want that to happen to your children!
There are children who can not stop sucking their finger so easily and it is not because they have the bad habit, but because there is a special reason that encourages them to suck it. This can happen when they are stressed or distressed, or when they are going through an emotional problem. Problems at home can trigger the need to suck your thumb, as a way to seek safety or to calm down.
Whatever the case, it is best to act early, before your child or your daughter establish a strong habit. The good news is that with your help, sucking your finger can be quite easy to break. Without reprimands and instead with much love, your little one or little one can let go of their finger quickly and soon it will be a matter of the past.