Suggestions to help break the habit
(HealthDay News) -- If your child is ready to stop sucking the thumb, there are things you can do to ease the transition.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these suggestions:
- Offer plenty of praise and small rewards when your child isn't sucking the thumb.
- Find fun things to distract a child who sucks the thumb out of boredom.
- Talk to the child's pediatrician or dentist about any problems with your child's teeth or palate. Devices can be placed in the mouth that make it uncomfortable to suck a thumb.
- Talk to your child about how to quit the habit. If your child appears frightened or stressed by the notion of quitting, don't pressure the child.
- Avoid punishments, speaking harshly or teasing your child about the habit.