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How do I stop my child from thumb-sucking?
Borrowers who practice responsible

Most children will stop sucking their thumb by the time schooling starts, so the best thing to do before then is to just ignore it. The habit only becomes a concern if it continues after age 5 or if it alters the shape of your child’s mouth. Harsh words or punishment won’t make your child stop. Instead, try these methods:

  • Use praise and rewards when your child doesn’t suck his or her thumb.
  • Remind your child not to suck on his or her fingers, especially during the day.
  • Thumb-sucking is often used to relieve boredom. Distract your child by keeping his or her hands busy with activities like coloring.
  • If you see a change in your child’s palate or how teeth are coming in, talk with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist about treatment options.