Αρχική English When should babies stop sucking their thumb?

When should babies stop sucking their thumb?

toddler-boy-sucking-on-his-fingersBabies suck their thumb before birth, when they are still in the womb, as it helps them cope with tension.

There are many advantages to allowing children to suck their thumb rather than pacifiers, which fall to the floor and need constant sterilization, get entangled in children's clothing and get out of their control.

Most children can suck their thumb without damaging the alignment of their teeth or jaws until their permanent teeth begin to appear, around age 4 to 6, according to Dr. Suzanne Dixon, professor emerita of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.

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Also, not all methods of thumb-sucking are equally harmful. Children who rest their thumb passively in their mouth are less likely to have difficulty than children who suck aggressively. Watch your children’s technique. If they suck vigorously, you may want to begin curbing their habit around age 4.

On the other hand, you may not need to intervene at all. Children usually give up thumb-sucking when they develop other ways to calm and comfort themselves, usually by age 4 or 5.

If your child tends to suck his thumb when he's tired, try altering his schedule to help him get more sleep. Openly pressuring your child to stop, can motivate him to suck the thumb even more.


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