Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thumb Sucking

Is thumb sucking common in infants...

Seems to be so. Even Sreya tried it initially.. in fact started out with the whole fist, then each finger and finally the thumb but thankfully nothing more than a couple of days or more than a week.. My brother had this thumb sucking and I still remember my mom being fed up with trying to get him to stop doing that just burnt his finger with a burnt spoon :((((... vaata pettesindi. Did he stop?? Yes, he did but in sleep, with the blanket covered from top to toe, he still used to put the thumb in the mouth until he was more than 12 years old or so. So, I had kind of panicked when Sreya started doing so.

People used to say thumb sucking would lead to bad teeth, elevated teeth (ettu pallu), etc., but his teeth are just fine and poor me had to get braces because there were lots of gaps in the teeth. :). He He, there I digress again.

So, a recent discussion in the forum and the discussion with my doctor lead to the following findings.

Infants, really really young say 2 or 3 months old or so start thumb sucking and that is perfectly fine. Usually, they let go off it when they are rolling over, crawling and walking. It is a cause of concern only if they are continuing it after say about 10 months or so.

My doctor told me that it might be a sign of insecurity or because of too many changes all of a sudden and all that, but my kid had started at an age when she could possible know nothing about her surroundings other than her milk bottle or me. So, the question of insecurity is ruled out and what I did was pull it out immediately and engage her alternatively and thank fully it did work. But the doctor asked me not overdo the pulling out stuff as that might lead to an adamant streak in them.. just try to take it out and if you notice that they are doing it just to be sure their point wins, give it up and try something else.

So, moms dont worry if they start this young, just dont get worked up, but discourage doing that as much as possible. It might just be one of their new games of the week or the fortnight and they will just give it up as they had started. If they still do suck after numerous attempts, don't panic until they are walking or crawling.. I guess maybe once they do that they would automatically give it up in search of new explorations. Check out if it is hunger that is making them do it, see to it that they are adequately fed. If he/she is doing it to seek comfort and missing you from your sudden disappearances or so. Or just doing it to explore his/her body. if none of these, just maybe boredom is what is prompting them to do that right now ;) and they would gradually stop it out of their own volition.

Keep a watch but don't get way too panicked!!

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