Toddler Thumbsucking, Parenting, and Being Careful What You Wish For

I have known for quite some time that I have to be careful what I wish for, because I just might get it.  I frequently get what I wish for.  It just doesn’t work out quite as I’d intended.  A few days ago, I’d posted about our toddler thumbsucking issues.  I thought that I’d do anything to get Norton to stop the toddler thumbsucking, short of amputation.

I thought wrong.

[Read more…]

Toddler Thumb Sucking – Will It Fall Off?

One over-sucked thumb.  (Pardon the quality, it was taken with my phone.)

I swore that I would never have to deal with toddler thumb sucking.  After all, Andy didn’t take a pacifier or suck his thumb.  I figured it would be the same thing with Norton.  Of course, it turns out that I figured wrong.  He refused a pacifier and latched on to his thumb.  Now the toddler thumb sucking has gotten completely and utterly out of hand.

I’m just plain not sure what I should be doing about this.

I’m actually kind of concerned.  The toddler thumb sucking has gotten worse.  It’s almost constant that he has his thumb in his mouth.  I’ve already had enough troubles with Norton’s teeth.  No cavities that the dentist could tell after our dentist visit from Hell.  He does, however, have that extra left lateral incisor, and that’s causing some crowding.  However, he’s spending so much time with his thumb in his mouth that it’s causing other problems.  Some of his teeth are starting to shift to compensate for his thumb.  But that’s not all.

It’s starting to interfere with toddler talking.  He’s finally very nearly caught up from his language delay, but now we’re starting to find a new problem.  He doesn’t want to take his thumb out of his mouth to speak some of the time.

And his thumb?  It’s looking awful.  He only sucks one thumb.  I guess the other just doesn’t fit in his mouth properly or something.  And he lives with that thumb in his mouth.  It’s gone beyond that painful wrinkled pruning that happens to the skin when one stays in water too long.  It’s starting to peel.  It’s red and irritated and just plain looks painful.  There are a few times that I’ve been almost certain that his tantrum is due to the fact that it hurt to suck on his thumb.

Now I just need to figure out what to actually do about it.  Putting hot sauce on his thumb seems barbaric… and I’m pretty sure it would hurt since he’s damaged the skin.  I’ve seen this brace thing that parents put on the thumb so that kid can’t quite latch onto the thumb the same way.  There’s no pleasure of sucking on the thumb, so they just stop.  I’ve heard of using a bitter nail polish.

What actually works, though?  It’s not like I can just take away his thumb… and I’m starting to worry that he’s just seriously going to muck up the works.  It’s bad enough that I’m already anticipating braces.  I don’t want to have to look forward to reconstructive thumb surgery or something else (being completely ridiculous here) because he won’t keep his thumb out of his mouth.

Did you have a thumb sucker?  How did you break the habit?