The above script is part of the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) radio series 'A Minute for Kids,'
which airs weekdays on WBBM-AM in Chicago, IL.
Does your baby suck his thumb? Don't worry.This habit is very common, and has a soothing and calming effect. All infants are born with the need to suck. Some infants even start sucking their thumbs in the womb. The
only time it might cause concern is if it affects the shape of your
child’s mouth or teeth, or goes on beyond five years of age. How can you help your child stop the thumb-sucking habit? Different techniques work for different children. Some respond to rewards for not sucking their thumbs. For older children, sometimes it’s peer pressure, not parent pressure, that does the trick. Your child may continue the habit briefly before going to sleep, but that will have no long-term emotional or physical effect.
If your child sucks his thumb, have your pediatrician or pediatric
dentist examine his mouth to make sure it’s developing correctly.