Little baby sucking finger - undoubtedly a very touching sight. Some children begin to suck his thumb before birth and parents who see it in the images obtained during the ultrasound, it touches. However, it often happens that the kid can not give up the habit, and a few years after birth. Of course, it is his soothes and helps to cope with stress
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But is it normal that after three years of a child still sucks his thumb?
The habit of sucking her thumb as a sedative
This habit is very common among children and is a natural. They use their own fingers to calm down and feel safe. Usually, children acquire the habit during the first few months or even weeks of life. They suck their thumbs when asleep and during sleep
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When they have a concern, and even when they are just good.
For infants a few months, this habit is not only common, but also quite safe in terms of growth and development of speech. The question that asks a majority of parents, whose children develop a habit, is to what age is it normal? And what if the child continues to suck his thumb, being in the preschool years?
Children who do not quit sucking her thumb
Typically, two to four years in children there are other ways to calm themselves and to cope with discomfort; These include, for example, the first speech skills. It replaces the need for sucking her thumb (or, for some children - pacifier). However, some children find it difficult to give up their habit, which can lead to undesirable consequences associated with developing oral.
It used to be that the child can continue to suck his thumb before he will start to appear permanent teeth, and it will not bring significant harm to the teeth, jaws, and the entire oral cavity. However, recent studies have shown that this habit can have negative consequences, even if the child does not give up her two-four years.
The fact is that if a child sucks often finger is exerting pressure on the top and sides of the jaw, as well as on top of the soft tissues of the oral cavity. As a result, the upper jaw can be narrowed, because of what the position of teeth is incorrect. Although this disadvantage can be corrected with braces
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It may cause some defects of speech, such as a lisp, which are sometimes difficult to correct.
However, long-term effects of thumb sucking habits do not end there. For example, it can cause cross-bite, which is also associated with some speech defects. It is also possible deformation of the upper part of the mouth, because of which the teeth are placed correctly, that will affect the structure of the jaw, the defects will become more noticeable as the child grows. Therefore it is necessary as soon as possible to start to work with your child to the habit of thumb sucking does not become too strong.
How to cope with the habit of thumb sucking
If your child approaches preschool age (or have already reached it), the idea of force to pull the finger out of his mouth every time he starts to suck, it begins to seem more and more tempting - especially when you know about the harmful effects of the habit. However, experts recommend to suppress this desire and apply a different strategy.
First of all, you need to remember that thumb-sucking - a way to complacency, which sooner or later the child will become irrelevant: believe me, at that time, when he will be in high school, this habit will remain in the past (although there may be other, who do not like you yet more). Typically, adults do not understand, what worries related to a child's growing up (transition to preschool and then school age - it's all the same stages of growing up), and believe that the habit of thumb sucking - just a whim, not a necessity.
If your child continues to suck his thumb after three or four years old, used to fight with his habit following tips:
- Explain to your child that he should not suck his thumb in public places. Tell him that it calms him down before bedtime, and helps you to relax, but when he is away from home, you need to forget about their habit. So you start to restrict the space and time in which this habit "has a right to exist."
- Does not conflict with the child. Do not tell him, "You should not suck his thumb," and even more so to tease him because of his habit. Praise him when he managed to restrain himself, but when you see that he again put his finger in his mouth, gently remind that it should do so as little as possible.
- Talk to your child about his habit. Help him understand that he will be ready to completely give it up, you'll be there to support it. And be sure to praise and support, if you declare it once (in one form or another), he decided to quit sucking her thumb. Do not scold him if he would break his own promise - to you, as an adult, you can know how hard it is to give up bad habits.
- Do not forbid your child suck his thumb, if it does so after a fall, blow, or quarreled with someone. At such times, the majority of people of any age trying to be in his comfort zone; for the child a way to achieve this - to resort to his habit. If you disable it to use a proven means of consolation, it will hurt even more.
- Encourage your child to recognize their own actions. When you notice that he sucks his thumb, ask him if he knows what he is doing. If he responds negatively (and it is quite possible that he put his finger in his mouth automatically), pay attention to his own actions, and try together to find the cause, and at the same time is another way to feel better - for example, hug a stuffed toy or a blanket to hide.
- Do not use with a nasty taste, which are now sold in large quantities as a "medicine" of the thumb-sucking. It is cruel, unfair, and cuts the ground from under the feet of a child who has not yet lost the habit of trusting the outside world.
- Use creative ways to help your child understand that he matures and one still stop thumb sucking. Select any one of the characters of your baby and ask: "Do you think ... (character name) thumb-sucking? "Asking the question should be soft, friendly tone. Most likely, the child will respond in the negative (if not aloud, at least to myself) and start thinking about their habit, gradually coming to the conclusion that she did not need.
- Do not wear gloves or mittens child to prevent him from sucking her thumb, for example, in a public place. This will cause even greater frustration and anxiety
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. In addition, if the child is big enough, it simply remove the glove, and his need for thumb sucking because of the interference only intensify.
- Remember that once the child simply "grow" out of the habit. If you do not have no way to it significant actions can be best to just leave it alone - no matter how you like your child to stop putting his fingers in his mouth at every opportunity. Once he quit the habit itself - it is necessary.