This is perfectly normal, and can even be expected. Thumb or finger sucking is a powerful addiction which is very hard to break, and for the child, serves as a proven means to relax, self-soothe, and lower stress. However, we know how damaging it can be in both the short term (higher chances of getting sick) and long-term (expensive dental work to correct misaligned teeth and jaw growth). So it must be taken care as soon as possible. First, it is important to understand that regardless of what treatment method is used, whether our product or any other, there WILL be a period of 3-7 days where the child is readjusting to life without thumb or finger sucking. This period will be difficult; the child will be irritable, cranky, etc. However, it is ONLY 3-7 days! If you and the child can get through that period together, you will see a noticeable transformation in your child's attitude to the treatment, as their "drive" for the habit has been greatly reduced. They will be happy to continue, and will likely remind you to put on the TGuards. The hard part is those 3-7 days in the beginning, and unfortunately, you and the child will have to deal with those regardless of what treatment method you pursue. The best strategy is to make it through those 3-7 days without the child having a relapse. If they have a relapse, it may mean that you have to start over. This is undesirable because the child has to once again endure the process of readjustment from the beginning; the clock is set back. Here are some tips to get through those first few days.
1. Manage their sleep schedule.
A child is most likely to suck when they are trying to fall asleep, or relax. Minimize these times by putting them to bed when they are tired! If they are tired enough to fall asleep right away, they will need their thumbs. A few days of this and their drive will be diminished. You can achieve this in many ways, but some proven methods are:
A. Remove day time naps
B. Put them to bed at a later time
C. Wake them up earlier in the day
Or you can use a combination of these factors.
2. Manage their stress levels.
Children also engage in the habit when they are stressed. Try to choose a treatment time when children are happy and stress-free, and their own desire to suck at those times will be naturally lower. Stress also comes in the form of a sickness, whether cold, flu, ear infection, etc. Whenever a child is not feeling well, they will also resort to sucking, so keep that in mind as you try to get through the first few days. You can consider sleeping in the same room as them for a few days also as a means to reduce their stress at night.
3. Keep them busy during the day.
We recommend starting on a weekend, or even better, a long holiday, so that you can be in constant control and supervision of the most critical part of treatment. During the day, keeping the child busy is the best way Â to keep their mind off of the habit.
4. Consider incentives.
Talking to your child and getting them on the same page as you is a great idea. Providing additional incentives, such as a toy, is a great way to keep them motivated for the first week. We are here to help. Please contact us if you need to discuss anything!