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Tips To Prevent Nighttime Thumb Sucking

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Babies and toddlers often suck their thumbs as they lay in their crib to go to sleep. Although this soothing behavior is natural at a young age, it can become a problem if it continues into early childhood. Use the below tips to help prevent your child from nighttime thumb sucking.

Create a Bedtime Routine

A predictable routine helps your child know when it’s time to settle down and prepare for sleep. This is crucial since some children suck their thumb as a way to self-soothe and calm down, but by knowing what to expect, they’re less likely to feel stressed.

Start your bedtime routine by setting a fixed bedtime and sticking to it as often as possible. Engage in calming activities such as reading a book or listening to soft music to help your child relax as they lay in bed.

Comfort Your Child Before Bed

Providing comfort to your child before bed can significantly reduce their need for thumb-sucking. Spend quality time with your child before they sleep, offering them a sense of security and closeness.

For example, read your child a bedtime story, tuck them in, then give them a hug and goodnight kiss before leaving the room. By providing comfort in other ways, your child may feel less inclined to suck their thumb as a means of self-soothing.

Pro Tip

Sometimes, children suck their thumbs because they need something comforting to hold onto. Consider offering a soft toy or blanket your child can cuddle with before sleeping.

Gently Discourage Thumb Sucking

Another tip to help prevent your child from nighttime thumb sucking is to gently discourage the behavior through reminders and positive reinforcement. Never scold or punish your child for sucking their thumb during the day or at night, as this can create anxiety and make the behavior worse. Instead, gently remind your child to stop sucking their thumb and reward them when they do avoid the behavior.

For example, if you notice your child sucking on their thumb, offer a gentle reminder and a toy or another activity to keep their hands busy. Consistency and patience are key in gently guiding your child away from thumb-sucking.

Buy a Thumb Sucking Glove

A thumb-sucking glove can be a helpful tool when it comes to knowing how to break thumb-sucking. This unique device covers a child’s hand and thumb without restricting movement, so your child can still sleep comfortably.

T Guard sells a thumb-sucking glove that your child can wear during the day or at night. This product has holes in it, so there is no pleasurable suction when your child tries sucking their thumb; by wearing this glove, your child will soon lose interest in thumb sucking. Regularly using the glove can help your child gradually overcome the habit and sleep peacefully.