Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Steps to eliminate the habit of sucking fingers in children.. Reasons why children suck their fingers and the negative effects of this problem



sucking fingers in a child:

The first time that ultraviolet rays were directed at the wombs of pregnant women, we discovered a completely new world that had been hidden from us for many years, when we knew that the habit of sucking fingers is initiated by children while they are in their mothers' wombs. They may continue this habit until they become adults or stop it at a young age.. Is it a wrong habit as much as it is annoying to us? Should we prevent them from practicing it? And how?


How do I prevent my baby or toddler from this habit?

Let us first agree that the habit of sucking fingers in infants is normal, and therefore it does not require any interference or prevention from us; Because the child turns away from this habit from the age of two to four years, and one study showed that 94% of children stop this habit by the day of their first birthday.

Steps to eliminate the habit of sucking fingers in a child:

As for your toddler who is still clinging to this habit when he is still in the age of talking, try the following steps with him:

  • Ignore the matter completely.. Studies have shown that all children who suck their fingers at this stage have one thing in common, that their parents waged a fierce war against them to remove their fingers from their mouths whenever they noticed that.
  • Occupy him with a game or other activity to distract him from sucking fingers.
  • Talk to your child about this, and explain to him that it is a bad habit, because, for example, he transfers germs from his hand to his mouth, and it is also a habit that is not suitable for adults like him, and when you see him do it, you can alert him to that, so he may do it without knowing, and try also Determine this habit by making him understand that it is a sleep-related habit only.
  • Encourage him at times when he does not suck his finger, and you can, for example, reward him for the days he did not suck his finger.
  • Determine the situations and experiences that prompted him to this habit due to his feeling of anxiety or tension as a result of his feeling of neglect. This feeling can be alleviated through other methods, including some kind words or cuddling, as well as offering him alternatives such as a soft doll or a pillow to suck on instead of his finger.
  • Wait until he masters some skills and becomes indispensable for this habit. A child who sucks his finger because he feels hungry will soon be able to open the refrigerator and pick up what he likes without having to suck.

Reasons why babies suck their fingers:

  • The need for sucking, sucking in infants is an involuntary reaction.
  • To hypnotize himself, and he may resort to sucking his finger when waking up at night to go to sleep again.
  • To calm himself down and feel relieved.
  • To attract attention, or when he is bored that he is not receiving enough attention.
  • To deal with challenges he may face or new situations such as the first day of daycare.


The negative effects of finger sucking:

Of course, I have heard about the deformities of the mouth and teeth caused by sucking the fingers, especially the thumb. Here's the real thing:
The American Dental Association states that the habit of thumb sucking does not cause any deformities of the mouth and teeth until the permanent teeth erupt at about the age of six.
At this age, with violent and excessive sucking, the upper jaw and roof of the mouth may be affected, causing the upper teeth to mismatch with the lower ones, and it may also cause speech problems.