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Thread: Dummy versus thumb sucking...?

  1. #1

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    Default Dummy versus thumb sucking...?

    DS has always been a pretty happy cruisey little fella so we've never given him a dummy. BUT, just this last week he's discovered that he has a thumb, and he can suck it! He tends to wear mittens to bed (he's an eczema scratcher) and seems to even be sussing out how to suck the thumb through the mitten, so he's pretty keen.

    Sooooo, everything I've read suggests that dummies are much easier to remove (later) than thumbs (lol!), just curious to know what others think? I've tried him with a dummy this morning and he seemed to be quite happy with it. But I don't particularly want to use it to help him get to sleep as he currently does that quite happily on his own. I'm thinking I'll just replace the thumb with the dummy whenever I see him doing it.



    Love to hear others thoughts/experience. TIA!
    Belfie
    P.S. does the hand they suck provide any indication of right/left handedness? He's sucking the left... interesting.

  2. #2

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    i have one of each and i personally think a thumb is sssooooo much easier.... as i never forget it and if he is tired its just there...
    we got rid of the dummy when dd was 1 and i still think i should give her one again(she is now 20 months)
    my ds will stop eventually... BC i was against thumb sucking as i sucked my fingers until i was 12 so always thought when i would have kids i would get to choose...(thumb or dummy)i also thought a dummy would be best because you can get rid of it... but i now see that isnt a great thing. as often we force them to have a dummy and then rip it away from them and say nope no more... a thumb is the natural option and then they choose when to stop...unless you do the mean things like wrap up the thumb or put bad tasting things on it..

  3. #3

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    A thumb is alot more convenient!

    I asked the same question about 6 months ago. DS used to use his thumb, but doesn't actually suck it anymore. It really only goes in when he's teething or sometimes when he's upset.

    I think its up to him & what he wants. DD1 stopped the dummy at 6 months & DS stopped it around 4 months. DD2 refused it from the start using her thumb on occasion.

    I have a friend whose DD had a dummy til she was 3 & another friend whose 5 year old DD still sucks her thumb to sleep.
    The one with the dummy had to carry 3 everywhere they went. Not fun if one got lost, lol!

  4. #4

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    i third the convienece of a thumb!!! DD1 was the best self settler with the thumb, but as a dental nurse i hated it!! i can see the damage that was done from the thumb, yes some people suck thumbs with not dental damage, but not all!!
    we stopped DD sucking it at the start of the year, we used sports tape around her thumb so she couldnt remove it and it was uncomfortable to suck, it took a few weeks, the first few days were hard but she stopped, in reality it was pretty easy to stop her!

  5. #5

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    Well we have a thumb sucker here! We tried a dummy but t didn;t work and TBH I'm so glad she didn't lke them cause we don't get up to replace them. She has used her thumb since about 5 monthsd to self-settle and just in the last month has used it during day to calm down or to show she is tired. I do hope she grows out of it but I've heard it isn't an issue until they're about 4. Not much I can do anyway - she loves it!

  6. #6

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    My son has a dummy. Initially I was against them but when the middy in the SCN suggested one to calm him we gave it a go & he's been the happiest, calmest baby ever.

    I was a finger sucker as a child.... yes child.... not just as a bub.... I had two fingers on my left hand that I sucked (and I'm left handed) and it was sooooooooooooooo hard to break the habit. I'm hoping the dummy addiction will be easier to deal with.

  7. #7

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    DD has a dummy, yes they're more work ie: always have to have on with you and u get woken up in the middle of the night because they're dummy has gone missing and they cant find it BUT, like you said a dummy is much easier to get rid of than a thumb!!!
    And we also chose the dummy because we know a girl who's now 18 and still sucks her thumb when she's tired or a little emotional!!!!!! she's good at disguising it now though, but we all know she does it.

  8. #8

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    My dentist has suggested the dummy is better than the thumb because you can get rid of the dummy. I am paranoid about finger sucking because I did it for years and I believe I actually changed the shape of my palate as well as having the most dreadful buck teeth - when I put the fingers in my mouth the teeth (pre-braces) fitted around them.

    I still can't look at childhood pictures of myself with those teeth without inwardly cringing. Mum thought I would grow out of it and I did but I remember willing myself to stop doing it because I thought it was so babyish. I wish she had done the "mean" thing and painted my fingers with foul tasting stuff or whatever. I got teased so much because of my teeth and if I can prevent my kids going through the same thing by giving them a dummy then I will. It did a lot of damage to my self esteem. I thought I was so ugly.

    My brother and sister both had dummies and their teeth were nowhere near as bad as mine...I would never have a dummy. My DD has a dummy and I am perfectly comfortable with that.

  9. #9

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    I would go with dummy also - just cause it's easier to stop the habit plus I had a friend in primary school who was a thumb sucker and she was one that did have really buck teeth and the thumb she sucked was actually noticeably smaller then the other. Also my cousin's son is a thumb sucker, he is just over 3years old, and he tends to get little calices on his knuckles from thumb sucking. But maybe I'm a little biased cause I was allowed my night time dummy til I was 4 (then the dummy fairy took it away one night...but left a nice little present in its place ).

  10. #10

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    i should add that i too sucked my fingers for 12 yrs i have NO allignment issues never had to have braces or teeth removed to help other teeth.. so i think it depends on the child and how they suck their digits...

  11. #11

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    I also think that with kids there is lots of variables and they are all different. We partly chose not to have a dummy, mainly cause of night waking, learning to speak and I don't like the look of toddlers having them stuck in their mouths all the time (no offence to those who chose to use them but it isn't my choice) and he never really took to it when we tried to give it to him.

    He doesn't really suck his thumb or fingers now unless he is teething which is understandable. I don't know what I am going to do if he is still sucking fingers at 5/10/15 etc... but will cross that bridge when I get to it. Oh and we are wrapping one hand/arm and he sucks it through the material too

  12. #12

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    We have always used a dummy and have never had the night waking issues. He has always spat it out pretty soon after going to sleep and never needed it after that. He is coming up for 2 years and we plan to get rid of it after his birthday. Will see how we go.

  13. #13

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    I've never been 'against' dummies but i didn't encourage it either. I offered it to DS1 very early on in those very sleepless nights but he never took to it. At about 3 months of age he started sucking his thumb and became attached a 'blankie'. From then on he has self settled so well and pretty much anywhere. He doesn't really suck his thumb during the day other than when you put him down for his sleep, he's pretty attached to the blanket though, that goes everywhere with him. How it will effect his teeth does bother me slightly as i too had teeth problems and am still quite selfconcious of them but it makes him happy so i'm happy.

    With DS2 he's newborn so as to what he chooses i don't know, if he also sucks his thumb i don't think i'll mind. We could be up for 2 expensive dental bills later on... Again i'm hesitant about introducing the dummy as i heard it can effect bf or the inital stages of it as it's a different sucking motion.

    I think the main thing is what makes our little ones happy.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjrose View Post
    I have a friend whose DD had a dummy til she was 3 & another friend whose 5 year old DD still sucks her thumb to sleep.
    The one with the dummy had to carry 3 everywhere they went. Not fun if one got lost, lol!
    I could have written that exact post about my niece and nephew..

    Personally we don't use either. I had different dummies for DD, but she never wanted them, and will occasionaly chew on them if she is teething. She never sucked her thumb either (until this last week when she is getting some molars through)..

    I think the child will decide which they prefer. It could also just be a phase of "i just discovered I can put my thumb in my mouth"

  15. #15

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    DS has just discovered his thumb too. I am fine with it, we tried him with a dummy 3 times and each time he wanted nothing to do with it. Thumb seems to do the job so am just going to let him go with that. And just for interest DS is sucking his right thumb so perhaps Belfie your little one is going to be left handed.

  16. #16

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    Just a small comment as most of the posters have covered off the topic well!!! .....

    re a dummy - as the parent, you can restrict usage! Eg my kids have only had them when it is sleep time - occasionally wind down time - never play time, book time, movie time - you get the gist. Zander actually wont take it any other time - and at the moment is starting to spit it out as soon as he is in his cot anyway ...

    but back to topic ...

    Someone said about seeing kids at the shops at 3 yo or similar - that can be avoided if you have some of your own rules in place regarding use and not just free for all.

    Just my 2 cents worth

  17. #17

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    My Cait never had either. Just lucky I guess. Alex was born with his thumb in his mouth, I recon. Initially he used it when he was tired, but when he started using it other times, I would say to him, 'no thumb, thumb for bedtime' and he would take it out.

    It definitely pushes the top teeth forward, I notice it in Alex.

    With dummies, Santa or someone can always take them away ! Or can you cut the end off and do the 'oh no, it's broken !' routine ?

  18. #18

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    oh wow, what an interesting debate this question sparked! Thank you for all your replies, it's been really interesting, and I must admit, my point of view seemed to change with every post!

    I've since tried DS with a dummy and he sucks happily for about 20 secs then it falls out. So i'm leaning towards letting him thumb suck after all. Interestingly the time he's most likely to do it is after his first bottle in a feed (and yes, AJC, still the left hand!) but not much at other times. So I think we'll just keep our options open!

    I must admit, as a child I had a thumb-sucking "fluff" routine. I'd pick bits of fluff off my bright red blankie, and hold it in the crook of my index finger (above the thumb in mouth) and brush it back & forth above my upper lip (below my nose) as I sucked my thumb. I loved it - go figure huh! I think my parents were more frustrated by the red fluff that pervaded the house than my teeth (oh and occasionally the red fluff disappeared up my noise too! ). So that's my dirty little thumb secret tehehehe.

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