Our little guy (about 3 months into his life) found his thumb and NEVER looked back! He attached himself to a sweet little stuffed monkey that he received as a gift from his Granny and Papaw at his first Christmas (6 months old). Soothing became rubbing monkey's tail under his nose as he sucked his thumb. He used this whenever he was sleepy, upset, or just wanted to have a little extra comfort throughout the day. Of course this was an advantage for Mom and Dad as he truly was an easy baby/toddler in that sense. We were concerned, however, about how long this was going to go on. Many friends and family shared their stories either fondly or not so fondly about thumbsucking. We knew the advantages and were VERY clear of the disadvantages of a thumbsucker (we even heard horror stories of how some children never could quite stop).
My feelings were that when he was able to understand the consequences that it would be easier to help him stop. There was no way I was going to monitor "thumbsucking" through the night, etc. When a kid wants to suck his thumb, there is honestly not much that you can do about it. (He was a firm rejector of a pacifier and constantly went for his thumb.)
Anyway, the other day (oh, about 2 1/2 weeks ago) I made a "Thumbsucking Chart" where for each hour that did not suck his thumb he would receive a Curious George stamp on his chart. That worked for a little while, but not for long. Not really because he didn't want a stamp, but he just didn't remember and I would forget from hour to hour to remind him as well.
So, I purchased some clear nail polish that was called Thum. After applying it to your nail (in our case the thumb nail) it would maintain a bitter taste that fond thumbsuckers "hopefully" wouldn't like. It worked. He really did not care for the taste, but more than that he started really talking about stopping. It was like a light went on in his head and he realized he could stop! I applied the polish for a couple of nights and mornings, but he never even cared about sucking his thumb after the first night-polish or no polish! Talk about a couple of proud parents!!
We surprised him (after his second week of not sucking his thumb) with his first trip to Chuck E. Cheese's. He had seen a commercial about it on PBS and had talked to us about really wanting to check out that "fun place for kids" sometime. So, last Friday we drove him to the "surprise destination" and we had a lot of fun as a family celebrating this newest accomplishment in Nathan's life. Of course, Monkey is still around and that is perfectly fine with us. After all, when I introduce our family to someone--Nathan always whispers, "And don't forget Monkey, he is part of our family, too." I think I will be okay if he (Monkey) sticks around for a while. :)
Here are a couple of photos from our time spent at Chuck E. Cheese's:
12th Day of Christmas
7 months ago