Is Thumb Sucking A Concern For Your Baby?


Thumb sucking becomes prominent during the gestational period of around 30 weeks. Even in an ultrasound during pregnancy, a mother can see her baby sucking her thumb. So, this is an autonomous reflex activity which is evolved with due course of development.

There are various pros and cons for this sucking reflex which the parents need to get aware of.


  • It acts as a soothing effect on babies. When the child becomes cranky and irritated, thumb sucking helps her to calm down .
  • Helps her to breastfeed easily with this reflex activity.
  • It provides comfort, pleasure, relaxation.


  • It becomes a habit for the child.
  • It deviates the normal alignment of teeth growth.
  • It becomes a concern when the child does not leave the habit even after one year of age.
  • As a habit, the child does it in public place. She can be bullied in school for involuntary thumb sucking.
  • She does the same, when in distress, tensed and cannot focus on studies.

As points mentioned, it is more of a concern rather than giving benefits.

Thumb sucking should get resolved within three years of life. Some children do not get the habit and some rather take a long time to correct it.

Ways to correct thumb sucking-

There are various methods that you can adopt to keep your baby away from this problem. They are-

  • Apply nail paint on the target fingers.
  • Remind her of the ill effects of thumb sucking.
  • Make little faces with sketch pen.
  • Divert the attention by telling stories. 
  • Put a sour tasting liquid food on nail when your baby tends to put it inside mouth.
  • Thumb cover prosthetics are available nowadays which are used to put on fingers.
  • These caps can be worn in case of 2-3 years children ,this will remind them of not doing the same.
  • Do not treat Thumb sucking as a stigma or disease but as a normal milestone with limited time frame. You need to pay attention on this up to the age of 3 years.
  • Encourage good habits with examples showing her the right path.

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