6 steps to break thumbsucking in toddlers

My guest post at Ahappymuslimah.com


My eldest started sucking her thumb when she was barely days old. Instead of listening to my mom’s advice of using mittens or agreeing to my husband insisting on using a dummy, I relied on Google search and concluded:

· Thumb sucking is normal for infants
· They can self sooth themselves to sleep – avoiding much hassle for mothers
· Most of them break this habit on their own by the time they reach their 3rd birthday
· Dummies are just germ developing site and should be avoided altogether

In the beginning, she would sleep herself, hardly cried and rather looked so cute sucking her thumb.

But over time it worsen, at times she would suck her thumb most of the night. It was sad and heart wrenching to see and listen to the sound of her sucking her thumb.

I hoped that she would miraculously stop it by her 3rd birthday, but her dentist thought otherwise. She said my daughter needed to get rid of this habit as soon as possible because her jaws had started to de-shape. And I had to do something about it.

It came as a shock, but instead of being guilt-ridden by the ‘what ifs’, I decided to not react but respond to this problem and devised a guided step by step approach to help my daughter break this habit.

1) Pray.

Allah SWT says: “And your Lord said: Supplicate to Me, I shall answer you.” [Sûrah Ghâfir: 60]  steps to Break thumb sucking habit in a toddler (2)

We are helpless and powerless without the help of Allah, so we rely on Allah first and then put our effort in trying to work out a difficulty.

Hence praying is the essence in any problem solving, I had once read that a worried mom would wake up at tahajjud and pray for her children, so if anyone is really concerned about their child and their bad habit, then they should be praying sincerely first and then finding ways to help their child.

2) Wait.

Allah SWT says: O you who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and prayer: [Al Baqrah 153]

After praying comes the patience and perseverance.steps to Break thumb sucking habit in a toddler (3)

Generally, parents know their children best. So before executing a plan they should well consider its feasibility for their children. They should ask the question if it is best now or should they wait. 

I knew me and my child was not ready to tread onto the journey of breaking the habit yet. So for next few days I decided to completely ignore her thumb sucking, and not react at all, while I continued praying earnestly to Allah to show me a way.

3) Educate

Often time’s parents repeatedly force their child, against the child’s own wishes to pull her out of a habit. They harass, humiliate or use power in ordsteps to Break thumb sucking habit in a toddler (4)er to trying to teach her a concept. But this power struggle and feeling of being judged by her own parents, makes the child even more insecure and she would usually retort back to her comfort zone of thumb-sucking even more than normal.

I searched for some fun videos & cartoons to educate my daughter about thumb sucking and the consequences of this habit. She insisted on watching them over and over again with my running commentary on how thumb sucking can de-shape jaw formation in young children.

During the process she gained more awareness of exactly why she should avoid sucking her thumb, and what damage it can result in. She started to see ‘thumb sucking’ as a problem instead of just her comfort zone. Once she understood it, she took a decision that that she would not like her teeth like rodent and wanted me to help her get rid of it. 


Please read the rest of the post: Here

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