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Sep 21, 2010

Thumb sucking: double-edge sword?

In the last 2.5 years, Daniel has never sucked his thumb once. It was just not something he came up with when learning all the things he could do with his body. He got addicted to the pacifier as a way to relax, and this turned into a challenge when we tried to wean him of the pacifier. I recorded this at length over the last year, it was tough and I am glad it's over!

So I didn't encourage Charlotte to use the pacifier. I knew too well that, while it might help in the short-term, it would make for longer-term difficulties that I wasn't ready to face again. It helped that she was/is a very good baby. She doesn't cry much and she is able to fall asleep without any help.

Really happy baby

So, I might have made the mistake to leave a pacifier for her at daycare, just in case. I obviously didn't brief them well enough. For a couple of days, the teachers would consistently give Charlotte the pacifier during nap time, whether she needed it or not. I think she got somehow used to sucking while falling asleep. I had a discussion with the teachers and they stopped the practice right away.

Not sure if this is a result of introducing the pacifier or not, but Charlotte now started sucking her thumb instead. I am not really complaining: she is even more easy-going than before, sucking her thumb when she needs some comfort, and not requiring us to step in. In a sense, it's easier than with the pacifier: no risk of forgetting it and getting a tantrum in public, no risk of dropping it, just more convenient in general. That said, I am wondering how hard it will be to get her to stop sucking her thumb eventually. Will we have to go through the same challenges as with Daniel? It might even be worse, because I won't be able to "hide" her thumb to avoid temptation...

And now that I know what might be ahead of us, I have about 1.5 years to start worrying how weaning is going to go. And I thought second-time parents were supposed to be less worried?!

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm...Daniella started sucking her thumb around 3 months. I waited and waited for that moment to come b/c I didn't want to use the pacifier - finally, she found a way to comfort herself! Weaning has been tough. As with anything, I think you just have to be consistent and persistent, both of which I have not been at all. So, 2 years later, she still sucks her thumb but we try to limit it to naptime and bedtime only...I'll keep you posted!

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