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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

First night without thumb-sucking? Perhaps... (**updated)

We're trying something new tonight. It's called a thumb guard and we got it from Etsy of all places.


Ree has always sucked her right thumb* at bedtime. She doesn't do it during the day, and her thumb pops out of her mouth as soon as she falls asleep. Anyhow, we've never been concerned in the slightest and figured she'd just stop when she was ready. We still feel that way. The only reason I'm even writing about this is because last week the girls' dentist said that it was no big deal but it would be nice if we could break the habit by the time Ree turned five, and then I was browsing around on Etsy (looking at kid clothes, of course, because we don't have enough of those, heh heh) and somehow ran across these intriguing-looking soft handmade items called "Thumb Guards." Huh, who'd have thought? I swear you can find anything on Etsy.

I asked Ree if she wanted to try one and she thought it was a great idea. She picked out the fabric she wanted (pink polka dots with purple fairies) and then waited impatiently for it to get here. Well the thumb-guard arrived, and Ree is so happy and excited to try it out tonight. I forgot it on the kitchen counter and was in the middle of reading bedtime stories when she suddenly said "Mama, can you pause the story?" and raced downstairs to get it. Funny kiddo.

I'll report back in a few days to see if it works or if it bothers her and we scrap it. By the way, I think it has always irked Ree that Ro kicked her own sucking habit so easily. Ro used to suck on her Drea (a soft little blanket with a bear head) every night until she got a bad rash from the sopping wet nasty fabric and the pediatrician told her to stop. She quit cold turkey that very night and never looked back. So it will be interesting to see if this has a similar immediate-and-freakishly-easy result.

* Note, the thumb that required a trip to the pediatric dermatologist (and is still giving us trouble so we've got a followup appt this week) is her left thumb

~~~ ** Update in the morning: Cool beans, that little thing actually worked. It didn't bother Ree at all, but it did the trick and made her thumb undesirable. She had plenty of stuffed animals and loveys in her bed to snuggle with (and smell, she's big on smelling), so she didn't feel deprived at all. And she actually forgot the thumb guard was even on until it was time to get dressed and I noticed it. When I asked her about the thumb guard this morning she jumped up and down and said "It was awesome! It worked awesome!" then ran away to play. Heh. We'll see how it goes after a week of wearing it. For now, for the first night, I'm calling it successful. More later...


  1. WOW....I never knew such a thing existed.....and on Etsy??

    I hope it works.....let us know tomorrow!!


  2. Oh you can find the most unusual things on Etsy ! Love that place, I have a mittens shop there as well :) She doesn't look pleased but I m sure it works, let us know, I may need one few years down the road

  3. This is so interesting. I was a thumb sucker and my parents put a metal thing on my thumb that was tied on with a rag. I would spend hours getting it off so I could suck my thumb. I am 67 now and don't suck my thumb so I guess it worked. I still have the metal contraption.

  4. Anonymous4/07/2010

    I sucked my thumb until I was 7 and I have no damage to my teeth from doing it. My sister and my niece were also thumb suckers and ditto.
    I gave it up at 7, not because anyone asked me to or from embarrassment, but because i wanted to.

  5. I sucked mine, and my parents tried everything to get me to stop, including a cover for my thumb and something to stop me bending me elbow. I started biting my nails instead, and now I do both.

    I would leave her be, if she needs the comfort from the thumb then let her have it, it does her no harm.

  6. My daughter's orthodontist wanted her to kick the habit. He suggested an ace bandage on her arm to prevent bending and thus the thumb was out of reach. She said it was too scratchy so we tried her brother's lacrosse elbow pad. Worked great - within a week no more thumb!

  7. Wow, that is pretty cool!

    Everyone told me just to leave my son be and that eventually he would stop on his own. Nope. He is 9 and still struggling. In hindsight I should have done something when he was 3 or 4. That neat thumb protector would have been great! I'm sure it costs less than braces!

  8. Anonymous4/07/2010

    Uh, to the person who said that thumb sucking "does no harm," that's incorrect. It can cause your teeth to be crooked, thus the reason why everyone's dentist/orthodontists advised them to stop.

  9. I was thumb sucker until I was 11...my girls were 6 1/2 and almost 5 when I made these....I'm soooooo psyched to see this post - and to see that it's working for her!

    I too - look forward to more updates! ; )

    Keep at it Ree!!! You'll be done in no time! Congrats! And thanks for posting about my product! - Kerry

  10. Anonymous4/07/2010

    i am surprised that you haven't been shooting in manual before this. You seem like such an experience photographer. Anyway, I can see a difference in manual. You are doing great...much better than me! I need a class! Check out something called a "Light Scoop" (online). I don't have one but a friend does and she said it is an easy way to improve the light (without setting up external sources) for indoor photos. It might be something you could use.

    And, as for the thumb guard, I think that is something my daughter could use!

  11. our girl doesn't have this issue, but it's SO cool that these things exist! glad it worked, that's awesome.

  12. can you post the URL to the thumb guard Etsy shop please? I have my own thumb and index finger sucker and so far nothing has worked.

  13. A friend of mine had a little boy that was a thumb-sucker. Her father also had lost several digits in a mowing accident. So she got her dad to make up a story as to why the thumb was missing. Her little boy's eyes were wide as saucers when Grandpa told him, "This is what happens when you suck your thumb too long. It could fall off! And sometimes it takes other fingers with it."

    That night it stopped! LOL...

  14. Wow - who knew?!?!!! I am filing away this information. And also sharing that the Tongginator is ALSO big on smelling, although she is very selective in what she smells... only her Doggy will do.

  15. Hi guys, night two and little Ree was still extremely happy to put on her thumb guard. So cool!!!

    We got it here, in case the link in the post isn't working for anyone:

  16. Anonymous4/07/2010

    I love that you have a pause feature that Ree can use.

  17. I was a thumb-sucker too, until about age 7 or 8, and ended up needing braces as a teen-ager. What finally got me to stop was elastic bandages being wrapped around my whole arm, making it uncomfortable to bend at the elbow.

    And I also remember loving the smells of my things. I used to have a pillow case that I refused to let my mom put in the wash. Actually, I still like the smell of my pillowcases now -- that and the smell of new paperback books.

  18. Based upon your post I went and bought one. T is very excited (in theory) to wear one. Showed her your pics and asked if she wanted one too, to which she responded an enthusiatic "yes".

    It should arrive this coming week.

    I'll be very interested to see how my girl, who just turned 5 and only sucks at night when going to sleep, fares with this cute gizmo in reality.

    Thanks so much for the find!