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It is well known that many infants and young children calm themselves by sucking their thumbs. While most children will stop on their own, some children continue with thumb sucking past the age of 4 or 5.
The problem is that prolonged thumb sucking can lead to serious dental and speech problems. That is why many parents are worried about this habit disorder. However, you must know that by using lots of love and encouragement, you can help your child succeed in breaking the thumb-sucking habit.

Is thumb-sucking normal?

Thumb sucking is normal in babies and young children and very common as well. A natural sucking instinct leads some babies to suck their thumbs during their first few months of life. Some doctors claim babies suck their thumbs even before birth. Babies may also suck on their fingers, hands, or items such as pacifiers or anything similar.

Why do babies suck their thumbs?

Babies have a natural urge to suck that usually decreases after the age of 6 months. However, many babies continue to suck their thumbs to soothe themselves much longer. Eventually, thumb sucking can become a habit in babies and young children who use it to comfort themselves. Most common, they are sucking thumb when they feel hungry, afraid, restless, quiet, sleepy, or bored. The fact is that about 70% to 90% of infants suck their thumbs. Most of these children gradually stop on their own between ages three and six, but if that does not happen, it became habit disorder.

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