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Thumb sucking in babies

Alternative Text By: Dr. Rajiv Chhabra | February 20, 2019

Thumb sucking is quite common in babies and is also a growth milestone. Let’s understand a few key things about it:

When does it start?

The various ages when a child puts thumb inside mouth are at:

  1. 4 months
  2. 5 years

Hand to mouth is considered a normal milestone for a child of 4 months’ age, therefore, we shouldn’t be discouraging the child during this period.

Why does it happen?

There are various reasons attributed to thumb sucking, some of which are as below –

  • the child gets pleasure by taking the thumbs,
  • it gives the child happiness,
  • makes them emotionally secure or
  • relieves anxiety.

Whatever the cause may be, we need to praise them for not taking thumb inside mouth, give them confidence and more of affection.

What to do if it becomes a habit?

Thumb sucking which becomes a habit around 18 months of age can be dealt by applying Quinine paste which comes in a tablet form. It should be crushed, turned into a paste and applied at the times when child is taking the thumb inside mouth.

In case you have some other remedies, leave them in the comments below!

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