Sunday, May 15, 2011

A habit that is hard to break...

Our Miss has been sucking her fingers since 6 months of age. She chose the two middle ones of her left hand, and they were her mouth's constant companions ever since. At first it was cute and a little quirky.

At 6 months

It interfered with early food, because the fingers went in the mouth in between every mouthful. Eating was a full body experience. 7 months

10 months
1st birthday

At storytime and bedtime they were always present. 2 years

Even playing with a new sister wasn't enough to deter. 2.3 years
Then it became less endearing and the dentist was warning of problems, so we tried to encourage her to stop. I made mittens, which she ripped off as soon as she went to bed. Almost 3

Later we got a bit more serious and starting taping her fingers overnight. 3.75 years

After that we stopped taking photos, but the habit continued for another 2 years. After lots of tape and bandaids (which were often later found stuck under her bed frame), consistent reminding and encouraging and often bribery, she has finally kicked the habit.

We had promised for some time if she did kick the habit, she could have a packet of M&Ms (this was a promise of well over 3 years old and at the time I think we meant a tiny box packet). However, at age 6, we thought it doesn't bode well for oral health to offer an entire packet, so instead we found a better option.

The Polly Pocket present was well received, and we made a bit deal about it and how proud we are of her. Well done Miss 6!


Gillian said...

And look at those beautiful teeth! Well done Zoe!

Deb L said...

We are fighting this particular battle at the moment. Same fingers! Only our girl is 7 already (yikes!). I think bribery might have to come into play. We tried gloves too - same result.

Wendy said...


Another friend whose daughter did the same said she didn't stop until her hand got so big that when she sucked her fingers, she also poked herself in the eye - perhaps you could hope for that!