Thursday, July 5, 2012

My kids suck...

...their thumbs! haha! Remember I told you here about the differences between my two kids? Well, they do have one thing in common and that is thumbsucking... on their left thumbs. I guess they did get it from me. I thumbsucked until I was about in Grade 1 and it only stopped when I got a huge nasty wound on my left thumb from a freak accident in school involving a chain (don't ask).

When they were both babies, we tried giving them pacifiers but their thumbs always found their way into their mouths. It was instinct I guess. But I honestly prefer them to self-soothe this way. And can I just say I find it super cute. ;p

They each have their own styles of thumbsucking. Miley has to have her right arm on top of her left hand which covers her mouth from view. I have no idea why she has to do this since it looks so awkward especially when she's standing up. It looks like she's shy and doesn't want people to see her thumbsucking. She actually already has a crusty thumb (we call it her kulugo) ;p

Sabe, meanwhile, always needs to hold a blankie. It's actually a white lampin. When he was very little, we noticed that he would grab at his shirt whenever he's sleepy or crying. We gave him a lampin and he's been holding on tight ever since. Before, we could get away with just giving him any piece of cloth to hold and he wouldn't know the difference (like Miley's pajamas, a shirt, etc). But now, he'll actually study the cloth you give him and if it isn't a plain white lampin, he'll throw it on the floor!

I hope they outgrow it eventually especially when they start school, since people say prolonged thumb-sucking can lead to dental and speech problems. In my case, I had really bad teeth growing up (my two front teeth protruded outwards like Bugs Bunny) and I was bulol as a kid haha! Hopefully, it doesn't happen to my kids (plus braces are expensive!).

According to some articles I read, children should at least stop thumbsucking by the time their permanent teeth come in to prevent further dental problems in the future. My biggest issue is also the germs on their hands when they're playing that go straight to their mouths! If they still continue doing it when they get older, here are some tips to try and help them break the habit: 

- Praise them when they are not sucking, instead of scolding them when they are.

- Try using a bandage or a bad-tasting substance on the thumb. - My sister also thumbsucked and our yaya would wrap her thumb with gauze. When that didn't work, I think they placed sili on her thumb haha!

- Carefully remove your child's thumb from the mouth during sleep. Thumb-sucking at night is the most difficult habit to break. - This I do, but they have to be really asleep otherwise they'd wake up.

For other mommies out there with the same predicament as me, it is very important to provide empathy and encouragement throughout the process, and of course be available for your child. Remember that it is a difficult habit to break. Do not force your child to comply. If you are consistent, patient, and positive, your child will be more likely to succeed. Remember this is your child's habit to break, and he or she must be willing to cooperate.

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