Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Thumb Sucking is Common for Three-year-olds

Your child may use thumb sucking as a way to fall asleep or to calm down when under stress. More than likely, she will stop this habit naturally. Putting added pressure on her to stop may do more harm than good.

Most pediatricians consider thumb-sucking normal until around the age of four and recommend parents ignore it. This is especially true when the child is sick, tired or stressed. If your child only sucks her thumb when she is bored, try to distract her by giving her an activity to keep her hands busy.

The American Dental Association reports children can suck their thumbs until around the age of 4 or 5 without affecting their teeth or jaw. However, if you start to notice a change in how your child’s teeth are lining up or a change in the roof of her mouth, talk to her pediatrician or dentist.

Learn more about Your Child: 39-40 Months from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.

Note to Parents: When reading this, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.

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