Thumb Sucking: Is Prevention Possible?

She almost has it....

My baby refuses a pacifier. This is pretty much OK with me. And really, about a month ago I resolved that I have no say in the matter anyway.

But lately, there’s been a whole lot of lip-smacking going on. When I hear it, I notice Baby Girl has her fat little 11-week-old fist pressed right up against her mouth, and I know just what she’s after.

Maybe she’s too good for the pacifier, but does that mean she’ll go for the thumb instead? I hope not, because thumbs are things you can’t just take away when the habit needs to be broken. It was this realization that had me wondering if I am going to have a thumb-sucker on my hands, and wondering what, if anything, I’m going to do about it.

It’s a habit that can begin as early as in the womb, so really, there might not be much to be done at all about thumb-sucking. As I said, Baby Girl has already decided pacifiers are not the thing for her. But I’ve got her swaddled tightly at night—so much so that she rarely can get her hands free—and I wonder if that will discourage the habit. But of course I can’t (and don’t want to!) keep her swaddled all day….

There’s plenty to be said about breaking the habit. But prevention seems to be rarely addressed. What have you done to try to prevent your infant from thumb-sucking?

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