Why Thumb Sucking Is Okay

Why Thumb Sucking Is Okay


As first time parents, my husband and I would bring up the topic of our baby’s thumb sucking habit at appointments with our paediatrician. Our doctor would kindly listen to our concerns and gently nod as we expressed our concern. Then, she’d smile, and say,

It’s better than taking drugs. At least he’s not doing that.


There are so many things to worry about as parents. Is my child getting enough sleep? Should he brush his teeth with fluoride toothpaste? Should I let him watch tv? Will he find a date?

It turns out, thumb sucking should not be on the top of your worry list. In fact, there are positives related to kids sucking their thumbs.

Your baby will never be without his thumb. Being in a store with a crying baby without a dummy is a terrible place to be. If a child knows how to soothe himself with his thumb, he will always be able to calm down. You will never be searching through your nappy bag frantically trying to produce a much-needed soother.

Thumb sucking in kids under the age of four is not a problem. Unless you’ve got a first grader who is sucking his thumb, or your child seems to be exhibiting speech problems, there’s no reason to be uptight about your baby or toddler sucking his thumb.

Peer pressure will influence your baby eventually. Once your child begins noticing other kids and how they behave, he will realize older kids don’t typically suck their thumb in public. If you allow things to run their course, your child will most likely outgrow thumb sucking all on his own.

Thumb sucking is soothing. Our paediatrician told us about a surgeon she once worked with. When the surgeon had a difficult problem he was solving in his office – alone – he would suck his thumb. It was a way for him to release stress and to focus his energy on the problem at hand. Thumb sucking didn’t stop him from being a successful surgeon; in fact, it helped him.

There are so many times when my child was a baby and the issue we were facing seemed insurmountable. A few weeks later, the issue was completely resolved, often times without any action on my part. It’s important to keep things in perspective.

After all, thumb sucking really is better than taking drugs!



Leave a Reply