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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

How do you break finger sucking?



Mom_fingersucking My daughter sucks the two middle fingers on her left hand. She started about a month after she was born. She spit out her pacifier and since then, her fingers have been her way of self-soothing.

Now, at 17-months with a mouth full of teeth, her father is concerned. He sees braces in her future. And so the two battle it out over finger sucking. I’ve taken my daughter’s side.

Funny thing is, if she whimpers at 3 a.m. and we hear that distinct finger-sucking sound amplified by the baby monitor, it’s never a problem then.

Some doctors say finger sucking causes few problems until permanent teeth come in. Although I think it’s cute and efficient now, I do not want to be the parent of a teenage or adult finger-sucker. I also have some concerns about germs. My daughter’s been battling colds and sinus infections lately. Surely, those fingers in her mouth don’t help.

So what to do? Every time my husband sees our daughter sucking her fingers, he pulls them out. She puts them right back in. For her, it’s become a game. Random strangers and family members also think it appropriate to pull my girl’s fingers out of her mouth. I want to pop them. Haven’t they ever heard the axiom, “Look but don’t touch?”

Me? I let my daughter soothe herself. It brings her comfort and a few moments of peace and quiet for me.

My hubby and I know we can’t keep going on like this. We’ve got to put up a unified front. But on this issue, we’re really divided. And that’s no stand at all.

-- Sherri Day

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:02am]


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