Thursday, January 17, 2013

BREAKING THUMB SUCKING AND NAIL BITING

I will never forget the day my daughter found her thumb.  I thought it was the cutest thing, and was beyond relieved that she could soothe herself, instead of me having to jump up every time that darn pacifier fell out of her mouth.  I think she was about 2 months old when she learned how to suck her thumb.  My husband was deployed to Iraq the first 5 months of her life, so whenever we traveled the 14 hours from Kansas to West Virginia, to visit my family, I was on my own with an infant and a toddler (who, by the way, was in the midst of potty training).  My daughter hated being in her car seat for long periods of time, and she has never been one that you could say, "Eventually she'll stop crying and fall asleep."  She was the baby who would cry, and cry, and cry, until she got what she wanted.  She would be soaked with sweat and red as a beet from crying so hard and so long.  I'll never forget how sore my shoulder was after one of our long trips, before she had found her thumb, from reaching behind me while driving, touching the top of her head to try to soothe her and calm her down.  My son and I would sing song after song after song to try to make her happy.  Would you believe it if I told you I actually miss those days and would love to relive them again?  They grow up so fast.

But there came a day, when that miracle of a thumb, found its way into her mouth, and she was able to put herself to sleep, ride in the car for hours, and find comfort by herself.  I remember my brother saying, "Uh-oh!  Good luck with that.  You can take a pacifier away, but you can't take the thumb away."  My brother underestimates me!  If there's one thing I have never been afraid of, it's breaking my children of bad habits.  My son was a binky boy, and he needed it for his reflux.  But come 10 months old when his reflux seized, I took that binky away in one fell swoop, and he never saw it again.  Because I did it at such a young age, it was actually easy peasy, and he quickly forgot all about it.  Bottles were never an issue with my children.  I stopped giving my son a bottle around 7 months, because he was able to drink from a sippy cup.  He never missed the bottle.  My daughter never took a bottle because she was a pro at breastfeeding.  So what did I do when it was time to break her of sucking that infamous thumb?

At 15 months old, we decided it was time to break her thumb sucking.  She was old enough now to soothe herself in other ways, and at this point had become more of a bad habit that was happening all of the time, instead of just for comfort.  Our plan of attack was to just constantly stay on her.  Every time that thumb went in the mouth, we told her to get it out.  Within one week, she had stopped.  Three months later, when we adopted an 8 year old boy, the thumb found its way back to her mouth.  And this time, telling her to quit was no longer working.  She knew she wasn't supposed to be doing it, because she would pull it out in a flash, if we caught her, and say, "You caught me, Momma!"  I know, right, she's so stinking cute!

During this time, we also came to find out that our adopted son was sucking his fingers.  We were not happy with this and if you have been keeping up with my posts, you have read about it.  But it was because of me expressing my concerns about his finger sucking, that a dear friend of mine passed on a great remedy to me, that she had used to stop her 5 year old daughter from finger nail biting.  So I hopped on Amazon.com, ordered the product, and as soon as it arrived in the mail, ripped it open and put it on my daughters finger nails.  It didn't even take her a day to figure out it was nasty and she couldn't suck her thumb anymore.  I have seen her raise her thumb up out of habit, but before getting it to her mouth, remembered not to and put it back down.  And what's even cuter is that she LOVES having me put this nasty stuff on her finger nails, because she thinks she's getting her finger nails painted, and this girl loves to have her nails done.  She has only fussed once from the nasty taste, and that was the first day, the first and only time she put her thumb in her mouth.  It was kind of funny, because she started saying her mouth hurt, not knowing how to say her mouth tasted yucky, and drooling because she didn't want to swallow.
 




So if you're a parent of finger suckers or nail biters, I highly recommend MAVALA.  Or if you're a finger sucker or nail biter yourself, and want to stop, definitely use this product.  Of course it wouldn't be fair, if my husband and I didn't taste the stuff ourselves, so I stuck my daughters fingers in my mouth for one second and was absolutely disgusted.  It took quite a few sips of my drink and bites of my food before I could get the taste out of my mouth.  Good luck suckers and biters!!!








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