Hard Habits:Tips to Stop Finger Sucking

Thumb and finger sucking are natural reflexes that babies develop while they are still in the womb. When it first develops it is a comfort reflex that will gradually be phased out by the baby as they grow into a toddler. However, in some children thumb and finger sucking can develop from a comfort reflex into a habit that is difficult to break

                                                              1. Do you need to intervene?

The first tip for stopping thumb and finger sucking is to determine if you need to intervene at all. Thumb sucking is a natural reflex that babies develop to comfort themselves. For babies and young toddlers it will normally phase itself out. If your child is not sucking their thumb too aggressively or only sporadically then you should just ignore it. However, if your child relies heavily on thumb sucking and it is starting to affect their dental health and thumb health then you need to take steps to stop the sucking problem.

                                                                   2. Don't pull

The second tip for dealing with thumb sucking is never pull your child's thumb or finger out of their mouth. This can cause damage to their teeth or finger, especially if they have a strong suction or if they have teeth. Instead, you want to ask them to stop sucking their thumb.

                                                        3. Use redirection .

If your child is older and they are still sucking their thumb then it may simply be a habit that they have developed over the first years of their life. To break this habit you may want to use redirection when they show signs that they are about to suck their thumb. Use a special toy or activity to draw their attention away from sucking their thumb.

                                                      4. Keep their thumbs busy

If they are using their thumbs for a fun activity they won't be able to suck them, nor will they have the desire to suck them. Some activities that you can introduce include: coloring, drawing, painting, clay modeling, and computer games.

                                                                         SAFE HOME

       You've Just had a baby?

       Now for the hard part ......Bathing him on your own for the first time

Before you begin the bath, be sure the room is at least 26 degree C.

Pour cold water in the bath first. If you pour hot water first and cold after, the bottom of bath might be too hot without you realising.

Water should be 37 - 38 degree C. Use your elbow to see if it is comfortably warm.

Don't wear jewelry (particularly ring) you may accidentally scratch your baby.

Ensure you give creases and folds around the arms and diaper areas a good wash and rinse.

Use cotton balls to clean sensitive areas such as ears, eyes and nose.

When drying, mop, don't rub. Rubbing a baby's thin skin may cause abrasion.

The best time to bathe your baby is before the last evening feeding. It will relax him or her

                                                      Role Model

   Your child is getting messages from many sources about role expectations. Be aware that you teach more by how you act than by what you say.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited