Breaking the Habit *

Since Audrey was a very young baby, she has sucked her thumb.   It was great for us when she was tiny, because it meant she could comfort herself and stay asleep all night.   No 2 a.m. feeding for that 7-month-old!   (You hear me, Nathan?!)

But for the last year or so, it has troubled Sarah and me — we were sure it was going to ruin her teeth.   In fact, in the last several months, we’d seen her lower teeth grow little gaps between all of them.   We decided it was time to cut her off.

We started by taking away her “lellow blankies” — the little yellow blankets that she used at night to go to sleep.   They had brought about an almost-Pavlovian response in her — when the blankies are in your hands, the thumb goes in your mouth.   Unfortunately, she had started using them throughout the house, at all hours of the day, even when we told her they were only for night-night.   So when we took a weekend trip to my family’s cabin earlier this summer, the lellow blankies somehow got “lost” on the way home.

Of course, that didn’t cure the problem.   She found other blankets (even resorting to thievery, taking her little brother’s blankets) and in went the thumb.   But a couple of weeks ago, Sarah bought the bad-tasting Thum liquid to paint on her thumb. Audrey was very cooperative in the process and even wanted to put it on by herself.   Sarah told her to taste it, so she popped the thumb in her mouth once, and immediately spit it out.   She never even tried to go back to her thumb

That night, Sarah gave her a baby binky to suck on while she went to sleep — since she hadn’t gone to sleep without sucking something for the last 2 and 1/2 years — but since then she’s done very well at sleeping on her own and not sucking on anything.   We’re very proud of Audrey for quitting cold turkey.

Thum also played a part in my own little struggle with thumb-sucking when I was a very young child — I hated it so much that I tried to wash it off and even suck it off so I could have my thumb back.   I think I was a little older than Audrey when my parents broke me of my habit, and my teeth turned out all right, so I hope she won’t need major orthodontia because of what she gave up when she was three years old.

* Today’s blog post title was brought to you by Linkin Park

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 at 3:06 pm and is filed under Family. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Breaking the Habit *”

  1. GretchenNo Gravatar Says:

    Scott sucks his 2 middle fingers and now that he’s 2 and a half, we’re agonizing about the same thing. I hope it goes as smoothly for us when we take the plunge!

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