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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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Hello. My 2 month old baby has just learnt putting her hand

Customer Question

Hello. My 2 month old baby has just learnt putting her hand into her mouth to suck. What can i do to stop this from turning into a long term habit? Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Adviser Mills C.C.D. replied 2 years ago.

Brandy Mills, C.C.D. :

Infants at this age will suck when tired. Even on an ultrasound they are sometimes sucking their thumbs and hands. Have you considered a pacifier?

Brandy Mills, C.C.D. :

Good news for you 85 to 90 percent of all children stop this habit before they are 4 and there will be no jaw or teeth issues unless they continue sucking after that time. finding something else teething ring, or pacifier will give them something to do that does not involve the EASY access of the thumb or hand.

Customer:

Thank you for helping! I've tried given her 2 pacifiers of different designs but she does not like it. Yes on ultrasound i had once seen her sucking her toe! I'm actually considering if there are ways to gently help her do less sucking, I'm mostly worried about the habit not easily ending

Brandy Mills, C.C.D. :

This is a normal worry. Thumbsuckers sometimes go way past five especially when bored or tired, might want to try every shape they make. I say this because for some reason pacifiers are easier to break as a habit. Does she suck her thumb?

Customer:

I see. No she has not yet learned to just coordinate and control the fingers yet... she is trying to put part of her fist into her mouth

Brandy Mills, C.C.D. :

when she is awake, distract her with another activity right away, to steer her from calming her self this way, at this age, it could be a mobile or a small toy you wave in front of her

Customer:

That sounds good. Thank you so much for your patience and guidance!

Brandy Mills, C.C.D. :

yes, another thing. Keep an eye on when she does it the most. Maybe she is just tired or it could be something else. Stay on top of the habit..by distracting and finding other ways for her to occupy or curious time!

Brandy Mills, C.C.D. :

Once she finds that thumb, put those things in full action :)

Customer:

great. thanks for the advice!!

Brandy Mills, C.C.D. :

Your welcome! Good luck to you and your little one ;)

Customer:

thank you so much...

Adviser Mills C.C.D., Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 151
Experience: 15 years Plus, Preschool Owner, Teen Mentor
Adviser Mills C.C.D. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

I wanted to come in and offer a different view for you to consider. It is a wonderful thing that your baby has learned to put her hand in her mouth to suck. This is completely age appropriate and normal and is a great sign that she is learning to soothe herself. This is the age when this natural reflex happens and isn't generally the time when this behavior should be changed.

It is not likely that this will turn into a "bad habit," but right now she needs to do this in order to calm herself and soothe herself. This should also help at night as when she wakes up she can begin to find her hand and begin to suck so she can feel calm and put herself back to sleep rather than relying on you to get her back to sleep. Your baby is a bit too young to try and steer her away from calming herself this way...it is a natural reflex and one that is a good one.

You can begin to pay attention to the times when she is doing it as it could be clues to hunger, need for affection or wanting to be held. Isn't is great if she can show you those things and then you can respond with the loving embrace, the gentle rocking or a warm and loving feeding?

As she gets older she will have other internal mechanisms to soothe herself and won't have this need and that can be the time to redirect her, but at two months it is a bit early as she needs this self-soothing and that is a good thing.

Take a look at this article as well on sucking. http://pediatrics.about.com/od/weeklyquestion/a/04_pacifiers.htm

And because she doesn't like a pacifier it most likely means she will outgrow this naturally as she develops and grows and it isn't until about 6-9 months that you can begin to redirect her if you feel it is bothersome.

Please let me know how I can help your further and answer anymore questions.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much CoachJenk, eased my doubts and worries. Your reply is informative and helpful. So I will just be letting her do that naturally :)
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Excellent. So glad to hear it. Babies don't come with a handbook and so I am glad you reached out for support.funny story that will also help to ease your mind. When my twins were several months old I helped them find their hands. And fingers so that I could get a few minutes worth of sleep. :-) mine were also addicted to their pacis and at 13 months we had a ceremony and tied the pacis to a balloon and sent them on their way. They cried only for one night and then they found other ways to soothe.

I am here to help you anytime. I would love to help. Sleep training is next. :-)
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Jennifer. Wow I love your way of "sending" the pacis away! Yes really love it. So glad to find an expert who is so willing to help. Being a first time mom is really world full of anxiety and needs good advices from other moms.

A great part of my anxiety comes from my friends, who have their way of seeing how to raise children, and also having good behaving kids, they are kind in their motives to give us "teachings" on what is "right and wrong" way of kid raising, but finding it so hard to follow what they do is just adding me more and more worries and doubts.

I'll start a new thread on sleeping then :D
Expert:  Adviser Mills C.C.D. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, Coach Jen that is wonderful! My cousins were very hooked on the pacifiers and they had a ceremony to end their habit. I hope you have found some guidance here:)

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