Monday, October 21, 2013

Quit Finger Sucking

I'm a sucker for a finger sucker.  I had two of them and loved it. Such content babies they were, sigh.  I also had a binky lover which you can read about here.  Enzo sucked his pointer and middle finger together.  Gabriel...the thumb. 

Enzo, caught in the act watching a movie with his friend. 
Although they were very good sleepers, and mostly pleasant children, my husband was anti-finger sucking.  You see, he is a dental hygienist. He knows too much to allow such behavior in his house. It was an embarrassment to our family name! 

However, I begged him to let it continue because it just made my life so much easier.  So, continue it did.  And there Enzo was.  Sitting in preschool... SUCKING HIS FINGERS! Ugh, so unsanitary for everyone involved. On the upside, his teeth were perfect, surprisingly enough. 

Gabriel, the THUMB sucker, wasn't so lucky. He was only 18 measly monthly old and his brand new teeth were already really buck! 
Gabriel at about 6 months.  Fun fact.  He wasn't born bald.
His dad buzzed off all his hair while mom was out! Oh the humanity.

Hubs was OVER it.  Oh, he allowed me to 'try' various methods. Bandaids. Tape.  I tried this peppery liquid you put on the finger and tastes bad.  Works great until they need to rub their eyes!  Bad news.   

One day, hubs came home from work with a gift from a patient. 
$2.97 at Hell-Mart, I mean Wal-Mart. 
It's just a nail polish.  It does not wash off in water like the pepper stuff.  It does not irritate and burn their eyes. It won't fall off like a Band-Aid or tape.  Once it's on, it's ON.  It DOES taste super gross. Yes. I tried it.  What kind of a mother do you think I am? Wanna know how it tastes? Try it and get back to me. 
Finally! We were in business.  The 5 year old and the 18 month old didn't know what hit them.  We did both kids all at once because we are insane.  Hey, misery loves company! And boy oh boy, were they miserable! It worked.
Here's what we did:
We applied it to the nails every 3 days at first.  They will cry and beg you to take it off.  The 5 year had every excuse in the book. 
"It makes my food taste yucky."   -Shouldn't be eating with your hands. You're 5.
"I don't wanna suck the fingers I just wanna put them in my mouth." -That's gross.
"I'm done with sucking, can you take it off now?" -Uh huh, sure.

It took about 3-4 weeks for the 5 year old to stop asking for it to be removed.  Once he stopped asking, we kept applying it every week for another month, because we are complete barbarians.  Hee hee.   The 2 year old adapted much quicker.  He was over it in about a week. Don't get me wrong. He hardly slept for that week, and neither did I. But then it was over.  Just like everything else.  You gotta stick it out.

The BEST part is that his teeth began straightening out immediately! I noticed a difference within 3-4 weeks.  About 3 months later they looked almost perfect. 

After they were done, we gifted the polish over to my sister and her 2 finger suckers quit too! Success all around!

Let me know how it goes for you guys!  Hope this helps.

1 comment:

  1. Is there an age they or you recommend starting it? I have a 13 month old that sucks on all three of his fingers! I think it's gross since he plays with everything and then sticks his fingers in his mouth but I agree with you! He sleeps wonderfully and it helps him to be patient when I am taking too long on something like dinner. I just don't know if 13 months old is too young for him to really grasp the concept, you know? Any other tid bits on how you managed to help them cope through their torment would be lovely! Thanks!