An update on the finger-sucking

I wrote a while back about trying to break Will of his finger sucking habit. We did a token and sticker on a calendar for every half day he made it without sucking on his finger and the tokens bought prizes. Anyway, for the first week or so we taped two fingers on each hand together, to remind him not to suck. After that we went to only taping one finger on each hand. Another week or so with one finger taped and still no sucking! So we braved it without any tape and SUCCESS!! We continued the tokens and stickers for another few weeks to reinforce things, and then allowed him to turn in all his leftover tokens at the end for one big prize to wrap everything up.

He got his big prize a few days before we moved and things are still going well. There are some downsides. For one thing, he now gets up WAY earlier and I attribute that to not sucking his finger to go back to sleep at 5 am. Could be other things involved too, but it started the same time as the finger sucking stopped, so. Also, he has now started chewing things, I assume as a substitute for sucking. He doesn’t do it as constantly as he sucked his finger, but it’s still annoying. Shirt sleeves, his collar, stuffed animals, blankets. Everything gets chewed on these days. I have seen him start to stick his finger in his mouth when he’s feeling especially nervous, but he stopped with reminding. Also, Brian and I have seen him a time or two asleep with his finger in his mouth. I don’t think he’s sucking to go to sleep (especially since I don’t see this regularly) just residual habit. Hopefully this stops after a while.

Anyway, I’m calling it a win! Will’s finger sucking days are over, hopefully for good!

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6 thoughts on “An update on the finger-sucking

  1. This is awesome!

    I have seen kids in Iris’ class still chewing on things (they range in age from 2.5-4). Not sure if they’re finger or thumb suckers at bedtime, but chewing on things at older than teething age seems to kind of be all the rage.

  2. Thanks for the ideas! Charlotte still sucks her thumb and we’ve been working on breaking the habit for over a year with little success. She does it mostly when she is tired. Now she’s been chewing on her hair and clothes as an alternative.

  3. Nearly every picture have of Will he is sucking his finger, how am I supposed to recognize him as he grows and ages out of this? THANKS for curing him, you jerk, now I won’t even know my own nephew!

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