My cousin's daughter used to suck her thumb and I gave them every piece of advice stating how can you curb the habit. People judged them maybe they are not that hard on her otherwise she would have stopped the habit. Fastforwad to Aarush, at 6 months of age he started sucking his index finger and now was time to use all the experiences that I was watching while raising my niece. What I observed was the more I opposed him sucking his thumb, the more he started sucking. Also, as he grew up he knew that mom hates thumbsucking so whenever I avoid his tantrums, he starts thumsucking just to make me mad. He is 2 years old and still sucking his index finger, I have tried many unsuccessful ways to avoid thumbsucking and I am going to share it with you hoping one of it might help your child.
I have consulted many doctors for thumbsucking and all are of opinion that it is a normal activity any kid performs. They say that kids start sucking their thumb when they are in their mother's womb. If the kid sucks the thumb of right hand then the kid is going to be right handed and same vice versa. Doctors asked me to be patient as eventually when he will start going to school he will stop the habit. So thumb sucking is an extremely normal activity and I don't need to panic. Thumbsucking acts as a natural pacifier and helps soothe the kid. Now there are some side effects of thumb sucking which scares me more than actual thumbsucking. The side effects includes teeth deformation, thumb skin turning pale, and sucking untidy thumbs can introduce pathogens in your kid's tummy.
Here's the list of ways you can try to avoid thumb sucking in your kids:
1)Engage in activities: Keep your kids hands engaged in activities that include holding ball, throwing balls, scribbling
2)Use positive reinforcement: This works as a reverse psychology, praise him if he is not sucking his thumb
5)Talk to you child: Engage your child in the understanding why he needs to stop thumb sucking.
6)Apply bitter liquids on thumb: There are some liquids which we can get in medical stores you can apply them on kids thumb. Or you can rub karela and other sour/bitter/spicy substances.
Patience is the only solution for breaking this habit. Just don't be too harsh on your child. Always remember he is not going to suck his thumbs his entire life.
Happy Parenting !!!