Thumbsucking is the process of sucking on the thumb for oral pleasure. It is a normal activity that peaks around age 1 and 2. However, if thumbsucking continues past age 4 - 5, dental problems may develop.
Thumbsucking is most common when the child is hungry or tired.
Some parents are concerned by thumbsucking and may even try to restrain the infant or child. In most cases this is not necessary. Most children stop thumbsucking on their own. When older children continue to suck their thumbs, it could mean they are bored, anxiety, or have emotional problems such as depression. Seek advice from your pediatrician if you are concerned.
There is no definitive treatment for persistent thumbsucking, but there are several options you can try: