Hi friends! I missed you all this summer, more than you’ll ever know. I underestimated how much writing YOU is such good therapy for ME! :)
At the beginning of the summer I decided to work on accomplishing one GoAL with the kids by the end of the summer: to stop their thumb sucking!! It has been a habit for both of our kiddos ever since birth.
We purchased some (pricey) thumb guards from tguard.com which was recommended by a friend. This worked well with Leanne, our oldest daughter who is 6. Garrett, our 3 year-old, didn’t respond as well to them. No matter what I did, he seemed to find a way to get the guards off. I even bought the next size down, thinking they were too big, but he still found a way. Truly, I think he got them off because he was willing to put himself through a considerable amount of pain…that’s a BOY for ya! But my daughter didn’t really fight it, and even if she tried, she wasn’t able to get hers off. Regardless, I would still highly recommend tguards to anyone wanting to break this habit. I think they are one of the best options on the market.
The next thing we tried was our ChEApEst and most successful attempt so far. I took their winter mittens and cut out all the fingers except the thumbs! Both kids responded well to these because they were more comfortable to wear and much easier to put on. The issue with mittens: they are SUPER easy to take off, which meant we had to UP the incentives to keep them on. So…if they took the mittens off during the night, they didn’t get chocolate milk for breakfast and had to choke down regular milk (ha!). Also, they got points toward a favorite toy which they finally got to cash in at the end of the summer. The chocolate milk was a good incentive because it is the first thing they look forward to when they wake up, which we always reminded them when putting them to bed. Sometimes they would come into the kitchen with a frown on their face and mitten-free hands, knowing regular milk would be on the menu:(
It took about a month for Garrett to break the habit of taking his mittens off at night. And even though I feel they have broken their habit, they still request the mittens at night, just to make sure they don’t suck their thumbs without realizing it while sleeping. I am so proud of them!
As I re-read this post, the process still sounds so much easier than it really was. I don’t want to lie and make it sound like it was easy, because it wasn’t. It was a FigHt, especially with our 3-year-old. We exhausted all incentives and thumb guard options out there, and by the second half of the summer the mittens seemed to be what was most effective (even though it still took a good month before I felt like they really had it mastered). It was a roller coaster of a summer, but worth all the hard work! If your kiddos are dealing with the same struggle, I hope our experience and the mittens/tguards can be new options for you! Don’t lose hope! Hang in there momma!