11 Easy Ways to Stop Thumb Sucking in Kids [Proven to Work]

You can stop thumb-sucking in kids by following these methods

  • Putting Thumb Guard
  • Using a Bitter tasting product
  • Diverting the child’s attention
  • Identifying triggers and finding alternatives
  • Giving them the right support by not punishing or pressing them 
  • Making them aware of the problems of thumb-sucking
  • Establishing a reward system

As you follow these habits, make sure to be patient as well. They are children and changing habits takes some time. As an adult, you have to help your child find the right path and make sure not to let them feel abandoned. To get into details, let’s get started.

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Easy Ways to Stop Thumb Sucking in Kids

If you are serious about stopping your kid from sucking their thumb, follow these 11 methods from today. 

Put Thumb Guards:

One of the most effective and easiest ways to stop thumb sucking in your child – purchase a thumb guard like TGuard!

This is a special thumb protector designed to break the habit. It also provides comfort thanks to air holes and a flexible body!

Use a Bitter-tasting Product:

No one likes the bitter taste of anything. Once you apply something bitter to their thumb, it will stop your kids from putting it in their mouth again. 

Some parents apply soap, sunscreen, or other unappealing liquids to discourage their kids from continuing with the habit. I’m not sure whether it works for you, but I believe it’s worth trying at least once in your life.

The affordable and best bitter-tasting product is nail polish. Sounds weird! But I suggest putting it on your child’s thumb, so he won’t be able to put it in their mouth.

Try to Divert Your Child’s Attention:

For younger kids, give them a toy or playtime activity that will keep their hands occupied. For older kids, teach them how to knit, make beaded jewelry, or remind them of upcoming school projects, so they keep busy instead of thumb-sucking.

You can also offer your child activities such as: drawing or coloring, playing with clay or play dough, or origami folding.

As long as your kids have their hands busy, they will not put their thumbs in their mouths. It will help them find a new hobby and you won’t have to worry about your kid thumb-sucking again. So, it is a win-win situation for everyone. 

Identify Triggers and Find Alternatives

Observe your child more to understand exactly in which situations and emotions they start thumb-sucking. Once you identify the triggers, find alternatives to this habit. For example, if a child starts thumb-sucking when they are anxious, give them a stress ball to squeeze instead or teach them deep breathing exercises.

Give your Child Support:

You must show your child lots of encouragement and support when they’re trying to break the thumb-sucking habit. You should praise them for everything they do well, whether it’s resisting the temptation or simply making an effort to stop this unconscious activity.

Don’t Punish your kids for Thumb-sucking:

This is indeed one of the essential and easy ways to stop thumb-sucking.

Never punish your children for thumb-sucking – this could make them more likely to continue with the habit.

Don’t Press your Kids to Stop:

Understandably dealing with whiny kids can be difficult but that does not mean you should press them. Although you should encourage your kid to stop doing the habit, you shouldn’t push them too hard. They are kids after all.

Refrain from making threats like “stop thumb-sucking” or “I’ll take away your favorite toy” – this will only make your child more likely to resist and continue with the behavior.

Make Them Aware of the Dangers:

It’s never too early to teach good habits, so take this opportunity to have an effective conversation and talk about the problems that can arise from thumb-sucking.

You can explain to them about the spread of germs and the probability of carrying diseases. This can be a good factor for not sucking thumbs. 

Establish a Reward System:

Try to create a reward system to encourage your child to stop thumb-sucking. Set a goal and offer small rewards. Such an offer can motivate the child to quit the habit. It can also boost their confidence. 

But make sure that you do not reward them frequently. This can turn into a loop where the child will stop thumb-sucking only if they are awarded some kind of reward. 

Make a Visual Reminder:

Get creative and make a visual reminder for your child. For example, it could be a colorful bracelet or sticker on their hand as a reminder not to suck their thumb.

Time and Patience:

Remember, breaking the thumb-sucking habit takes time and patience. Be understanding and supportive throughout the process. Celebrate their progress, and if they slip up, reassure them that it’s okay and encourage them to continue their efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Are Thumb Shields Good?

Thumb shields are good because they are a safe way to stop thumb-sucking. They are worn on the hand to protect against further damage, and some have special flavors or other substances that make them less attractive for children. However, many experts recommend not using this product because it’s an extension of the habit instead of just stopping it altogether.

Are There Any Effects of Thumb Sucking?

There are some effects of thumb-sucking on a child’s health and physical appearance. Sucking their thumb can cause problems with their teeth development, and they may also have a lisp or other speech problems. Thumb sucking can also make a child’s face look more babyish.

Should I Wake My Child If They Suck Their Thumb While Sleeping?

It’s not recommended to wake your child if they suck their thumb while sleeping. Sleep is essential for their well-being, and disrupting their sleep can do more harm than good.


In conclusion, you can stop thumb-sucking in kids if you follow the methods we discussed. Just make sure to take the right approach and be patient. Changing habits takes some time and you should not be harsh on your kids for that.

Apply these easy ways to stop thumb-sucking and remember to approach the process with positivity and encourage your child along the way!

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