Skip to main content

How to Help Your Preschooler Stop Sucking Their Thumb

How to Help Your Preschooler Stop Sucking Their Thumb

Ah, we all have bad habits, don’t we? Of course, some are more embarrassing than others, and we know if we have them, so do preschoolers! Here are some ways to help your preschooler stop sucking their thumb. 

Positive Reinforcement

There are differing opinions about rewarding behavior with special treats. If adults can benefit from positive reinforcement, then so can a preschooler! For a preschooler, the rewards and stipulations need to be explained fully in advance. If you desire to start with your preschooler only sucking their thumb in their room, then this needs to be explained fully to your child. Each time that your preschooler follows through, then you can give them the specifically-planned reward. 


Look for helpful literature at your preschooler’s pediatrician’s office. Many clinics have helpful pamphlets on a variety of topics. Be sure to ask the front desk for information, too. Be encouraged, many preschoolers struggle in this area. 

Gentle Reminders

No matter what system you choose for your preschooler, be sure to give gentle reminders when you see them sucking their thumb. Since it is a habit, a preschooler is not trying to upset you. Gentle reminders will give your child a loving prod to cease from doing the habit in that moment. 

Thoughtful Outlook on Perspectives

Keep in mind that sucking for a baby is soothing. Thumb sucking is possibly just a way that a child can continuously self-soothe. Work with your child to develop other ways to remain calm in a stressful circumstance. Perhaps it could be playing with a new pop-it toy, hugging a favorite stuffed animal, listening to music, etc. It can be anything that a child can do or use in a stressful circumstance to replace with the thumb-sucking. 

Local Library

Your local library should have a variety of children’s books that deal with this topic. Try to not stress too much. It has been said that no child will graduate high school and still suck their thumb. Take heart; things will one day click.

If you enjoyed this blog, please take a look at our school’s blog page. There you will find blogs on a wide variety of topics that we believe will be beneficial to you and your family.

Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Bella Terra located in Richmond, Texas? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family.