Despite its terrific self-soothing qualities, thumb sucking often gets a bad rap. Sure, nightmares about future dental bills and a thumb-sucking teenager would make any parent shake in her boots. But the truth is, that tiny thumb is not nearly as scary as you may think.
Your baby's ability to find his thumb and pop it into his mouth to settle himself down is quite an achievement. Non-nutritive sucking is calming for your little guy, and it could also help him tolerate unpleasant procedures like immunizations.
If he's not interested, it's unlikely that you'll succeed in enticing him to develop a relationship with his thumb. But if your baby has found his thumb, and uses it to help himself calm down, let him suck away. Besides, the majority of babies stop sucking their thumbs by around 7 months. And as long as thumb sucking ends by age 2 or so, there is little risk to their adult teeth.
Top 5 reasons why thumbs don't suck
1. They're soothing.
2. They're free.
3. They don't get lost.
4. Your baby will outgrow them anyway.
5. They don't get as yucky as pacifiers do.