Most babies learn the sucking reflex right from their birth. Often, they make the sucking noise to indicate their hunger. Even when not hungry, many babies keep on sucking anything that reaches their mouths. It could be a zipper of their garment, their thumb, or any toy that they can reach.
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Why do babies suck their thumb?
- Thumb sucking is a habit that starts out in babies as a way of keeping themselves calm and makes them feel soothed.
- Thumb sucking is a natural way for a child to comfort himself.
- A child sucks his thumb when he is feeling anxious, nervous, bored, or scared.
- A child sucks thumb to help himself fall asleep at bedtime
For 2-3-month-old babies, it is common to put their hands and thumb in the mouth but it phases out in a couple of months. If it doesn’t, then it becomes a habit which is a matter of concern.
Most kids stop sucking their thumb between the age of 2-4 years. If they continue to suck their thumb after starting formal school then peer pressure and mocking help to let go of the habit. An important point that must be noted here is that kids who stop sucking their thumb at an older age may still display this behavior when they are under stress.