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Thread: Thumbsucking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    9

    Default Thumbsucking

    My 3 month old son has recently begun to suck his thumb. I have been led to believe that when babies suck on their hands it is a sign of hunger. I have been watching him very closely so when he starts to suck on his thumb I will pick him up and try to nurse him to no avail. Is sucking his thumb going to negatively affect his nursing? He will still let me know when he is really hungry, right? If sucking his thumb is his way of letting me know he is hungry I am in trouble.. he is doing it more and more each day! Any advice on how to deal with this will be greatly appreciated!!

    TIA,
    TJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    8,272

    Default Re: Thumbsucking

    I'm also intersted in what people have to say. My LO will be 4 mo next week and is very fascinated with his hands. Previously he was sucking on his arm or fist, and recently discovered his thumbs (or more likely his thumbs just got large enough to be worth sucking on). I try to offer my breast when he's getting sucky but it's hit or miss whether he actually wants to eat. And to get even more frustrating, even when he's hungry I have to patiently extract fingers from his mouth or he's trying to latch and suck thumb at the same time.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2006
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    4,894

    Default Re: Thumbsucking

    My daughter is 7 months old and has been sucking her thumb since she was about 3 or 4 months old. It is her way of self-soothing. She won't take a pacifier and has no problems nursing, she just uses her thumb to make herself feel better. I wouldn't worry about it at all or its affects on your nursing relationship.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  4. #4
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Thumbsucking

    I'm not worried about the thumbsucking - just having a hard time reading his signals about when he's sucking because he's hungry and when he's sucking just because it's fun. Any clues?

  5. #5
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Thumbsucking

    Quote Originally Posted by lsksam View Post
    I'm not worried about the thumbsucking - just having a hard time reading his signals about when he's sucking because he's hungry and when he's sucking just because it's fun. Any clues?

    It will take some trial and error, but for the most part my daughter gets a bit whiney and more frantic about her hunger sucking. She puts her thumb in her mouth, takes it out and repeats a bunch of times. That usually tells me she's hungry. And really, when it comes down to it, as breastfeeding moms, it's always worth a shot to whip the boob out! It's not like we need to prepare anything.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western PA
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    295

    Default Re: Thumbsucking

    It will take some time to figure out "new" signals, but thumbsucking isn't always a sign of hunger. Babies love to put things in their mouths and hands just happen to be the most convenient Other signs of hunger might be whining or crying, or sucking frantically at the thumb (instead of just mouthing it). You might also just watch the clock - if your LO is sucking his thumb a half hour after you feed him, you are probably safe to wait for other signs of hunger; on the other hand, if it's been two and half hours, you might want to go ahead and offer the breast before he gets worked up.

    You'll figure it out, I promise!
    Erin - Hayden James is my beautiful boy - we've been nursing happily for two years, with no end in sight!


    Change the language, change the reality.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Thumbsucking

    Quote Originally Posted by ekaptian View Post
    It will take some time to figure out "new" signals
    Isn't that the truth! I feel like as soon as we figure out our LO's latest signals he changes the rules on us. We've gotten pretty good at rolling with it, but it leads to some funny conversations when we're trying to update the grandparents on the latest signals and my mom says "but I thought .... " and I always have to say "oh - that was LAST week". Good thing our LOs keep us on our toes!

  8. #8
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Thumbsucking

    My son is now 7 months old and has been a thumb sucker since day one! He also just uses this as his way to self soothe and it has in no way interfered with nursing. He usually will start to suck his thumb, cry or whine a bit, and then suck his thumb again. This is his cue that he is hungry. Just watch, she will let you know when she needs to eat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    9

    Default Re: Thumbsucking

    Update:

    He is 4 months old now and still sucking his thumb like crazy. He even tries to put it in his mouth while he is nursing. I don't know if this is a good thing or not

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Thumbsucking

    My little girl loves to suck her thumb. She won't take a passifer either. HOw I tell if she is hungry thumb sucking or soothing is how hard she is sucking. If she is sucking she goes at it like there is no tomorrow and even snorts while she is sucking. If she is soothing it is not at harsh and she is usually looking around.

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