But alas, now we feel it's time for her to stop the habit. She will be four in September and usually by this time, kids who use pacifiers have already given those up. It's just a bit harder when your pacifier also happens to be your thumb. Her dentist has asked us at the last two appointment how it's been going. We had stopped her thumb-sucking in the car and just when she had nothing else to occupy her. But she still did it every time she went to bed (naps and at night). So we decided to try to help her stop all together.
I wasn't trying to get there all at once. But one day, she asked to see her chart I had printed out for her. Then she wanted to put stickers on it. I told her how she would earn her stickers and she agreed she wouldn't suck her thumb.
Before rest time following our discussion, I let her pick a special toy to take to bed with her. She chose a small rubber duck. **I know from experience that thumb suckers need something to occupy their hands/mouth when not sucking their thumb. Perhaps this is why I eventually picked up nail biting?? :)
The first time she went to sleep for nap time without sucking her thumb, I took her to the Dollar Tree to pick out a special price...whatever she wanted. She chose chocolate covered raisins.
After that, she woke up excited to tell us that she hadn't sucked her thumb each morning and afternoon after naps. We would put another sticker on her chart and eventually told her she would earn a bigger prize if she could go three days straight. She worked really hard for that but she did it!
I know there's really no way for us to know for sure if she's not sucking her thumb. We can check on her but we don't have a video monitor. And one morning before Septtro left for work, he told me she was still sleeping and sucking her thumb. But when she got up, she told me she didn't suck her thumb. I know she could have been lying but I also think she may subconsciously do it. She has struggled when she went to bed later than Kaylee. I'm not sure if that was because Kaylee usually keeps her company and occupied or if Ri was just over tired and really didn't care about stickers or prizes anymore - she just wanted the comfort of her thumb at the moment.
We aren't pushing her to quit all at once as of now and I'm about to start a new chart for her and offer another prize (I find some really good ones for cheap at a nearby thrift store). So we will see...maybe by her 4th birthday she will no longer be a thumb sucker.
Next up: this one...