Thumb sucking is a common habit of babies. It is as natural as breast sucking. But some parents still will be worried about it. Why do babies like sucking fingers? Should babies quit this habit? Let's find answers in today's article. 

1. Why do babies suck thumbs?

1.1 sucking reflex

  Babies are born with a sucking reflex. It is essential for feeding. Whether breastfeeding or formula feeding. Babies need to suck breast and milk bottles. Why babies can do it naturally? Because they begin practicing it in the womb.

1.2 get security

  Besides the sucking reflex, thumb sucking has another purpose. It can calm your baby down. It is a kind of self-soothing. When babies feel insecure, they will cry. Parents will think of ways to soothe. They may lift babies up tenderly, and pat them gently. Babies also can soothe themselves by sucking fingers, or a pacifier. 

2. Should babies quit their thumb-sucking habit?

  There are two sides to everything.
  In an adult's opinion, eating fingers is a simple thing. But for small babies, it is kind of complicated. If a baby wants to eat fingers smoothly, he/she needs the coordination of the sensory system and motor system. If your baby can ensure this, that means the baby's intellectual development has entered the finger functionalization and hand-eye coordination preparation stage. Besides, eating hands can also give oral stimulation, to promote the baby's brain development. From this point of view, the more your baby eats his/her hands, the smarter he/she can get. 
  All parents have to let nature take its course in this process. But only if they ensure that the baby's hands are clean. Because when babies touch people, surfaces, or other objects throughout the day, accumulate germs on their hands. Germs are bad for health. Especially for newborns, babies. Because they are vulnerable. 
  However, if your baby appears to be stubbornly over-sucking his fingers, or has the habit of eating fingers after the age of two or three, it is time to intervene. Or it will cause teeth hurt, like ill-position and heteroplasia of teeth. On the other hand, babies' skins are sensitive and delicate. Over-sucking will make their fingers begin to peel or cause swelling. 

3. How to help babies quit thumb-sucking?

3.1 keep reminding

  Sometimes, babies suck fingers unconsciously. So you need to remind them to stop it at any time. You also need to let babies know the disadvantages of it. Regular, tender reminders always can help them to quit.

3.2 find out why your baby sucking thumbs frequently

  If your baby can't stop sucking thumbs after going to kindergarten. There must be some reasons. Does him/her feel insecure or anxious? Figure out the reason and try to help your little one solve it.

3.3 create rewards to go with the short-term goals

  You can set up a small goal one by one. As thumb sucking can not be quit within one day. When your baby finishes on the target. You can give him/her a small prize to encourage.

3.4 find a dentist

  If all ways can not be worked, you can find a dentist for help. Dentists can offer you a personalized recommendation for your baby to protect his/her teeth and mouth.

3.5 distraction

  When you notice that your baby is gonna suck thumbs, find other things to distract. Play games, do exercises with them to make their hands busy. 

3.6 give them enough security

  Newborns always feel unsafe while sleeping. You can get your baby a good sleep sack. It can cozy them up, and give them a sense of security. Then babies will not suck thumbs. Newborn sleep sacks also have a function of anti-startle reaction, babies can have a longer, more restful sleep.