Monday 6 February 2012

Day 6- Ice Cream and Thumbs

Today Dylan celebrated his first national day.  I made sure to pick one wisely, one that would benefit us both.  Today is national 'Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast' day.  Sounds good? I thought so, the baby not so much. His face says it all!
ice cream, weaning, funny face baby

Dylan has a very polite way of saying 'no more thanks' - the thumb goes in his mouth, and nobody or nothing is going to get it out.  Offer him something he is interested in, (like a finger to chomp on) and the thumb is forgotten and dribble once again pours out the open mouth, but he knows when he has had enough.

Many people seem to have strong opinions on thumb-sucking and it is a common debate at our baby groups.  I have been told by one mother that it is 'the worst thing you could ever let them do', on the basis that you can never take their thumbs away.  ( 4 out of 10 thumb suckers are still at it at age 9) Others tell me dummy's are unnecessary and that if your baby doesn't like their thumb, you should always offer them a finger to suck on.  Some parents even wish their children would opt for a thumb over dummy.

I knew before he was born that I didn't want him having a dummy.  The four year olds walking round with a soother permanently attached to their face put me off, and although they are the exception, that is an image I cannot erase.

Experts opinions vary greatly, and Sir Truby King, who preaches a method of childcare not often followed today believed that thumb sucking should be stopped by putting the babies arms in splints of corrugated cardboard.  This extremist view would surely break laws nowadays, but was followed in the early twentieth century by some.  In 1970 a Mrs Frankenburg wrote that the "continuous sucker of a dummy is fortunate if he does not become a chain-smoker, a drunkard or a drug-addict". Again this is an extremist point of view, but one that was taken notice of at the time.   My views are not this strong, I think it is more about what is right for each individual family.  .

Dylan found his thumb on October 29th, and I will always remember this magical date as the day he learnt to sleep.  Suddenly i went from feeding him every two hours in the night to sleeping through! (unfortunately the thumb started losing its magic a month later).  I love seeing babies sucking their thumbs.  Babies can suck their thumbs in the womb, it is built in mechanism to self soothe, however it is a rarity nowadays.
thumb sucking, baby

My favourite part of the day, is after his bath, after he is dry and dressed and zipped up in his gro-bag. It is the cuddle as we walk upstairs to his bedroom.  He knows what is going on, the thumb goes in and he snuggles into me, content, happy and sleepy.  I realise I have gone off on a tangent here but to bring it back.  Ice cream was an interesting experience, but as soon as the thumb went in, I knew he would prefer a nice fruity puree.


  1. All the best kids suck their thumb :)

  2. You provide a well balanced argument Bec, however I think you are right though when you suggest it's down to individual preferance.

    My view, is that it is completely natural for a baby to suck their thumb... it's natures way of self comforting, and that in it's self is skill building for the child. It is a massive added bonus that it makes you life easier too!


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