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Thumbs Down on Thumb Sucking…

Children are born with a natural sucking reflex that often evolves into a comfort behavior. It is not at all unusual for an infant or child to find a thumb or finger to calm them when tired or upset as a coping mechanism. Ultrasound scans have revealed that thumb sucking can start before birth, as early as 15 weeks from conception. Even though a sucking reflex disappears at about four months of age, some infants will continue to suck their thumb or fingers as a voluntary habit to soothe them. It helps provide a sense of security and relaxes children as they fall asleep. Thumb sucking can be one of the most comforting aspects of childhood. (more…)