my kid sucks

his thumb, y’all!  Gah… you didn’t really think I would start a bliggety off like that, did you?

When Theo was a newborn, I saw him wiggling that little hand near his mouth a few times but never really had the coordination to really get going.  Plus, I never gave him the opportunity.  I ever-so-gently pushed his tiny hand away from his face and inserted his little green soothie pacifier.


Around the time he turned 6 months old, we decided to transition him out of the miniature baby straightjacket swaddle (which we loved for Theo – it never did diddly squat for Dexter) at night, subsequently freeing his arms and hands from said miniature baby straightjacket swaddle.   When that happened, something else did too.  Theo abandoned that soothie faster than you could say “thumbsucker.”

Mouth, meet thumb.  Thumb, meet mouth.

I’m not sure what I had against it…I guess I just figured it would be easier to take a pacifier away than a thumb, and I didn’t want him sucking his thumb at prom.  I never wanted my kid(s) to be a thumbsucker.  I would go as far as to say that it even annoyed me.  I don’t know why.  We don’t try to dissuade him much anymore.  We do say “get that thumb outta your mouth!” as a game, and he’ll pop it out real fast and look at us and laugh (before popping it right back in and going about his business). 

I notice he does it the most when he’s sleepy and when he’s feeling nervous or shy.  There are days when he hardly does it outside of those circumstances.  There are days when he does it nonstop subconsciously as he plays.  To Theo, thumbsucking = self-soothing.  It makes him feel secure.  He’s still little, so I don’t feel the need to take it away (or try to) just yet.

For the record, I still don’t think it’s cute.

If there’s one thing that makes me cringe about thumbsucking, it’s the gross germs.  All the germs that he picks up (and sucks off of his thumb) while he’s playing at the Simon mall playground.  The table he touches at McDonald’s right before he sucks his thumb.  The germs he’s spreading when his slobbery thumb touches things while we are out and about.  I try to hand sanitze as much as possible when we play in public.  We, as a family, have been sick for the last 6 weeks.  So yes.  I have become that mom.  The one chasing her kid around the playground squirting hand sanitizer left and right and towards every kid that comes within 10 feet of him.  Just be glad I don’t carry Clorox Wipes in my purse.  Wait.  I do wipe off the high chairs and tables at restaurants with Wet Ones. Does that count?

I digress. 

Dex has never slept in a baby straightjacket swaddle.  He falls asleep with his pacifier but then it falls out and he doesn’t use it the rest of the night.  We sure do stick it in his mouth when he starts crying for no apparent reason and he seems to like it.  The doc says we should get rid of it now because they are associated with a higher risk of ear infections after six months.  I’m not convinced yet.  There are just those times when I’m glad to have it, and so is Dexter. 

I wonder if I’ll have another thumbsucker on my hands. 

time will tell,