Thumbsucker

18 Apr

Hunter and I made a decision before Chloe was born to not use a pacifier.  I know it might seem silly (they do keep them quiet, after all), but we had our reasons:

1.  We didn’t want to have to fight her to get rid of it.  I don’t remember how old I was when I got rid of mine; all I know is that I fed it to a dog.  We kept seeing 3 and 4 year olds walking around with pacifiers in their mouth and that just wasn’t something we wanted for her.  Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it just wasn’t us.

2.  When babies cry, it’s generally because they’re trying to communicate something.  Yes, some babies just want to suck, but it wasn’t something we were going to jump the gun with.  I’ve been a human pacifier quite a bit, but I’m not going to complain.  I consider it bonding with my baby and there’s nothing better than that!

3.  Nipple confusion.  Breastfeeding is h.a.r.d.  I didn’t want anything that might make it even more difficult.

When she was really young, my mom told me she thought she’d be a thumbsucker.  She seemed to be trying really hard to get in in her mouth and when we put it there, she would go at it for a minute before she got distracted.  Her interest sort of ended there though, and I figured we had missed the window.

Recently, she’s really loved sucking on her hands.  Like entire fist in her mouth, choking herself sometimes.  She normally does this when she’s hungry.  

Today, she has officially discovered her thumb!  I still cover her hands up at night and when I went to get her this morning, I noticed she had wiggled just her left thumb out of her nightgown.  I wish I had gotten a picture of it, but I forgot.  Here she is though, just a few minutes later:

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Forgive the terrible iPhone picture, but you get the point!  Sucking away!

And just now she put herself to sleep sucking her thumb!

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This is the absolute first time she has soothed herself to sleep.  Amazing!  Usually I have to stand there and bounce her chair until she’s out but I just stepped back and watched from where she couldn’t see me.  I feel like I just watched a miracle!

As happy as I am that she’s becoming a tiny bit more independent, I hate to say that I’m a little concerned for the same reasons we decided not to do a pacifier.  Is she still going to be sucking her thumb when she’s 10?  Is it going to be a big fight when we try to get her to stop?  Or will it, like most other things, just naturally end when she’s ready?

I’m telling myself that this is a good thing.  She can soothe herself back to sleep in the middle of the night, can put herself down for naps, etc,.  I tend to build things, especially about parenting, into something they’re not, so here’s to hoping I keep my optimistic outlook about this new development!

P.S. I 100% got my first laugh out of her last night!  It was, of course, at her favorite time of day (getting her nightgown on) and was probably the cutest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.  She’s yet to do it again, but you better bet I’m going to try and get it on video!

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3 Responses to “Thumbsucker”

  1. colettebanet April 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    try to get a video of her laughing! I’m dying to see!!

  2. Susan April 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Start saving for the orthodontist!

    • Leslie April 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

      I know, right! Hunter has me researching the repercussions of thumbsucking right now.

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