A House Divided: The Thumb Wars

By Nancy Cozine
A House Divided: The Thumb Wars

I am pro-pacifier. And while I respect all pacifier beliefs, I have some science to back up my stance. Babies have a natural instinct to suck. Of course this impulse is needed so they can begin eating shortly after birth. However, their desire to suck isn’t always because they are hungry and it actually helps them self-sooth. This is where a pacifier comes in. Ok enough science, back to my story.

My son Jack used pacifiers periodically throughout the day and when going to bed when he was an infant. Mindful of the whole oral development and pacifier debate, I made sure I only used orthodontic designed styles (which meant as long as it had NUK® on the package I knew I was promoting healthy oral development). The down side was early morning treks to pop it back into his mouth. The up side? I was in control of when and where he could have it.

Then just to be completely opposite, Delaney, chose her thumb over a pacifier almost right away. It is nice not to have to get up and search for a pacifier in the dark, hoping I’m not sticking it in her eye in my semi-conscious state. The con, however, is how do I prevent her from sucking her thumb when she’s older?

I am lucky in the fact that Jack decided on his own to give up the pacifier even before his first birthday. Delaney however, has immediate access to her thumb and doesn’t show any signs of quitting cold turkey anytime soon. So I guess, for now, this issue is to be continued…Any advice out there?