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My Child is a Finger Sucker – Why I Wish I Gave Her a Pacifier

My Child is a Finger Sucker – Why I Wish I Gave Her a Pacifier

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Before my daughter was born, my husband and I swore we would not give her a pacifier. At least not for the first month. Now we wish we had given her a pacifier to soothe her. Isn’t it crazy how things work like that? Well here’s why. She’s a finger sucker.

 Why I wish I gave my daughter a pacifier. Is pacifier weaning easier than stopping finger sucking? My child is a finger sucker. Here's what she does as a sucking habit. #momlife #toddlers #parenting


The Beginning

Originally we broke down and gave my child a pacifier before we even left the hospital. She wouldn’t stop crying and we didn’t know what to do. We stayed strong on that month of no pacifier, right? It turns out there was an underlying reason she kept crying. You can read more about that in my The One Thing No One Tells you about Breastfeeding post.

When we got home, we gave her a pacifier as little as we could. She really didn’t want one, so we didn’t push it. I never thought I would wish I did push it on her, but here I am.

My daughter was a pretty easy baby. She started sleeping through the night at 3 months. She really hasn’t woken up during the night since unless she’s sick. It kind of scares me for when we decide to have our next because I know it won’t be the same. There was only one hour a day she started to cry, but otherwise she was a very happy baby. The crying was like clockwork so we knew to expect it and when it would end.

Why give her a pacifier if she’s figured out to soothe herself you might ask? Well here’s why I wish I did.

Why I wish I gave my daughter a pacifier. Is pacifier weaning easier than stopping finger sucking? My child is a finger sucker. Here's what she does as a sucking habit. #momlife #toddlers #parenting

We Didn’t See the Issue at First

When my daughter didn’t have the option to suck on a pacifier, she went to the closest thing she could find. Finger sucking. She has sucked on her middle and ring finger from month 3 on. No, that’s not a coincidence that she started sleeping through the night at the same time. She relies on her fingers to soothe her. We knew it, but she slept through the night. What sleep deprived mother would stop that?

We continued to let her suck on her fingers. Well, actually we didn’t know what to do and she was happy, so we let her. We noticed she started to suck on them all the time. Our doctor told us it was common and her daughter even sucked on her fingers. It must be a phase we thought. Let’s flash forward 2 years.

She’s Still a Finger Sucker

My daughter is now 2. She is still a finger sucker and now that she has most of her teeth in, she bites them. She actually bites them until she has teeth marks. She’s even broken skin at times. She also sucks them until she has blisters.

It’s still her way of soothing herself. She sucks them at night, while watching TV, in the car, and basically everywhere else. And guess what? We can’t wean her off of it. I mean, you can’t take her fingers away, right? I don’t know what things would be like if we let her take to the pacifier, but I wish we had control over stopping it. It hasn’t caused issues with her teeth yet, but could if she continues.

I think to myself, what if we gave her the pacifier? What if we could wean her off of it? Yes, it could be days or weeks of hysterical crying, but we could do it. For now we have to find a way to get her stop sucking her fingers and a new way to soothe herself.


Why I wish I gave my daughter a pacifier. Is pacifier weaning easier than stopping finger sucking? My child is a finger sucker. Here's what she does as a sucking habit. #momlife #toddlers #parenting


How We Are Working Through It

Now that my daughter is old enough to understand what we are saying, we ask her to stop. Every time we see her fingers in her mouth, we ask her to take them out. If we are reading a book, we stop reading until she takes them out. The same goes with the TV. We will pause it until she stops. This has helped in the short term of teaching her it’s not okay, but bed time is a different story. She still continues to suck her fingers until she falls asleep. We have no idea how to combat that one yet.

We are hoping to try a few techniques to help kick this habit of being a finger sucker, but are still holding off in hope she will stop on her own.

Do you ever looks back and wish you did something different with your child?

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Tuesday 10th of July 2018

Luckily my son was a pacifier fan and didn't have a chance to start sucking his finger. When it came to pacifier weaning, I was sure it's impossible because he was so addicted to a paci! But it turned out that there is a lot of methods, and I found them all in Susan Urban's guide about weaning the pacifier entitled 'how to help your child give up the pacifier.' My midwife showed me the author's website so that I could get the guide, and after reading, I knew which method will fit my son. Excellent guide with clear instructions. It just worked, and the problem was solved in 2 or 3 days


Thursday 26th of July 2018

It works :) the guide is awesome! my daughter forgot about her dummy so fast! I'm so thankful :)


Friday 20th of July 2018

This guide is the help I was looking for! It has been only 3 days, and it helped us get rid of pacifier, and my son was like most addicted ever! Thanks so much for sharing the link, haven't heard of Urban's guides before


Tuesday 10th of July 2018

That is great to hear Avril! I will have to see if they have any books on there to help her stopping sucking her fingers!


Tuesday 19th of June 2018

You can actually purchase a bitter solution from the chemist to put on the fingers, this should discourage the sucking. My brother hated it. My mum also hated he dummy. Unfortunately my sister stills sucks her fingers (just like your daughter) at 31 years old.


Tuesday 19th of June 2018

Oh wow! I never knew it could continue that old. I worry about doing the bitter solution since I know I would hate it, but we will see if we have to resort to that down the line. Thank you for bringing that option to my attention!


Friday 18th of May 2018

I'm so glad my son took a pacifier. Granted, he was addicted to it for a long time, but I was eventually able to take it away. My niece sucked her thumb for the longest time. Drove my sister nuts.

Kat Charles

Friday 18th of May 2018

I have 4 kids, and 2 were finger suckers. I had 1 who used a paci, and let me tell you. I bought probably close to a dozen binkies before I found "the one." Haha! We never got the chance to wean him off it. We lost it one day around the house, so we had to go cold turkey. When I found it a few days later, I just put it away. My youngest sucks her fingers at 2.5. With each child, I've become a little less concerned about it. I know she won't do it forever. My 2nd sucked his fingers for a few months and stopped. My oldest just wanted to nurse.


Friday 18th of May 2018

It's such a personal decision...all of kids used pacifiers and I don't feel like we could live without them...but I understand why some people choose not to use them.