Babies will suck their thumbs in an attempt to comfort themselves, but what can a parent do? See the role soothing techniques play in early childhood development.
Are you wondering why your baby sucks her thumb? Worried it might cause more harm than good? Here’s what you need to know about this and a few other soothing techniques.
Thumb-sucking. Sucking is an instinctive behavior for newborns. You may be tempted to discourage thumb-sucking to prevent your baby’s teeth from coming in crooked, but it’s better to let her indulge in the habit for now. The ability to self-comfort will help your baby fall asleep faster, as well as fall back to sleep if she wakes up at night.
Soothing through crying. Most babies experience crying spells, often in the late afternoon. Don’t worry too much if you can’t seem to find the reason. Crying can be a normal part of her nervous system maturing. Try gently rocking or swaddling her, singing softly or carrying her in a sling or front carrier.
One or more of these techniques may be more effective than the others, so keep trying to see what will help comfort your baby.