Child making thumb raw from putting it in mouth

  • My little man is just over 4 months old. He will take a pacifier but prefers his hand more. This is fine with me because in the long run I think I would rather deal with a thumb sucking habit than carrying a pacifier all the time. My problem is that he loves to put his thumb in his mouth so much he has rubbed it raw. He has little sores and dry patches all over it. It gets to the point that for a few days I am giving him a pacifier constantly to try and let his hands heal. Any suggestions? I had heard they make gloves that you can put on their hands. The only one I can find has toys attached as well. Anyone know of any different products.

  • Our kids became reliant on the pacifier so they never became thumb suckers... there are advantages and disadvantages to both, but it sounds like your boy's thumb sucking is putting him at risk of an infection... check with your doctor to make sure there is no risk.

  • petredish-

    I'd have to agree with answer dad in that the place to start with this is by having the doc take a good look and making sure that he doesn't have an infection on that hand.  Poor little guy!  This is a hard one to think of a remedy for.  What I want to offer though is the basic theory that in order to get rid of one behavior you have replace it with another behavior.  Now, this is much easier in a two year old than it is in a 4 month old!  However, that being said-what about a soft blanket into hands, what about a stuffed animal, or even the dreaded binki.  Babies suck in an attempt to comfort themselves, thus-you have to figure out if you can help find your baby another way to comfort-or even just something other than his hands to suck on.  Learning to self sooth is one of the hardest things for people to do-even some adults don't know how to do this, so if you can help your baby learn to sooth himself in a way tht won't hurt him he is miles ahead in life.  Please do keep us posted and let us know how things are going for you.

    Take care,


  • Hi petre!  If you're still looking for something to put on your little guy's hands I got some little mittens for my daughter at Walmart.  They'd probably be huge on your son (my daughter's 10 months and they're big on her), but at least it would be something.  They have a place to put his thumb (if you could get it in there), so he could still suck it without the sores.  My mom also got us some little newborn mittens that are designed to help baby's face safe from scratches.  They don't have the thumb spot, but it might help break the habit.  Good luck!!

  • Man - no fun! Sounds like your little man's thumb sucking habit is a becoming a problem for you. I don't know of the glove that you can get but I'd call your pediatrician. They probably know the name of some products that can help. In the meantime, could you use a little hand mitten for babies to help you keep his fingers out of his mouth? Some of those nightgowns out there have little hand covers that you can fold down over his hands to keep his hands inside the nightgown. Maybe see if you can't find some of those. Hang in there!

  • hello petredish!

    Don't dispair! My son had this problem but a when he was a little older.  My son also had no use for the pacifier.  You should def take your little one to the doc just so YOU feel better but don't be suprised if he or she tells you its normal and there isn't much to do about it. they do make mittens but be careful of that at four months old your lil one really needs to be exploring the textures of the world around him with his hands. With my son i realized he sucked most when he was bored or tired. so maybe when he is sucking during the day, and not tired, you could give him a cool textured teething toy, and unfortunately when he's sleepy it might just be a comfort thing he'll do for a while and grow out of. My son grew out of it mostly (he's three now) he still does it on rare occasions but his little thumb healed right up.

    hang in there mommy!

  • petredish-You have gotten so much good advice here. I just wanted to check in and see if your questions got addressed and if there is anything else that we can do. Please keep us posted! -Jess