Update: 15th December 2017
I'm happy to update you all that Rose is now thumb-sucking free, and has been for about 3 weeks now!
Honestly, I didn't think that we would reach this day, and I can't quite believe that after 9 years we have broken the habit! After trying everything, Thumbsie was the thing that actually made the difference. A combination of factors helped, ultimately, with the positive approach (as I mention below) plus Rose's consequent determination to give up the habit. The ease of using the thumb guard and the help of the reward charts.
I am so pleased to be starting 2018 with a nine year old who is an ex thumb-sucker!
A huge thanks to Thumbsie for letting us try out their product and for being so supportive along the way too. We couldn't recommend them more.
Original post: 4th November 2017
I have a confession to make: my nine year old daughter is still a thumb-sucker.
I know, it is a shocking revelation.
Call the authorities, this woman is a terrible parent…
Until recently I felt really quite guilty that I had failed to stop my daughter sucking her thumb by this age. At first, I thought it was just something that she would grow out of over time but no such luck…
I tried the nasty tasting stuff on her nails – she simply peeled it off or grew accustomed to the taste…
When she got to the age where she was old enough to understand reason I showed her videos about what would happen to her teeth – she basically didn't comprehend (or care!)…
I tried punishing her, bribing her, ignoring her, all to no avail…
When you're beaming down on your delicate new baby, watching them adorably suckle on their tiny little hands, you don't envisage that 8 years down the line you'll be frustratedly shouting "THUMB!" like a demented banshee about 47 times a day.
A friend suggested sending her to bed in gloves, which I thought was a little cruel in summer, but was preparing to try in winter when, serendipitously, I heard about Thumbsie – thumb guards to help stop thumb sucking – and they were looking for bloggers to review their product.
Thumbsie kindly sent us a couple of their guards to try out, along with some rewards charts, stickers and a lovely little canvas bag to boot!
Choosing the Thumbsie was easy, there is a handy (pun intended) sizing guide on their website so we measured her up and she chose her preferred fabric – purple unicorn print.
Unlike all the other methods we had tried, the process of choosing and getting the Thumbsie delivered was something that was exciting and positive for Rose, which I think was the best possible way to start. She was thrilled to receive her thumb guards in the post, along with the other goodies and genuinely eager and determined to make a start on her "mission".
We opted for almost full time use of the Thumbsie, after discussing how she would feel about wearing it to school and in other social situations. A lot of children asked her if she had hurt her hand, but she was confident enough in herself to say it was to help her stop thumb sucking. The only negative incident she encountered was when one of her friends refused to high five her because she'd got the guard grubby, which was only a minor blip and soon forgotten about (and pretty understandable on her friend's part, too!).
She has also been wearing one to bed, as it's as she falls asleep and when she is very tired that the habit really perpetuates. With a child of her age, using an aid like the Thumbsie obviously requires a lot of trust. My daughter is good, but she's no saint and I have to say that I did catch her once in bed sucking her thumb having sneakily and purposely taken it off. Following this she got a "not angry, just disappointed, it's yourself you're letting down" talking to, which seemed to do the trick.
As for anyone of any age, the person with the habit needs to want to stop, and while she's been quite determined on the whole, we have had a few flaps and failures along the way which I think is only natural. The rewards charts were a good way of combating this too, and I would highly recommend using them alongside.
We had two thumb guards, and I would recommend getting at least this. The bundle option is probably your best bet, particularly if you child, like mine, will absent-mindedly fidget with or bite at anything to hand (it has stopped her chewing her bloody school cardigans though!) and who is a muck-magnet in general. Our guards are looking pretty darn grubby now despite regular washing, but have proved to be very hard wearing on the whole.
Pricing wise, you can buy a single guard for £9.55, a 3 pack plus rewards chart and cotton bag for £29.50 or a 6 pack plus rewards chart and cotton bag for £54.55. For a custom made product, which is going to help you crack a troublesome habit, I think they offer great value plain and simple.
So, to the big question – has it worked? Well, we've now been using the Thumbsie for exactly a month and while we're not 100% there, it has had a dramatic impact on her thumb-sucking. The overall positive experience has meant she has made a concerted effort to stop and feels a great sense of achievement. We're gradually going without Thumbsie more and more and Rose has really seemed to overcome it. They say it takes 8 weeks to break a habit, so we will continue to use ours for another month, and I will follow up with another update as I know there are so many of you interested.
Before I started reviewing this product, I hadn't realised just how many parents also had a little thumb sucker in their family too, so I am grateful to know it's not just us that have struggled with this frustrating habit, and hope you all know you're not alone too.
If you'd like to purchase a Thumbsie, and for lots of useful tips on how to stop your little one thumb sucking, visit Thumbsie.co.uk
If you have any tips on breaking bad habits, or if you decide to give Thumbsie a try I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below, or drop me a line on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. We'll also be posting regular update on our Instagram stories with how we're getting along for the next month so don't forget to keep up with us over there too. Of course, you should subscribe too to make sure you don't miss out on a blog post.
Full disclosure:- This is a sponsored post. We received our products free of charge in exchange for publication of the post. We aim to be totally honest, or else what's the point? For more on our reviews ethos, visit our PR & Contact page.