Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Baby sucking and mouthing toys but not playing

Hi everyone, My baby is about to be 5 months old now. He has been sucking his thumb ever since birth but only when hungry or sleeping. After 3 months he started thumb sucking all the time. Now what ever toys i offer him immediately ends up in his mouth and he doesn’t play with or explore the toys at all… He only mouths them and after sometime of mouthing gets agitated and crying. He still continues sucking his thumb. At night too when he wakes he sucks but now I stated covering his hands with mittens so he cries everytime he wakes and i rock him to sleep. Any suggestions how to make him play with toys instead of mouthing and stop thumb sucking? Would be really helpful. Thanks in advance!

Congratulations, your baby has learned how to self soothe. As frustrating as it to watch a baby suck their thumb and mouth their toys endlessly it’s also completely normal. If your baby is able to reach and grasp/hold onto simple toys than I wouldn’t be overly concerned.

I totally agree-oral stimulation is how a baby at this age self soothes and it’s important to allow him that ability at this stage. Right now it’s his hand or thumb, and in a few months he’ll be mouthing lots of toys. It’s the way babies explore the world. So while it can be difficult to watch, it is a very normal part of development

Thank you much for the response. I am just worried if this habit of thumb sucking will continue and worsen, and they said it will damage the fingers and teeth. That’s why I am concerned.

Thank you much for the response. I hope he will be more interested to play with toys in its intended purpose. Just wish he stops sucking soon. He has even started to sleep on his own (half sleep) by sucking thumb. All this makes me just worry that it might worsen. But somewhere I also feel it’s better to go with the flow.:blush:

If your baby is self soothing through thumb sucking that sounds pretty great to me. Many kids suck their thumbs and learn to stop later on, but with babies it’s so nice when they have a method of self soothing. Try your best not to worry mama, going with the flow sounds pretty good in this situation :relaxed:

1 Like

For now that’s the only option I believe. But in India the elders try so many other painful options like applying some bitter oil example neem oil or hitting the baby on the finger everytime he sucks, some even go to the extent to slightly causing burn which is really painful to see. Their reasoning is that baby will develop this habit and never stop which may damage the teeth, so we might have to take extreme measures. However I am going to let my baby simply be. Thank you everyone for responding.

Many cultures are so different. I have known Mann thumb suckers to go on and have beautiful teeth and give up the habit in the right time later on. Letting him be sounds very empathetic and appropriate for his developmental stage.

Good luck!

1 Like