Saturday, March 20, 2010

Plugged On!

Jillu has always had the habit of sucking her thumb. Now, always may not be politically correct. To be exact, she started thumb sucking when she was 1 month old :). I am not sure what happened exactly 1 month after she was born, but my sweet baby started tasting all her thumbs of both hands after 30 days and from then on , practice, preference and perfection has made sure that her right thumb is always "plugged" (our way of calling it) on whenever she is idle!

She is okay as far as she is occupied !. But the moment her hands are free, bang goes back her thumb into her mouth! Needless to say, she cannot sleep without the plug ! But good girl that she is, once she is asleep she removes it on her own without being aware of it. Its the needed catalyst for her sleep!

There are several schools of thought about allowing this habit to continue and i think there are enough articles on the net about whether to discourage the habit or encourage it, when is the right time to stop, if you want to stop it at all and so on and so forth. There is no children forum without this question being popped up ! The greatest concern being that if left as is, it might continue for ever as there are still some adults who secretly suck their thumb in privacy ! However,some Drs  also seem to think that forcefully stopping the habit may also lead to serious concerns.

We have not made any serious attempts to discourage her till now! (We believe in the school of thought that its okay till permanent teeth comes up and if the habit continues post that, then it might become a problem ). But we have made sure that she knows very well that its not done and its not accepted at all. I am planning to see if the habit goes away after she goes to school and if not, then do something to address the problem. 'Coz sucking gives her a sense of security and I don't want to take that away from her very soon.

When she was a baby, we used to say, "Baaaaaaaaaaad" whenever she put on her plug :). She would cutely smile and take her thumb away. Then we would say "Goooodd". This became a ritual and a very common one at that! After some months, we used to say "Baaaaaaad" and then she would say "Gooooodd" after removing her thumb.

Now, for the past month, it has been
Me : Mudiyaadhu (Can't)
Jillu : Mudiyum (Can)
Me : Mudiyaadhu (Can't)
Jillu : Mudiyum (Can)

and the argument continues !

Back ground : ( I told her : "Jillu, nee plug pottundaa chocie, bikkiee, grapes yedhuvum saapida mudiyaadhu. Pallu munnadi vandhudum. appram yedhuvum saapida mudiyaadhu" - You cant eat chocie, biscuits if you suck yr thumb. Yr teeth will start protruding and you cannot eat all these stuff!)

I added another dimension to it

Me : Jillu, nee plug pottundaa yendha school leyum unnna sethukka maataa (No school will give u admission if u suck yr thumb)
Jillu : sethupaaa (they will)
Me : yeppidi sethuppaa? plug poda koodaadhu solluvaa. sethuka maataa (nope. They will say u shld not suck yr thumb and if u suck yr thumb, they will not)
Jillu : sethupaaa..(they will)
Me : sethuka maataa (they will not)
Jillu : sethupaa (they will)
Me : sethuka maataa (they will not)

and the argument continues!

And now  the latest shortened version is

Me : ( I just simply say they will not) sethuka mattaa
Jillu : taking her thumb away with a plopping sound, tilting her head to one side, giving me a very cute and acknowledging smile, says "Yedooothutten! ippo sethukkuvaalaa? " (i have take my thumb away! now will they? )
Me : with her making such a pretty sight, I just cant say no to her! can I ? But then I just say to her 
"Nee plug podaati kataayam sethupaa" (They surely will if u dont put on yr plug !)

Edited to Add : She follows her Mama in this, I believe :) But neither her Mama's Mama nor others remember exactly when her Mama left the habit. :) But one thing is for sure. Her Mama did get out of the habit. So hopefully, she should follow her Mama in this as well.


  1. My nephew and niece had this habit and it continued well into the early school days. One quit the habit I think at the age of 7 and the other at 8. As you said, there are many forums on the pros and cons and is confusing. Both Vyas and Varun used to stuff their thumbs at 1 or 2 months. Despite ppl's protest, I used to keep pulling it out everytime:-) And they either gave up or forgot by the time they were 5 months old:-)

  2. Jillu bayangara theliva irukka.... From wat I understand from ur post, she is just doing it for the fun aspect or shez liking it. Not for the security thing ( Well, I dont know anything abt this, but yedhavadhu sollanum'le ;))

    And na porandhapole irundhu veral chappinadhe illeyan.....(idhule yenaku oru peruma vere, its ok ok)

  3. Confession - I did it during my childhood days and it continued till my 4th standard. And it was not thumb, bt two fingers-index and the middle finger of the right hand. Its not a security thing and all lavanya, just a habit. ITS NOTHING WRONG TO PULL OUT THE PLUG, U R ONLY DOING A FAVOUR TO HER IN THE LONG RUN.
    Due to this, me have to go to dentist during the later years. So,without hesitation do whatever u can to stop the habit.

  4. I freaked out when chotu started sucking his thumb at 4months or less.. I kept taking it out of his mouth and one fine day the habit stopped.. i know of some one who still sucks his thumb at age 32! It starts off as a"security" feeling, but later just becomes a habit.. take ur time, but constantly keep discouraging her..

  5. Its surely unhygienic, but not wrong. My sis did it, my daughter does it. Though we discourage it, we notice that is calms her down a lot. She plugs herself when she is unsettled/scared/intimidated to calm herself or perhaps stop herself from bawling . But I guess its got its reasons. There are a plenty of times she does it out of habit, like when watching chota Bheem! Not required, but she does it unconsciously. People used to threaten us saying that she will develop thenga thuruvi pallu et al. But what can we do? We tried taping her finger, it worked for a few days until she learned to peel it off herself :) some suggester applying oil. How long would it take for her to trot to the wash and empty the hand wash? I guess they've got to learn to loose it with or persistent nagging.

  6. @Vidya : so lucky for you :). No amount of pulling helped at all for Jillu.

    @Swetha : No. Sometimes, it calms and soothes her. Though, a major percentage is habit as well.

    @CG : she' smart enuf to remove the tape and wash her hands off, if we apply neem and other stuff. Not just now , even when was very young :(.. yeah we are trying, but not pushing aggressively.

    @AJCL : she's surpassed all that and nothig worked. Yeah, we are doing that constantly, yes.

    @L_R : Yeah, very true. Al Same same here.. someone i know used a small wound/rash that the kid got as an excuse and got rid of the habit. We cant even wish for such things to happen.. just got to keep trying

  7. Lavanya ... vaai la veral podaravaraikkum pottukatum, at one stage if she refuses to get over that practice ... threaten her saying "Inime nee vaai la veral pottanaa, Vijay uncle nadicha ellaa padathukum unna kootindu poven" nu sollu, apporam paaru changes a :))

  8. @Sat : ahaa..Vijay ku ippidi oru perumaiya thedi thara venumaa, Sat ? :) LOL..


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