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Thumb & Finger Sucking

romethumb Both my children suck their thumb or other fingers. My 2 year old daughter, Annabelle, sucks her 2 left fingers upside down while her right hand holds her ear. My son, Roman, is only 4 months and he sucks his left thumb. Occasionally he will also hold his ear while sucking his thumb. I suspect this is because he is trying to copy his big sister. While finger sucking can be a problem in later years, I am thankful that they have found a way to comfort themselves.

A lot of my friends who have children that suck their fingers also breastfed their babies. I asked my pediatrician if she noticed that it was more common in breastfed babies and she said no. So what form you choose to feed your baby doesn’t determine if they will find comfort in their fingers or a pacifier.

Don’t Worry

When Annabelle first started to suck her fingers I got really worried and looked up the topic in my What to Expect the First Year book. The book said it wasn’t a big deal and that it shouldn’t affect her teeth, so I stopped worrying about it.  This article on Baby Center also says not to worry about it.

Of course there are many pros and cons to thumb/finger sucking. I don’t have to keep track of a pacifier or put it back in when it falls out while sleeping. My child can soothe themselves whenever and wherever they need it. I do have to wash my daughter’s hands often, so she isn’t sucking on dirty fingers. I also try not to use hand sanitizer, because I don’t want her to be sucking alcohol off her hands. When she was smaller I used to encourage her to suck her fingers when she was upset or about to fall asleep. However, you can’t force them to find comfort in their fingers if they don’t want to.

So when should I be concerned about my children sucking their fingers?

The American Dental Association says:

“Most children stop sucking their thumbs or other fingers on their own between the ages of 2 and 4 years. The behaviour lessens gradually during this period, as children spnd more of their waking hours exploring their surroundings…If a child does not stop on his or her own, parents should discourage the habit after age 4 years.”

I can already tell that my daughter is sucking her fingers less and less. It usually only when she is watching television or going to sleep. I am hoping that it will end on its own. Even Dr. Greene thinks it can end on its own.  I want to tackle potty training, before I take on another problem.

How do I help my child stop sucking their thumb?

annabellefingers eHow.com has 6 different articles on how to teach your kid to stop sucking their thumb. There are a variety of tactics and tools you can use such as: explaining how it damages teeth, using bad tasting substances, thumb guards, distractions, band aids, and sticker charts. My old pediatrician said that instead of pointing it out that you have to praise them when they don’t suck their fingers.  As with any parenting decision you have to find the one that works for you and your child. Just remember that breaking a habit can take a while, so be patient!

I don’t think my 2 year old even knows what she is doing when she does it, so I can’t start the process to stop her yet. I am not ready to tackle problem either, so for now I am letting her enjoy the comfort of her two fingers.

Have you helped your child stop sucking their fingers? If so, how? Are you concerned about your child’s finger sucking?

True Confessions: How Messy Is Your Mom-mobile?

It’s something I swore I’d never do: let my car get messy after having kids.  My car was relatively clean before we had babies, and I thought if I kept up with it enough, it would stay that way once the kids got older.  Pretty naive, huh?  :)   I used to be so grossed out by family vehicles, frankly – all the old Cheerios, grubby toys, and crumbs on the seats.  Ick!  Go into my garage, though, and you’ll find out that my car is decorated in the exact same way.

A few weeks ago I was surfing the internets and found out about this contest (now over):  Mom’s Messy Car Photo Contest. It made me a little relieved to see that this trend is more common than not.  Even though the contest was expired, I got my camera and grabbed a few shots anyway.  Here’s a peek!

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Your standard collection of toys on the floor of the car, almost never played with.

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This one shows a bit more garbage, which grosses me out.  How did I let that happen?

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Finally, you have a shot of my daughter’s handprints all over the back-inside of the car.  Rest assured, she is not bumping around the back of the car while it’s moving.  (If you must know, hubby & I were “discussing something intently” while sitting in a parking lot, and we let her climb over the seats to keep her busy.)  This is the kind of thing I will never get around to cleaning – I barely go through a drive-through car wash, much less take windex & a towel to the interior side of the windows.

I often comment to friends that I desire to have a clutter-free, “Real Simple-style” home, but who are we kidding?  With toddlers, this is just not realistic.  If I prioritize a beautifully clean car, that means I am sacrificing something else: time and joy with my kids.  So for now, the deal is, I let some messes slide in the name of preserving my sanity.  I want to teach my kids how to pick up after themselves, but I don’t want to be on them every two seconds about throwing a toy on the car floor.  If Rice Krispies make them happy, I’ll vacuum up the dropped ones eventually.  I’m okay with my messy mom-mobile.

What about you?  On a scale of one to ten, how messy is your family car? Do you have any practical tips for keeping it organized?

Summertime Is Here! Let’s Get Happy!

dsc03976 Well, it is for our family, anyway.  Preschool is just about over and I have the long, relatively uneventful months of June, July, and August ahead of me to spend with my children.  It’s confession time:  a few months ago, you would have heard me saying things like, “I’m dreading summer!” or “What am I going to do with my kids for TWELVE WHOLE WEEKS?!”  Alas.  God reminded me not so long ago what a great gift He’s given me:  time with my kids.  However long the days might become, this is a sweet age for my children, and I am wrong to take it for granted.  I have been brainstorming a few ideas for summer activities, and I’d like to share them with you.  I have resolved to enjoy the weeks with my children, not complain about the heat, and step up my creative game.   Moms (and dads?), I present to you my “glass-is-half-full” approach.

  1. I intend to plan out activities for each week.  As a former teacher, this is not that hard for me to do.  In essence, I’m going to make our home something of a preschool.  Each week will have a theme, and all of our activities will flow out of that theme.  For example, cars.  We’ll talk about cars, look at pictures of cars, go on a hunt for different kinds of cars, paint/draw/sculpt cars, play with toy cars, check out books from the library about cars, listen to songs about cars (or by The Cars – ha!), watch the movie Cars, etc.   Other themes:  music, airplanes (with a field trip to the airport), balloons (I can’t wait to see my son throw a water balloon), fish, etc.
  2. I plan to seek out as many air-conditioned free activities as possible.  Barnes & Noble, the public library, and lots of other places host morning story or craft times.  Though it takes energy for me to manage both of my toddlers in those environments, it’ll give us something to do outside of our house.  I will also ask my mom friends if they have any guest rate options for museums, pools, and private parks.  I’ll look for you there!
  3. I am coordinating a summer playgroup with all of my mom friends, and some new ones I’ve just made.  Meet weekly, same time, rotate the location.  Easy!
  4. I would like to plan at least one lunch out a week with another mom and her kids.  Gotta love Chick-Fil-A and other restaurants with the play areas! 
  5. I will wake up saying, “Today, I get to play with my children!” rather than, “Today, I will try to survive another day at home with the kids.”

In my quest to be SuperMom Of The Summer, I will utilize ideas from some of the following websites:  dsc04232

What are your resolutions and ideas for managing a summer at home with little ones?  Do you have any other links for rockin’ websites that are packed with activities to keep everyone busy?  Let’s spur one another on to love and good times with our darling little ones!

The 1st National Mom’s Nite Out is on Thursday!

by Amanda on May 6, 2009
category: Cool websites,In the news

momsniteout The very first ever National Mom’s Nite Out is this Thursday night! “National Mom’s Nite Out is the first nationally organized celebration of motherhood. Intended to bring together today’s moms, physically and virtually, National Mom’s Nite Out will unite over 150 social media groups, companies, local playgroups, mommy bloggers and mother social networks in giving moms a well deserved night off.”

There are many sponsored events around the U.S. You can click here to see if there is a party at a retail space in your part of the country. If not, then you could host one in your home or check out the websites hosting parties online. I am sure there will be many tweets about the joys of being kid-free for an evening. (Follow @MomsNiteOut on Twitter here.)

So leave the kids with Dad, a sitter, a family member, or a friend and take the night off!

Read This Week: 5 Bloggers in India With Compassion International

by Amanda on April 26, 2009
category: Cool websites

compassion1 This week Compassion International sent a team of 5 bloggers, 3 leaders, and 1 photographer to Kolkata, India (used be called Calcutta) to write about their experiences at Compassion International projects. These bloggers are witnessing extreme poverty, unclothed children and what the face of hunger looks like.

It is easy for us to look away or count the poor as a statistic. We feel helpless to cure poverty and to fill a little belly on the other side of the world. I would like to challenge you to follow and read the words of these bloggers everyday this week.

You may not be able to go to India yourself right now, but you can experience this amazing trip through their eyes. Mission trips to serve the poor change your life forever. Let the words of these bloggers change your world view. You may come to be thankful for all that you do have, you may feel compelled to support a child, or you may see miracles this week.

Click here to follow every post of each blogger here on the Compassion International website. Check it every day and walk with them on this incredible journey in India.

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