Friday, January 27, 2012

My child, the finger sucker

Do you ever feel like your taking one step forward and ten steps back? That is totally how I feel these past few weeks. We've been fighting colds, stomach bugs, and teething. We're all running on very little sleep. Grace's 4th molar started coming through this week and it has made her so grumpy! She refuses to sleep longer than an hour at a time at night and she's only been napping for about half an hour total each day. It's getting old pretty quick, but I just have to remember it's a phase and it will be over soon (I hope!)

In the midst of all of this, I have spent a great deal of my time cuddling with Grace and letting her suck on my finger. She has never taken a pacifier. We tried. At 7 weeks old, I spent 45 minutes trying to put a pacifier into her mouth while she screamed at me every time I tried. Finally I gave up and just gave her my finger and she contentedly when to sleep. I lost a battle of wills to my 7 week old. Little did I know, it would be the first of many! So much of our last year has been spent looking like this:

She uses my finger to soothe herself and now she is old enough to grab it and stick it in her mouth whenever she wants. If I don't, she starts getting upset. Now, before I had Grace, if someone else explained this situation to me, I would have said: "well, don't give it to her, she'll live without it!" But the mom in me keeps thinking and hoping that eventually she'll just grow out of it.

However, over the past few weeks I've been slowly coming to the decision that it's going to have to stop soon. She has all of her front teeth and they are sharp! She doesn't intentionally mean to bite me, but often when she is about to fall asleep, she clenches down hard. My fingers are all bruised and she has broken skin on more than one of them. I don't think my poor fingers can stand it anymore. Plus, I don't want a 4 year old sucking on my finger.

I know this is about the age where people start taking away pacifiers, so it's probably about time to stop letting her suck on my finger too. But how do I go about it? A pacifier is a physical object that you can put away so they can't see it. Grace will just try to grab my finger and I will have to keep taking it away. Any suggestions?

It is not going to be a fun process but I think it's going to have to happen sooner than later. God help us. The tantrums will probably be epic.
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  1. This may sound a bit out there but what if you were to paint your nails with the kind of stuff they use to get children to stop biting their own nails? Maybe the taste would put her off? I don't think it would be harmful as they use it for children.

  2. Another idea is to wear gloves. If gloves alone don't work, try flavoring them with something she doesn't like.



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