Wednesday, September 21, 2011 Posted by Dina N
There are many reasons why I want my child to break the thumbsucking habit. While self-soothing with a pacifier or a thumb is something completely natural for a baby, at an older age it becomes more than just babyish behavior. Beyond the obvious reasons - keeping germs out of her mouth and don't wanting her to be teased at school - a prolonged sucking habit may have more serious consequences. As every pediatric dentist will tell you, sucking can lead to a variety of problems, such as misalignment of teeth and jaw, raised palate, and even speech problems. Positive reinforcement is key.
Thumbuddy to Love is a small finger puppet that is designed to fit on a child's thumb. It comes with a storybook and encourages kids to stop sucking their thumb in a fun, playful and positive way. There are two Thumbuddies - Ballerina Sue for girls and Fireman Fred for boys. The book includes a 4 weeks calendar page where parents can put a check mark or a sticker for every day their child does not suck their thumb. In 2009, Thumbuddy to Love received a Mom's Choice Award in 2009 for its thumb sucking products.
Thumbuddy to Love is designed for children older than 3. The dolls are a choking hazard, so don't try them if your child has not reached the appropriate age. Even if they weren't, in my opinion before that age a child may not be developmentally ready to follow consistently a reward system. For kids who suck on a pacifier, there is The Binky Fairy doll and book.
If I were to make a great product even better, I would have the doll look more like the pictures in the book - or vice versa - to reinforce the connection between the two. My daughter was quick to point out that Ballerina Sue the doll has a pink tutu with ruffles while the one in the book has a light pink tutu with polka dots. The tutu attaches with a piece of velcro that can be scratchy when the skirt comes off. A non-removable tutu or one with an elastic waist would work better. The doll is surface-washable but it survived a spin in the laundry - safely encased in a zippered pillow cover.
Ballerina Sue and her storybook are very cute and my daughter enjoyed both. While she has not stopped sucking her thumb yet, I appreciate having Ballerina Sue in my corner. Helping my child break her habit will take some time and effort but it will be a bit easier with the help of our Thumbuddy.
Thumbuddy to Love: Ballerina Sue, Thumbuddy to Love: Fireman Fred and Thumbuddy to Love: The Binky Fairy can be purchased from their website as well as on Amazon.
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received a complimentary item to facilitate this review. No compensation was provided for this post. Product description and pictures courtesy of the company or PR firm.