Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking – A Necessary Comfort

Parents and caregivers have many concerns about pacifiers and thumb sucking. Some children rely on a pacifier or thumb sucking too long. Children who continue sucking on a pacifier or thumb until kindergarten or early elementary school are usually those who had it unintentionally reinforced when adults tried to stop them, gave too much attention, or ignited a battle of wills. When adults understand why young children suck, they can make decisions about timing and strategies to end it that are likely to lead to success. Infant and toddler teachers will learn why young children need to suck, reasons for and against pacifiers and thumb sucking, strategies for quitting the sucking habit, and strategies to share with parents.