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Why do babies put their fingers in their mouths?

Why do babies put their fingers in their mouths?

All newborns put a finger in their mouth, usually their thumb. They already do that while they're in the womb. But this is an instinct they develop right from the start and it's completely natural. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about if the newborn baby sucks his finger, unless it continues after a certain age, as it could cause some problem to the development of the dental arches.

The finger gesture in the mouth is a real form of consolation to which our puppy resorts in conditions of nervousness and stress (for example when there is a momentary detachment from you). Sucking his thumb allows him to release the tension and is like a comfort to fear and loneliness, making him feel calm and protected instead.

But when to stop?

It usually tends to disappear on its own when the child develops other mechanisms for comforting itself or when it starts to actively socialize with other children. If it does not happen, but lasts after 4 or 5 years, then you have to understand the causes. This may be due to premature weaning, lack of affection or stress in the family. In this case it is necessary to intervene and immediately remove the finger from the mouth, as in the long run it can cause serious problems to the dental arches.

Some solutions

Patience and perseverance with our child is fundamental in the first place. Then it is necessary to avoid resorting to make it stop with force or even with violence (even only verbal violence). This would be of no benefit to anyone, neither to you nor to your little one, who would continue to do so out of spite. A good strategy could be, in fact, to establish prizes to be given to the child when you do not put your fingers in the mouth, such as many kisses, small cuddles or his favorite sweet.

Lucia Franco

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