Some babies learn the art of sucking from the womb and master it in the first few weeks of their lives on earth or learn to suck as soon as they are born. Sooner than later, the finger sucking becomes a habit which is usually very very hard to break. The good thing about babies that suck is that they always seem to be at peace and can easily sleep on their own without fussing. This also applies to babies that use pacifiers. The big issue, however is always how to stop them; and which is the lesser evil, pacifier or thumb.
I used to think that pacifiers are the lesser of the 2 evils, besides, I felt babies really look cute and extra innocent with their colourful pacifiers. But from discussing with parents who have given pacifiers to their babies from very tender ages, I've come to the conclusion that neither of them is easy to stop.
Now, if your baby is already a finger sucker, how do you stop him?
I think the best option is breathable plaster. It should be applied before the baby is old enough to be able remove it. Role it on the finger in very thick layers, so that he can't taste anything close to his finger when he tries to suck. He will protest and cry for a while but soon, he'll give up and look for other things to play with.
For the pacifier suckers. I think the best option will be to put holes in all the pacifiers when the baby is about 7 months and above. When the baby notices that he can't get the regular soothing feel that he gets from sucking them, he'll throw them away.
Please share your thought on this, especially if you have ever had a thumb or pacifier sucker. Some people are of the opinion that the babies should be left alone to soothe themselves, let us know if you agree with this school of thought. If not, how best do you think a babies can be stopped?