Soother vs Thumb
Many parents I know would hands down choose soother over thumb sucking. The rationale usually is “eventually I can take a soother away, but I can never take the thumb away.” True, but your choice ends up being nights full of consolidated sleep (with the thumb) vs nights full of fragmented sleep (with the soother). If your baby uses his thumb to soothe at night, he will wake up briefly during the night (as we all do) and put himself back to sleep by sucking on his thumb. Whereas, if your baby has a soother, he will likely be waking you up to put it back in his mouth for many months and possibly years to come. The result will be fragmented sleep (broken sleep) for both your baby and YOU. Just think back to when you have had a restful sleep….it has been consolidated (solid, uninterrupted) right? You definitely don’t feel as refreshed when you have fragmented sleep because you are up numerous times through the night….the same is true for your baby. Lets get your baby having consolidated sleep through the night, even if it is through thumb sucking. If you are worried about breaking the thumb sucking habit later, there are many behavioural techniques that have been proven successful. In fact, at 3yrs old, my own son broke his thumb sucking habit with a behavioural chart in less than two weeks. I didn’t use any Tabasco or bridges in his mouth to eliminate the habit, like my old-school parents told me I would have to do!