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World Breastfeeding Week: Can inadequate breastfeeding lead to thumb sucking in children?

This World Breastfeeding Week we tell that inadequate breastfeeding can lead to thumb sucking in children. While many of us tend to disregard thumb sucking as an issue, it is important to note that even though it is an instinctive habit that develops as babies grow.

World Breastfeeding Week: Can inadequate breastfeeding lead to thumb sucking in children?

World Breastfeeding week 2017: Inadequate breastfeeding can lead to thumb sucking in children

While many of us tend to disregard thumb sucking as an issue, it is important to note that even though it is an instinctive habit that develops as babies grow, it can lead to many dental problems later on, like delayed tooth growth, abnormal jaw growth, and an open bite. Over-sucked thumbs also tend to get sore, and if left unchecked, thumb sucking up till the age of six can lead to speech problems as well. Some babies suck their thumbs more than others, but the fact remains that all babies do. Some babies are born thumb suckers, some start thumb sucking right in the delivery room, and some may start thumb sucking after a week or so.

Even though the habit has been known to give babies a secure and relaxing feeling when breastfeeding, what a lot us of don't realize is that inadequate breastfeeding can lead to thumb sucking! It has been observed that generally breastfed babies are less likely to suck their thumbs. This is because breastfeeding usually satisfies the baby's need to suck. This may also be because the baby is hungry, because when a baby has not had its fill of sucking at the breast or the bottle, it instinctively turns towards its thumb.

While children usually grow out of this habit, thumb sucking after two years of age can cause major problems. Moreover, as the child gets older, more invasive dental procedures might have to be undertaken, and this may lead to emotional stress upon the child as well.

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