Many babies and children suck on their fingers during the first few years of their lives. Finger sucking provides them a sense of security and happiness. This article was co-authored by Laura Marusinec, MD. Marusinec is a Board Certified Pediatrician in Wisconsin. She received her M.
Babies are known for putting things in their mouths. This includes thumbs, fingers, and pacifiers. But are these things good for them? Here are some facts about babies and their favorite things to suck. First of all, know that sucking on thumbs, fingers, and pacifiers is very common in babies. Babies are born with the need to suck.
Thumb sucking is a behavior found in humans, chimpanzees , captive ring-tailed lemurs ,  and other primates. It can also be accomplished with any organ within reach such as other fingers and toes and is considered to be soothing and therapeutic for the person. As a child develops the habit, it will usually develop a "favorite" finger to suck on. At birth, a baby will reflexively suck any object placed in its mouth; this is the sucking reflex responsible for breastfeeding.
In fact, in my sensory support group , it gets asked at least once a month by some concerned parent trying to get to the bottom of it. Usually I am not the first resort, most of the time they have already done their research, asked the doctor, and tried several things without much luck. I usually stay out of the conversations because there really is so much more to the answer than just a quick sentence or two as a response. In fact, I think there are some things that every parent needs to know about thumb sucking that you might not read anywhere else.