Posted by Laurie Vanderzwaag on June 07, 1999 at 10:33:15
I have three little boys, 5,3 and 6 months. My oldest has his fingers in his mouth almost constantly. What causes kids to do this. He is not bitting his nails- rather justing having his fingers in his open mouth.
Any help would be appreciate
Posted by HVM Ph.D. - KDK on June 08, 1999 at 08:49:31
Dear Ms. Vanderzwaag,
The mouth is a source of pleasure for very young children, and often pre-scholers will comfort themselves by thumb sucking or having their fingers in their mouth. By the time children turn five or six, most stop sucking their thumb or having their fingers in their mouth, but some continue this. Has your son always done this, or is it a more recent behavior. If it's a new behavior, or an old behavior that has resurfaced, he may be feeling insecure and this is a way to soothe himself. If it's a long-standing pattern, it likely represents his preferred way of comforting himself and is not necessarily a sign of any recent insecurity. Development, maturation and social expectations will ultimately help him to let go of this self-soothing behavior. Try not to make an issue of it, either via scolding or reprimanding or urging him to stop it, or via rewarding him for not doing it. Be sure he has plenty of opportunites to keep himself busy - a parent ususally doesn't have to worry about this with a five-year-old! If it seems to signify a regression, or some recent insecurity, try to offer some support around whatever the issue seems to be.
This information is provided for purposes of general medical information. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options that pertain to your specific condition.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.