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How can I wean my 2-year-old off her thumb?
Q: How can I wean my 2-year-old off her thumb? Unfortunately, unlike her three older brothers, I was not able to trick my little girl into using a dummy. She mainly sucks her thumb when she is holding her “dolly” which she uses for security and to sleep with. Although I thought she would start growing out of it, she seems to need it more lately. Any suggestions?
A: I wouldn’t be in a big rush to get her to give it up, Claire. She is young, and it sounds as though she sucks her thumb mainly when she goes to bed. If she sucks only when holding her “dolly,” you have an ace in the hole. Put the “dolly” away when she gets up and tell her she can have it again at naptime and bedtime. She will protest, so say very matter-of-factly, “Well, if you need your dolly now I’ll put you back in bed for a while.” This will probably help but won’t be a magic bullet if she is really hooked.

In your weaning process, you have three allies you should bring into the action—her three older brothers who managed to quit sucking their thumbs. Don’t let them tease her too hard, but encourage them to drop a remark every now and then to the effect that, if she wants to appear to be a big girl and to do the things they do, she will need to stop sucking her thumb.