A few weeks ago, the kids' dental hygienist told me about a product another mom had used on her child who sucked his thumb. It's called Bitter Yuck! and is a spray used on dogs and cats to stop them from chewing on things. So, I went to PetsMart, found the spray and like every good parent, I tried it myself before forcing it on my boy. I about died it was so nasty, but I couldn't let Eli see me scurrying for some gum to cover the wretched taste left in my mouth. I then called the company to verify that it was indeed safe to put on my boy's thumb. The lady I spoke w/laughed and asked if I was serious. I told her that I was absolutely serious and wanted to know if there was anything in this "natural" product that would harm my boy. She told me it was a 100% natural, water-based product and would be ok. So, at nap time that afternoon, Eli had his first taste of Bitter Yuck! And, let me tell ya, he was NOT happy in the least.
He is doing so great now...10 days later! There were a few times in the first few days when he would put his thumb in his mouth, make an exasperated sound, then run to the bathroom to spit and get a drink all while yelling that he'd put his thumb in his mouth again. But all-in-all, he's doing great! I don't think I really expected this stuff to work for him since nothing else we've ever tried has come close. Today, he told me we needed to put more on b/c he couldn't taste it and wants to be a big boy. How proud is this momma?!
He never just sucked when he was tired...he was just so in love w/his little thumb that it was almost always in his mouth. When he started eating cereal, he would take his thumb out of this mouth long enough for me to put a spoonful of cereal in and right back in went his thumb. When he got a little older it didn't matter if he was playing w/cars or trains, he'd find a way to continue playing with his thumb in his mouth. The images below are just a very small sampling of the thousands of shots I have of Eli w/his thumb in his mouth. It's quite obvious how much he's attached to that silly little thumb.
The photo below is at bedtime that 1st night. He was bitter! He kept crying and saying that he just loves his thumb. It really was sad.
Way to go, Eli! You're so close!