Why Is My Baby Sucking on Their Hand

Why Is My Baby Sucking On Their Hand?

Babies suckle their fingers at different times. Some babies do it right away while others take time to feed them first. Babies are very sensitive and they need your attention when they are sucking on their fingers. They may cry or even scream if you don’t respond immediately enough. If you have been struggling with a newborn and he/she is not settling down, then it’s probably because you’re too busy trying to feed him/her. You’ve got so much going on that you forget about your little one who needs your attention!

It’s true that some babies will start sucking on their fingers right away. Others may take longer before they begin doing it. When this happens, it means that the baby has started eating solid foods (and drinking).

This is normal and usually doesn’t mean anything bad. However, sometimes babies stop sucking on their fingers altogether. These babies may appear to be sleeping but they are actually just lying there motionless. They may also have stopped growing hair around their mouths or face which indicates that they are getting older and developing speech skills.

When a baby stops sucking on his/her fingers, it’s best to get them up and moving again as soon as possible. It’s preferable to do so without getting angry at them.

What Should You Do?

What you need to do is gently remove the fingers that they are sucking on. Don’t be rough or else they will start crying and you will have to calm them down again. It’s best to take them out in one quick motion so that they don’t start clenching down on the fingers. If this happens, you may need another person to help you get the fingers out without hurting or scaring your baby.

If you do it properly, this should only take a few seconds and then your baby should start to calm down. At this point, you can have a bottle ready for the baby and begin feeding them. It’s important to get them to continue eating and also important that they learn not to suck on their fingers all the time.

Here are some tips that you can use when trying to get your baby to stop sucking on his or her fingers:

Sometimes, babies will fall asleep while sucking on their fingers. If this happens, then it’s better if you leave them alone. You don’t want to interrupt their sleep if they are sleeping soundly.

However, if they start to cry, then it’s time to stimulate them a little bit.

Even if the baby is asleep, you should still try to take out their fingers. If you do this effectively, then the baby should start to calm down even while sleeping. If they start to cry or scream, then you will need to calm them down before trying again.

You may need help from another person for this if you can’t calm the baby down by yourself.

If the baby is awake, then you will need to distract them from sucking on their fingers. You can try showing them other toys or objects that they may be interested in. Try giving a rattle or favorite blanket for them to suck on instead of their fingers.

You can also try giving them a teething ring or something similar to put in their mouth. However, you must be careful that you don’t give them anything that could possibly be choking hazards. If they are placing it in their mouth, then they should be safe to use.

You should never try to force their fingers out of their mouth if they are resisting. Likewise you shouldn’t try to jam them out either. Gently take them out if possible.

Other than that, the most important thing to do is to remain calm and patient with your baby. The sucking on their fingers is most likely a reflex at this point and they don’t know any better. All you need to do is to get them to stop doing it and they will eventually learn not to do it anymore.

It’s important to remember that you should stop what you are doing if the baby is getting upset. So if you are taking out their fingers and they are crying, then stop taking them out and try again later when they have calmed down. Likewise if they start screaming for no reason, then try to calm them down before doing anything else.

Sources & references used in this article:

Postpartum maternal oxytocin release by newborns: effects of infant hand massage and sucking by AS Matthiesen, AB Ransjö‐Arvidson, E Nissen… – Birth, 2001 – Wiley Online Library

Randomised trial comparing hand expression with breast pumping for mothers of term newborns feeding poorly by VJ Flaherman, B Gay, C Scott, A Avins, KA Lee… – Archives of Disease in …, 2012 – fn.bmj.com

Cross-modal recognition of shape from hand to eyes in human newborns by A Streri, E Gentaz – Somatosensory & motor research, 2003 – Taylor & Francis