DENVER (CBS4)- Many parents struggle with how to get their children to stop sucking their thumbs or give up the pacifier.
“A lot of kids suck their thumb at night. So this is when they need the most comfort, so if they go to bed with Ballerina Sue on their thumb, they’re less likely to put it in their mouth,” said Thumbuddy to Love Founder Andrea Van Ness.
Van Ness developed the Thumbuddy to Love system to help parents ween their children off the thumb and pacifier.
In addition to Ballerina Sue, there is Fireman Fred.
“It’s a comforting thing. Thumb sucking and pacifier sucking is something they’ve been doing since they were babies,” said Van Ness.
The American Dental Association recommends that children stop at an early age. Research shows prolonged use of thumb sucking or pacifier sucking can cause issues including speech problems to infection.
“We started to see her teeth come forward, which was concerning to us. And she’d walk around try to talk with it. It really wasn’t productive and we couldn’t hear her and we’d always ask her to take it out,” said mother Nancy Shloss.
“The book is read by the parents, and the binky fairy is put under the pillow in the middle of the night. And the parents obviously gather up the pacifiers and then they wake up knowing the binky fairy came,” said Van Ness.
Thumbuddy is a book with a thumb puppet.