Oral development

A thumb or a soother?

It is a choice that can upset some parents. From little fears to big issues and milk teeth that all too soon want to break through, it isn’t always easy to comfort baby…

Some babies are born with a stronger need to suckle than others. With his soother or thumb, baby tries to recreate the pleasure he experiences when feeding from the breast or bottle: comfort, calm and security.

When he has fulfilled his need to suckle, baby will be calmer and will, for example, fall asleep more easily.

Soothers are much more ergonomic than thumbs, as they help the palate to develop properly and reduce the risk of malformed jaws and poor dental alignment.

What’s more, babies tend to give up soothers more quickly than thumb-sucking (between ages 3 and 5 for soothers, compared to 6-8 years for thumbs), and in general, soothers are cleaner than the hands of a little child that has been crawling around on all fours all day!

You will also find it easier to make sure that your child does not use his soother systematically (by confiscating it, quite simply, at certain times of the day). It is naturally much harder to monitor thumb-sucking in the same way!


In any case, you must let your child suck his thumb or a suitable soother, as suckling is a real need.

Also, make sure you keep things in perspective, as many children have dental problems without ever having sucked their thumb or a soother!