AT Home with Jo Frost - July 2011 - (Page 226)

| BREAK BAD HABITS| OUTGROWN…’ We speak to four concerned mums about their children’s ongoing problems, from bed-wetting to clinginess, and hear the advice they were given by experts in the know ‘I thought my child would have THUMB SUCKING Lorraine Tighe, 38, mum to Lauren, 11, and Alexia, seven, from south London, is concerned that Alexia still has a dummy DUMMIES ‘I really wish I’d never given Lexi a dummy – but it’s easy to be wise after the event. My mum looked after Lexi when she was tiny, as I was working full-time and it didn’t seem fair to expect mum to wean her off it. When I saw Lexi in the evenings I didn’t want to upset her and just went with the flow as I’m fairly laid-back and assumed she would just give it up in her own time. ‘Then, when she was three years old, Lexi contracted meningitis and she nearly died. After that, we just felt lucky to have her and didn’t want to do anything that would rock the boat. Lexi’s health was fragile for about a year or so, as her immune system had been compromised, so before we knew it, she was four years of age and starting school, but still using a dummy. ‘We tried saying all her dummies had been lost, but she screamed constantly. Then, we managed to get her down to one dummy, but we lived in fear of it going missing. Lexi only has her dummy on long car journeys, or in bed at night – but I’m embarrassed she still has it and worried it is going to affect her teeth.’ Jo Barden, 47, mum to Holly, 14, Annie, 11, and Phoebe, 10, from Beckenham, Kent, wants Annie to stop sucking her thumb ‘I felt quite smug as Annie was a very contented baby as she could always comfort herself with her thumb. But as she grew older, I found her speech was slightly delayed – we were even referred for hearing tests when she was three because she spoke so few words. Luckily, the tests proved negative and Annie soon began to speak whole sentences – but I still nagged her about her thumb. She sucked it less as she got older, but whenever she was tired, or feeling a bit unsure, the thumb would go in and her teacher even mentioned it. ‘Then, when Annie was seven years old, our dentist warned us her teeth were starting to grow slightly goofy. The dentist urged us to try to persuade her to give up – but the thumb-sucking habit was by now so ingrained she couldn’t stop. Now that Annie’s about to start secondary school I desperately want her to give up the habit.’ Mum’s feedback: ‘We took away the dummies and replaced them the next morning with a bag of books and toys, and Lexi was made up. She seems to accept the dummies have gone forever. Fingers crossed it lasts!’ Mum’s feedback: ‘We’re trying Uchenna’s tips and Annie is keen to solve the problem. The nail product and a bandage is helping at night – I don’t think it will be long before we’ve cracked it.’ > 230 | JULY 2011 WORDS: JO WATERS | PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES Expert view: Jo Frost says: ‘Tell Lexi the Dummy Fairy is coming to collect her old dummies tomorrow to give to babies. Put them in a bag on her bedroom door and remove the dummies overnight but fill the bag with goodies and a note from the Dummy Fairy thanking Lexi for giving them up. It’s a simple idea, but it should work.’ Expert view: Dr Uchenna Okoye, clinical director of the London Smiling Dental Group (www.londonsmiling.com) says: ‘Children really should be urged to give up thumb sucking as early as possible – between seven and nine, if possible. Sucking on the thumb will damage your child’s teeth because it acts like a brace, creating a force that will pull the teeth in to a “goofy” or protruding shape. ‘To break the habit, I recommend coating your child’s thumb nail in a bitter-tasting product such as Stop’n Grow, £4.25, from www.mentholatum.co.uk or Mavala Stop (Nail Biting Treatment), £4.03, from Boots. You could also try covering it with a plaster, bandages and a glove. That way, if your child tries to suck her thumb at night, she won’t get any comfort from it and will gradually grow out of it.’ http://www.londonsmiling.com http://www.mentholatum.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Jo Frost - July 2011

EDITOR’S LETTER
HELLO FROM JO FROST
NOTEBOOK NEWS
JAM-PACKED JULY
FAMILY FORTUNES
OUT AND ABOUT
MUNCH BUNCH
LET’S PARTY!
TOP TOOLS
EXTREME PARENTAL GUIDANCE
FIRST-TIME MUMS
ROUTINE CHECKS
YEAR ONE
MAGNIFICENT MILESTONES
GETTING ABREAST OF IT
BOTTLE IT UP
GREEN BABY
SKIN SOLUTIONS
SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
GOING SOLID
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
BABY ON THE MOVE
FASHION FORWARD
BREAK THE HABIT
SIBLING WARS
BOOK SMART
BEST BEDROOMS
FOOD FOES
UNDER THE WEATHER
PERFECT PLAY
TOP OF YOUR GAME
TRENDY TOTS
GET READY FOR SCHOOL
ACTING THEIR AGE
MAKE SCHOOL COOL
ALL GROWN UP?
CYBER SPACE
IMAGE CONSCIOUS
LOVE YOUR LUNCHBOX
I DO IT MY WAY
THE BIG PICTURE
BACK TO WORK
JOB QUEST
CAREER WITH KIDS
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF...
NURSERY TALES
BODY BOOST
PET PROUD
KIDS’ STUFF
FAMILY FUN
HAPPY HOLIDAYS
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
COMING SOON
HELP ME NANNY JO!
SAFETY FIRST
WOW FACTOR
CRAFT CORNER
HOT OFFERS
STOCKISTS

AT Home with Jo Frost - July 2011

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