Thumbsucking in The Womb

Baby Sucking Thumb in Womb: Details, Causes & More

Unborn babies do much more than just growing in size during pregnancy. One such astounding activity they engage in is thumb sucking. This is natural, and is a physiological response to stimulus. It is a totally natural and soothing action that many unborn children take in their warm, perfect world.

Thumbsucking in The Womb

Sometimes thumb sucking in the womb can be due to a need for emotional comfort, just like outside the womb expressed in children. “How do the tiny things get emotional,” one may ask. The emotions are transmitted from the mother to the baby in a subtle way. This tells you how much you should avoid negative emotions like stress, anger,  and sadness during pregnancy.

What Causes Thumbsucking in the Womb?

Causes Thumbsucking in the Womb

In most cases, fetuses start thumb sucking as early as the 10th week. At this age, their brains have not yet developed. This means the brain is in no way involved in initiating or controlling the thumbsucking; the baby just does it naturally.

Upon birth, the digit sucking naturally continues, until the age of 2 to 3 years. During this period of life, most kids have a natural desire to suck the thumb, especially when bored, stressed, or faced with any difficult situation.

Most often, kids will stop this non-nutritive digit sucking at this age, majorly due to the fact that they have learned other ways of expressing themselves like speaking.

If the habit continues after 3 years, there is a need to curb it before the addiction becomes too strong (recommended by the American Association of Pediatric Dentists).

Does Thumb sucking in the Womb have any Impact on the Baby After Delivery?

Thumbsucking Impact After Baby Delivery

A study conducted by one Peter Hepper of the Fetal Behavior Research Centre (Queen’s University), revealed that finger sucking in the womb determines the hand of preference after birth.

The study showed that all the unborn babies who were thumbsucking their right-hand thumbs eventually became right-handed after birth. Additionally, those sucking their left thumb in the womb became left-handed, with a negligible deviation.

Secondly, a thumbsucking fetus will most likely be a thumbsucking kid after delivery. On very rare occasions do non-nutritive digit sucking fetuses quit the habit immediately after birth. It is, therefore, imperative to prepare for a thumb sucker if the ultrasound has shown your unborn baby digit sucking in the womb. 

Additionally, scientists argue that finger sucking in the womb, among other activities, is a sign of a healthy baby. Lack of such activities could signal low child development or some sort of sickness which needs to be taken care of early enough.

Unborn babies

Unborn babies have quite a number of activities they engage in while in the womb. Such activities include waving hands, smiling, kicking, crying, and thumbsucking. One would wonder how they get to learn these things, but studies have revealed that they just happen naturally.

The next time you go for an ultrasound, try to watch your baby on the screen and admire the little angel naturally having the tiny thumb in its mouth. This will probably help you to prepare for a thumb sucker, though it needs not worry you!  By age 2-3 most children grow out of it.