Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thumb Addict

Baby is a thumb-sucking addict. He has always been a thumb-sucker, even before he was born.

I am not an Anti-Thumb Mommy. I don’t begrudge Baby his habit and sometimes I am even grateful for it. Baby has never wanted or needed a pacifier. As a newborn, he did have a serious boobie addiction, but the thumb helped him to recover and Mommy eventually found time to shower again. Someday, he might even give up the middle-of-the-night Milk Fest and spend some quality time with his thumb instead. We can only hope.

So imagine my despair when my laissez-faire parenting resulted in the painful mutilation of Baby’s thumb. His thumb on his right hand is red, chapped, peeling, cracked and bleeding. Baby wakes up every morning with blood crusted around his thumb nail. I would have taken a picture of it, but it is just too gruesome to look at and I don’t really want to document the results of my neglectful parenting, just in case Children’s Services is watching.

During our recent visit to the pediatrician for the Ear Infection That Would Not End, the good doc noticed our predicament and advised lubing Baby up with Vaseline. It sounded like a good idea at the time.

We began treatment by slathering Baby’s thumb with A&D Ointment at night as he drifted off to sleep and covered his hand with a mitten to protect his crib sheets. Without fail, Baby woke up within a half hour. One by one, the mittens began to disappear because he disposed of them immediately upon waking and finding his thumb out of commission. We have used all of our mittens and I am clueless as to where Baby hid them.

Since the mittens are gone and the thumb is looking worse, we started using the A&D Ointment without the mittens. I resigned myself to the fact that Baby would probably rub it in his hair for the hillbilly-baby-that-never-bathes-look that is so trendy with little boys right now. I was wrong. He didn’t put the ointment in his hair. HE PUT IT IN HIS MOUTH. Gross.

One of his daycare teachers recommended liquid BandAid, but the doc said it wasn’t a very good idea. If the kid is willing to eat A&D to get to his thumb, there is no telling what he won’t eat if given the opportunity. She recommends wrapping the thumb with gauze and medical tape.

Oh, Boy. That sounds like fun!

Please share your advice for dry-cracked-chapped-skin repair. We are desperate!


Heather said...

The only thing I can think of is Lansinoh, and it's safer to consume than the A&D.

I was a serious thumb addict too, and would suck thru ANYTHING to get to my thumb! I didn't break the habit until I was 8 and my parents PAID me to stop. I had learned the value of money.

Good luck, I hope his thumb gets better!

Lisa said...

Hi Dawn! I know its a year ago but could you tell me what happened? I googled this because my sons thumb is in bits from sucking. It is peeling, bleeding and awful to look at, and he will suck it but then start crying. I've tried everything bar going to the doctor, which i presume is my next step!