THUMB SUCKING is not a disease. It is merely a habit. Dr. Wood-Comstock advises keeping the infants and children in a sleeping bag. She also advises striking the baby on the hands. Both methods are barbaric and she attempts to justify them on the grounds of discipline. Dr. Lowry says: "Various methods have been tried to break this habit of sucking the thumb but I have yet to learn of any reliable method."

Bitter substances, pepper and other things are often put on the fingers. The fingers are sometimes bandaged for a time. None of these are valuable.

The thumb sucking habit is simply a bad mental habit. It does not deform or distort the mouth or teeth. It does not cause tonsillar troubles. The same is true of the "pacifier" or nipple. But there is no need for such habits.

The thumb sucking tendency is easily checked if it is attended to at once. Take the baby's finger or thumb out of its mouth every time it puts these in and watch that it does not go to sleep with the finger in its mouth. Persist in your efforts and you will succeed. Dr. Lowry tells of a mother who broke this habit of her child by constant watchfulness for two weeks, "taking the thumb out every time it went into the baby's mouth."