Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dude, Where's My Thumb?

Ella may be super sweet...but she's not super coordinated--at least not yet.  For the last week or so, she has diligently and determinedly been trying to get her thumb in her mouth.  But she typically has her thumb tucked into a fist under her other fingers, making it a challenge.  But she doesn't seem frustrated by it at this point.  Rather, the challenge is keeping her (and us) highly entertained. 

I thought that perhaps it was a developmental stage; that babies start to look for their thumbs somewhere around 8 weeks.  But apparently, my youngest brother found his thumb on Day 3 (my mom says that she was elated, because it meant that she wouldn't have to go looking for lost pacifiers in the middle of the night).  So either my brother is extremely gifted...or Ella is totally uncoordinated. 

I know that there is a lot of debate over thumb vs. pacifier.  As my very-dear friend pointed out--you can take away a pacifier, but you can't take away a thumb!  She has a point...but so does my mom with the late-night pacifier searches.  We figure that we'll wait and see what Ella prefers (that is, if she ever truly finds her thumb).  She's not really a big fan of the pacifier.  She'll take it from time to time, but if its intent is to "pacify" a fussy child, then it doesn't really do its trick with her.  We didn't introduce it right away--I was afraid that it would interfere with breastfeeding.  But when I went into surgery on that return trip to the hospital, Ella (9 days old at the time) had a meltdown and the nurses helped my husband out by giving her a pacifier.  Perhaps she would like it more if we introduced it sooner...or perhaps she's just the type of kid who doesn't really like them.

It's kind of fun to watch her try to get her thumb in her mouth.  I realize that babies are born with a desire to suck, and she's definitely a pro at the breast.  But what tells our brains--as infants--to try to get something attached to our hand into something built into our face?  Why does thumb-sucking (or pacifier-sucking) have a self-calming/self-entertaining effect?  Why isn't it rubbing your elbows?  Or patting your knees?  Human development amazes me!  Her little brain is such an awesome thing!  I just hope she doesn't give herself a black eye or a bloody nose from her flying fists!

Yesterday's blessing was the chance to hang out with my very-dear friend and her little boy (who, at 7 weeks, is comfortably wearing 6 months clothing!) and another mom and boy from church.  We made baby hand-print and foot-print ornaments, and had a really nice visit.  God has blessed us with friends who are at the same stage as us, and it's so reassuring to have someone to chat with about all of these new parenting adventures.


  1. LOL I totally remember Addy doing the same thing(even with her thumb in her fist)! It was probably at about 6-7 weeks. And boy was she happy when she finally found it; even though she still didn't always get it after that.

    I'm sure you've figured out my opinion on the whole pacifier thing from my recent posts. I used them for the same reason you mentioned (can take it away) & I wish I never had. Since taking it away from Addy (Mon) she has not woken up @ 2&4am looking for it & has also transitioned through on her naps! I guess not all babies end up as attached to it, but I will certainly not do it again.

  2. We went through that too, it is funny! Now she is so coordinated with her hands I am amazed! For a while a thumb in the eye was not unusual.


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