Momprenuer Andrea Van Ness created a better way to wean children from thumb sucking and pacifier sucking. Thumbuddy To Love® was born out of a necessity to help children let go of a comforting habit in a fun and positive way. Andrea was a thumb sucker herself and she did not stop until age 6 but by that time, the damage had been done and her teeth started to push forward (along with a raised palate) and the dentist told her she would need braces due to prolonged thumb sucking. Her mother had tried everything from awful tasting thumb polishes to thumb guards and Andrea remembers that all were kind of punishing to get her to stop. It was her grandmother that made her a thumb puppet. Every day she was so proud to take it to school and show it off that, in a week, she quit.
Andrea offers Fireman Fred for boys and Ballerina Sue for girls. Each puppet comes with an illustrated book and a success chart with stickers so kids can mark off days they do not suck their thumb and stay motivated. Thumbuddy’s products have won the Mom’s Choice Award and are now carried in Pediatric Dentist offices, on Amazon, and on the Thunbuddy website.
Soon afterward launching Thumbuddy, Andrea launched The Binky Fairy to help pacifier suckers. The Binky Fairy was designed to help children stop pacifier sucking without all the fuss and tears. Children are read the accompanying book the night before to help them understand where the pacifier(s) will go and the Binky Fairy (like the tooth fairy) visits in the middle of the night and leaves a sweet Binky Fairy puppet. “I wanted to make it fun for kids because giving up thumb sucking or pacifier sucking can be traumatic….I remember!” So, now, parents have a fun teaching tool that helps them break the habits. The Binky Fairy has won the PTPA Award.
Both of Andrea’s product retail for $19.95 can be found on the Thumbuddy website and on Amazon (Thumbuddy to Love).