Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Home-Sewn No-Thumb-Sucking Glove

The No-Thumb-Sucking Glove!
Fluffy 1 has been a thumb sucker from the time she was a baby.  We tried to stop it by stuffing Nukkies in her mouth every time we saw her doing it, but she wasn't interested in Nukkies and promptly spit them out.  Her sister was the same way about the Nukkies, and sucked her two middle fingers.  Fortunately, she quit that before she turned two.
Fast forward six years, and in that time we've tried EVERYTHING.  Fluffy 1 is an EXTREME thumb sucker.  She had two adorable little bunny teeth and a huge callous on her thumb to show for it.  But now we're down to one tooth...
(Oh yes, my sweet little waif!  Haha!)
And it's a much bigger priority to get her to stop sucking that little thumb now that her big teeth are on the way in.  I went searching online yet again.  I remember once seeing a plastic device that prevented thumb sucking.  It cost almost $100, but given the cost of orthodontics, I'm sure it's worth the price.  It was a lucky search, though, because I saw an interesting little glove developed by another parent to help their kids conquer thumb sucking.  They were selling it for a very reasonable price, and I was seconds from pulling out the credit card myself.  Then I stopped and really looked at that glove.  And I had a "well DUH!!!" moment!  I could MAKE one pretty much like it.  And I did while my kids ate lunch.
I referred to the picture for the general shape, but I started by tracing my Little Fluffy's thumb on a piece of paper.
I smoothed out the tracing, added tabs off the wrist for a closure, and added about 1/4" seam allowance around all but the knuckle side of the thumb.  Then I folded the paper in half and cut out the pattern.
This awesome material is some scrap that my mom gave me from one of the bathing suits she made me when I wasn't much older than my Fluffies!  Still nice and stretchy all these years later!
I pinned it out and cut two.
I pinned them wrong sides together and sewed the edges using a zigzag stitch, leaving a 3/4" opening for turning.
(Yes, you probably COULD do this on a serger with the wrong sides together and completely skip turning your glove while still achieving a nice edge.  I'm still not fantastic at serging curves on my machine, though, so I went this route.)
I then turned the glove right side out and held it on Little Fluffy's hand to see where the thumb curve should end. 
I put a pin there, just until I had it lined up under my needle, then sewed it with a straight stitch toward the end of the thumb.  I used a zipper foot to keep the stitching as close to the edges as possible.  With the thickness of the two seams and four layers, I did have to wrangle it a little bit to keep it straight and the two edges lined up. 
I tried it on Little Fluffy once more to make sure the thumb wasn't too long or two short (which it wasn't, but it's good to check these things!), then carefully topstitched with a zigzag around the rest of the glove, starting at the base of the thumb on one side and finishing at the base of the thumb on the other side. 
Then I added Velcro. 
And TAH-DAH!!!
I've made two so far (this tutorial is the second time around!), though I would definitely recommend more.  With the bathing suit material it's a good idea to hand wash them and let them air dry, and that takes a little time.
I can't honestly say, yet, how well this will work.  The reviews on the website I saw were really good and parents with kids who used theirs reported success, so I'm confident in this working!  But I'll update whenever it does.  Certainly worth a shot, am I right, fellow parents of thumb suckers?
It worked!!!  My little Fluff has been a non-thumb sucker for a good month and a half now!  She quit wearing the gloves over a month ago, and we still can't believe that she's actually STOPPED sucking her thumb!  I am so happy for her and for the fact that this little experiment was successful... and cheap!


  1. My now 6 yo is still a thumb sucker so this is just what I needed! I have sewn up 2 sets of these thumb guards today and am looking forward to seeing the results of my child using them! Thank you for sharing!

  2. You motivated me to make finger ones for my little three year old. I used quilting fabric cut on the bias for stretch with her favorite character on it. I added plastic snaps because i knew she would remove the velcro too easily. It's working so far. She requested a second pair to go with her miraculous ladybug costume. Smart!

    1. Would you consider sharing your pattern please?

  3. Thank you so much for posting this.

  4. Thank you soooo much for sharing this pattern!! I have struggled with finding a solution to my daughter's thumb sucking habit. I purchased gloves from Amazon, which are now too small, and don't want to pay $14 for another pair. I do however HAVE TONS of fabric scraps from making masks! This was perfect and super simple!! She's 2 so I added a metal snap button instead of velcro, but I will make her a lot lot more!

    1. He can you please email me the pattern if you have it at antrissa1115@att.net