Johnny always sucked his two middle fingers. Perfect strangers would see him and tell me that their child sucked their fingers like that until they were 11. Great. We had never had a finger/thumb sucker so we wondered how were were going to deal with this. We took him to a gastro doctor because we were worried about the sucking and the rumination that came with it. No, thinking isn't a bad thing. I mean rumination like a cow ruminates...chewin' their cud, so to speak. We tried some medicine for awhile, but didn't stick with it.
So anyway, we started to notice that he was always holding his blanket when he was doing this. So we wondered which came first: the chicken or the egg. I mean--the blanket or the fingers. Which was triggering which? The answer came to us rather quickly. About a year or so ago, I don't really remember when it happened, Johnny stopped taking his blanket everywhere. Then he started forgetting it when he went to sleep. (This happened to be very good timing, by the way, because we were down to two blanket burp cloths and apparently this specific fabric is no longer sold in stores...and no other fabric was good enough for his tastes. But that's another story.) We realized that the finger sucking had all but disappeared, along with the rumination. Turns out the blanket had become the trigger for the finger sucking--when he found his blanket after a few months he picked it up and stuck his fingers in his mouth to pretend to suck. We could tell he did it automatically but the sucking was no longer a comfort and was just for fun.
So, how did we stop the finger sucking? Throw away the blankets and never look back!