Thumb sucking is a perfectly normal habit for babies and young children, but while most grow out of it by age five, some never do. You’ve probably never seen an adult suck their thumb, but that’s only because the vast majority of adult thumb-suckers avoid doing it in public for fear of being laughed at or labeled as “weirdos”. Some experts believe that adult thumb sucking is quite common, with around 1 in 10 adults secretly engaging in the habit for comfort.
Thumb sucking is said to start in the uterus, even before we come into this world. It is considered a comforting gesture that mimics the endorphin rush babies get when breastfeeding, and is most common in children coping with mild anxiety. The same is true for adult thumb-suckers. While they are no longer breastfed, sucking their thumb is an effective way of dealing with anxiety or just completely relaxing at bedtime. Some have relied on their thumb to sooth them for as long as they can remember, and it has just become a normal part of everyday life.