One in ten adults still suck their thumb

New research by the UK’s leading baby product review site has revealed that two fifths, 41%, of British adults admit to still giving in to childhood habits; with one in ten admitting to still sucking their thumb.
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Oct. 28, 2010 - PRLog -- Childhood habits may not be confined to early years, according to the findings of new research. A new study from, the UK’s leading baby product review website, has revealed that two fifths, 41%, of British adults admit to regularly partaking in their childhood habits; with one of the most popular activities being ‘thumb/finger sucking’ for 12%.

The research was carried out by, which wanted to take a look into the longevity of habits deemed ‘childlike’ by their nature. The study therefore aimed to discover both the percentage of UK adults who had failed to quash their childlike habits, and what these habits were. 1,451 men and women aged 18 and over took part.

Respondents to the poll were asked the question, “Did you have a ‘childhood habit’ when you were growing up? with 76% of those who took part answering “yes.”

These respondents were then asked if they still indulge in these habits. Whilst 35% of the total respondents to the study answered “no;” two fifths, 41%, answered “yes;” and were subsequently asked to explain what these habits were.

The top five ‘childhood habits,’ still indulged in by adults around the UK, as chosen from multiple answers, were as follows:

1) Sleeping with childhood toy – 24%

2) Sleeping with light on – 21%

3) Sucking thumb/ fingers- 12%

4) Owning comforter/ blanket- 10%

5) Stroking skin/ soft items – 8%

Of the adults who admitted to sleeping with a childhood toy, 79% explained that this toy was a stuffed animal. Furthermore, just under half, 46%, admitted that they could not sleep without it.

The adults who still indulged in ‘childhood habits’ were required to explain further why they still did so. Whilst the majority, 52%, explained that they had tried, and failed, to ‘give up’ their habit in the past; a quarter of the respondents, 26%, admitted that they found their habits ‘comforting.’ Two thirds, 64%, of the adults who still had ‘childhood habits’ explained that they had no intention of trying to give it up.

Furthermore, only one in ten, 13%, of the adults who indulged in childhood habits admitted to telling their friends and family about it. The remaining 87% admitted that only they or their partner knew.

Jill Tovey, co-founder of, commented on the findings:

“There has always been quite a stigma surrounding parents who fail to persuade their children to let go of their childhood habits, so we decided to look into just how many people in the UK had failed to do so, long into adulthood. It was surprising to see just how many British adults still held on to these habits, especially when considering that many admitted to turning to them for comfort, just as they would have done as a child.

She continued:

“It was quite telling to see that so many keep their habit a secret; probably because of the very stigma that surrounds them in the first place. I wouldn’t know many men who would boast about sucking their thumb to their mates at the pub; but chances are, at least one of their mates will be taking a teddy to bed too!”



For more information please contact Emma Kent of 10 Yetis Public Relations Agency on

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