Prince Louis is developing a very common habit for kids his age — he's a thumb sucker. The 1-year-old royal made his Trooping the Colour debut on June 8, where his adorable wave and natural self-soothing device were caught on camera. Kate Middleton's "mom reflexes" jumped into action when she saw, and just like any other parent, she had a solution ready to go.
Parents can deal with this soothing strategy in a variety of ways. As Prince William held Louis on the Buckingham Palace balcony, he attempted to remove his son's thumb gently. Kate saw the interaction and stepped in to help, smoothly approaching Louis with a smile and taking his thumb out of his mouth — all without a hitch. Louis reserved his hands for clapping and waving to the crowd, instead.
There's no set age limit or hard-and-fast rule about thumb sucking, although board-certified family physician Dr. Mia Finkelston said it "disappears as the child becomes more self-sufficient and social once they reach 2 years old." If the habit is carried on too long, it can affect jaw shape or speech patterns, which prompts many parents to step in early.
Every mom or dad is entitled to approach thumb-sucking in a manner that best fits their child — and it may be different for each one! We've never seen Louis's siblings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, sucking their thumbs in public, but that doesn't mean they never did it. Just like toddler tantrums, this is one of the parenting realities not even royals can escape.