Dummies and talking

Talking with dummies

Babies like to suck, so dummies can help soothe them at bedtime or when your baby is tired or cross. But regular and extended use of a dummy can create problems with your child’s speech. Dummies prevent babies from babbling – an important step in learning to talk.

Here are some ways to help your baby do without their dummy as they get older:

  • Try to wean your child away from dummies, preferably by 12 months.
  • Make a clean break – throw away the dummy over a weekend, or at a time when you have support. Most babies and toddlers will fret for no more than two or three days.
  • Try to only use the dummy at set times, like bedtime.
  • When your baby cries, they’re trying to tell you something. Try to find out what’s troubling them first and use the dummy as a last resort.
  • Never dip your baby’s dummy into anything sweet. This can cause tooth decay.
  • Remember, learning to talk can be tricky so toddlers need lots of practice. A dummy will discourage your toddler from chatting with you, which she needs to do to develop her language skills.
  • If your toddler is still using a dummy, always ask them to take it out before you talk to each other.