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.