Over use of a dummy can be damaging. Start to reduce the dummy when your child is 6 months old. Reducing the use of the dummy…
- gives your child a chance to build up the muscles in their mouth (e.g. moving their tongue), babble and talk
- is better for the growth and position of your child’s teeth
- reduces the risk of colds and ear infections
What you can do?
- Use an ‘orthodontic’ or flat teat dummy as this will cause less damage to the teeth.
- Aim to start reducing the dummy at 6 months.
- Start by reducing the dummy to sleep/ bedtime only.
- Take out the dummy when your child is trying to babble/ talk.
- Never be tempted to dip the dummy in sugary food or drinks.
- Choose a suitable time to get rid of the dummy, not a stressful time.
- If your child is older, talk to them about giving up their dummy – that they are a ‘big boy/ girl’ and are able to do so much. Involve them in helping to gather up all their dummies to put in a bag to give away. Make sure there are none hiding anywhere!
- Once you have taken the dummy away, do not give it back.
- Comfort your child at night with a bedtime story and cuddly toy.