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Dummies - good or bad?

All babies cry…some cry a lot! Sucking is a natural and comforting thing for new babies to do. So many parents offer their baby a dummy to soothe them.

But can dummies do any harm?

When used with care, a dummy need not have a negative long term effect and midwives and Health Visitors often recommend that parents introduce them.


However, toddlers who use their dummies a lot are more likely to have poor speech. Teeth can be damaged too.

Top Tips:

Use the best type

Use a dummy with an orthodontic teat. Dentists say that they are better for teeth than ordinary teats. Choose one that is the right size for your child. (It will tell you the size on the packet).

Never dip it

Never dip the dummy in any thing sweet or sugary.

Limit it

As babies move their mouths and babble, they are learning to make the mouth movements needed for speech. The more practice they get, the better their speech will become. Dummies in the mouth a lot of the time can prevent this happening, so try to keep the time your little one uses the dummy for sleep times. 

Always insist that your little one takes their dummy out of their mouth when they talk, even if they put it back again straight away.

Hide it

When you want your baby or toddler to go without their dummy during the day, hide it away. If it is out of sight and out of reach, you have more chance of it being out of mind too.

Be firm

Young children love their dummies and some will try to get you to let them have them all the time. Don’t give in. You’ll be amazed how quickly they’ll learn that you mean it.

Just be on hand and be ready to

  • use a calming voice

  • give some extra cuddles when your little one is upset while learning to cope without the dummy

  • play with a special toy or game to distract him/her.

Safety tip

Dummies need to be renewed regularly. Damaged or broken dummies can cause choking.

To see more general information for parents CLICK HERE.

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