When should we ditch the dummy? (9 to 12 months) 

Health visitor Krystal Mesmain talks about when and why you should take the dummy away from your child, and why over-using dummies can stop your child from developing their speech.

Find out more about helping your child's speech

Transcript of When should we ditch the dummy? (9 to 12 months)

When should we ditch the dummy?   Krystal: “Six to twelve months is an important time for your baby to stop using a dummy.   This is a time when they're learning speech and language and if they have a dummy, it can hinder them from speaking.  All babies react differently when dummies are taken away.   Some can be quite calm and some can be anxious. But it's important that you're calm, as well. It's important to stop your baby from using a dummy, because there is evidence that suggests that it increases the risk of middle-ear infections.   Some can be taken off the dummy straightaway, whereas others need to be gradually weaned off their dummies. You can reduce the amount of time that they use it during the day.   Getting your baby off a dummy in the night-time can be difficult, so some parents find it helpful to alter their night-time routine. Some children find comfort in things like toys or a special blanket and that can help calm them.   I wouldn't worry about weaning your child off their blanket or toy. They usually wean themselves off these things eventually. It's important to remember that babies find dummies comforting, so choose a time when you're both settled. So not when you're moving or if a new baby is coming along or if they're planning on starting nursery soon. Be very patient and eventually your child will stop using their dummy.”      

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