Dummies and speech

Speech, Language and Communication  – Dummies and Speech

 Some parents choose to give their child a dummy, some choose not to. However, if you give your child a dummy, it is very easy for this to become a habit, even by the time the child has reached 12 months old.


  • A dummy can be used to comfort a baby that is hard to settle (please note that if the baby is breastfed, this should only be done when breastfeeding is established).


  • Dummy sucking may cause dental problems, mouth infections and ear infections.
  • Dummies make it difficult for your child to talk.


  • Do not let the dummy stay in your child’s mouth for long periods of time.
  • Do not secure the dummy in your child’s mouth – this could lead to choking.
  • Never clip the dummy onto your child’s clothes.
  • Do not dip the dummy in sweet, sugary foods or drinks – this may lead to tooth decay.
  • Never let your child talk with a dummy in his mouth.
  • Overuse of a dummy can have an effect on your child’s speech sound production and may lead to speech problems.
  • Use a dummy only for sleep times.

Useful tips for stopping dummy use

  • Prepare the child for stopping the dummy – talk about getting rid of it.
  • Choose a good time to give up the dummy, e.g. over a weekend and when you and your partner are not at work. Be prepared for sleepless nights.
  • Never give the dummy back to the child once you have said it has gone.
  • Your child could give their dummy away in return for a small present.

If you have any concerns, please contact your health visitor or a speech and language therapist.

©Lifestart Foundation 2018



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