Did you know, having a dummy for the first 6 months is actually recommended to prevent the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome.)
When is the right time to start ditching the dummy? In my experience having a dummy until the age of 11 months maximum is a good idea because it won’t stunt their speech development. It helps them bite on something while they are having teething troubles. They also cry a lot less, when they have a dummy!
I found that having it for when they get groggy, tired, irritable is fine. But, if you use it all day long you’re not doing yourself or the baby any favours. Simply because they need to learn some simple words and phrases. With a piece of rubber in their mouths, they won’t attempt it.
How can the dummy affect my little one’s speech?
Well, of course having a dummy in your mouth as a baby will affect your speech. This is because your little one will not be able to pronounce the syllables and consonants in their words. This also means that they will not understand how to say words correctly, and when they can say the words. They will likely continue saying them exactly the same way that they were before when they were talking with the dummy in their mouth.
This alone is enough to wreck their confidence. Especially considering they will not be saying their words properly and people will notice their mistakes or mumbling tone when talking. It will affect their self-esteem and will contribute to further poor speech. Unfortunately, this is not the only problem.
The other is correlated with the development of their teeth. In the way that they can start to grow in an unusual way due to the dummy. This will not only affect your baby in their younger years but could also affect them later on their lives, possible well into adulthood. Affecting permanently how the teeth meet when the mouth is closed.
The last issue is very different from the others, this one is related to the lack of determination that is set by not actually wanting to talk. You may be wondering why would my child not want to talk and communicate with his mum and dad. Surely talking would help them get what they want in a better way.
Well unfortunately if they have a dummy in their mouth there is almost no need for them to communicate with you and when they do finally talk you may not understand very well which will only lead to further frustration for them so it is very important that they do not have a dummy for longer than they need to and this is why ditching the dummy is a good idea!
Will my child miss the dummy?
My answer is, they don’t remember it. If you do it at a young enough age, they will forget about it pretty much straight away, this is why it’s a good idea to ditch it before their first birthday. The older they get the harder it gets for things to change, I found taking it away when my daughter had her first nap around 12 pm.
She would go down without having it in her cot. She took a little longer to go to sleep but overall didn’t ask for it again. If anything it is most likely harder for the parent to let go, kind of because, without the dummy, the baby is going through a new milestone. The parent sees the baby as growing up, and this can be a true but harsh reality. Most parents see their children as there babies even when they reach their twenties and never really let them go.
Cold turkey or ease into it?
Again, depending on age, it’s harder as they are older and more dependant on it. If they are under 12 months, I would say have them go cold turkey. They will quickly find something new to soothe them. Whereas if they are over 12 months, at around 18 months, you may be explaining to them that the dummy will be going soon.
Slowly take it away from them during the day, then eventually at nap times then finally at night. It won’t be easy, it will be somewhat of a whole process that you will need to go through with them. You may find your child might sleep a little bad for the first few nights once you have removed their dummy. However, there sleep overall will improve as they do not have the want for their dummy. They should only wake during the night due to wanting food, water or if they are feeling unwell.
Now that you weighed up the pros and cons, you know why you should ditch the dummy. Will you do it slowly, or have them go cold turkey? What’s your child’s next milestone? Remember ditching the dummy is a good thing, whilst you may be still be holding on to your baby. It is a positive sign that they are growing up and going through a new phase in there life.