How to wean baby off a dummy and when?

Weaning your little one off a dummy should be done sooner rather than later. Here is all you need to know on the when, why and how to do it without too many (if any) tears.

What is the best age to start weaning off a dummy?

It is recommended you begin the weaning process at around 6-8 months; you should start to limit it’s use to only sleep time with a view of completely stopping by around 12 months.

Why is it important to stop my child using it?

There is evidence to suggest that overuse of a dummy for a prolonged period can cause problems with speech development. It will also reduce dribbling and sore chins, potentially reduce the risk of ear infections, help your child to develop grown up eating patterns and encourage talking/babbling.

5 Sensible tips for successful dummy weaning

  • Start off gradually – firstly reduce dummy use to sleep time only, then to night time only.
  • Explain to your child (no matter what age) that the dummy has gone or the dummies are broken.
  • At times when you would have given a dummy, try something else such as a cuddle or a favourite toy.
  • If your child understands, try giving the dummy to someone special such as Father Christmas or the dummy fairies. Sometimes they leave special notes and presents to say thank-you.
  • Don’t have an emergency back up. At some point, your child will cry for his dummy, if you have an emergency dummy you will always be tempted to use it. Once you have made the decision. Stick to it.
  • Praise her and tell everyone what a big girl she is (so she can hear how proud you are).
  • Never cut or damage the dummy and give it back to your child – this is a potential choking hazard.
  • Resources:
    NHS Wolverhampton