Dummies are a great help sometimes but it’s far too easy for little ones to get too dependent on them. Look for the signs and you’ll know when it might be time to stop.
Things your child should be able to do before they start school
- Give up the need for a dummy
- Self soothe with a comforter – like a soft toy
Helpful tips and activities
Things you can do to start weaning them off their dummy.
- Start to limit dummy time at 12 months – such as bedtimes only
- Snip the end of the dummy so it stops them sucking on it
- Once you stop the dummy, don’t be tempted to use it again – no matter how tempting it might be
- Be prepared for them to want it back. Choose a time to stop when it’s calm enough for both you and them
- Avoid keeping a spare, they always manage to find it!
- Get their attention with something else – such as a toy or something to read and do
Signs to look out for
Things that let you know your child is developing the skills they need.
- Spits out or chews their dummy
- Puts their dummy down when they play
- Talks with a dummy in their mouth
- Doesn’t notice when you move their dummy away for a while
- Calms down when they use a comforter like a soft toy or a security blanket
Need more help or advice?
Talk to your Health Visitor, they’ll always be happy to answer your questions. Or if they can’t help, they’ll certainly be able to put you in touch with someone who can.