As with all things, every baby is different… some take to a dummy from very early on, others don’t take to them at all, some are reluctant to give them up and others are not fussed. According to The Lullaby Trust there is some research that suggests using a dummy when putting a baby down to sleep could reduce the risk of SIDS but it is advised to wait until after breastfeeding is established (around 6-8 weeks) You can find more info, FAQ’s and a useful fact sheet on their website (link here).
In my opinion, dummies are great until they start to disrupt sleep. If you are having to to pop it back in multiple times a night or they are waking early from a nap and can’t find it, this can be an issue and you will find yourself on what I call the dummy run! If it’s only once a night and you don’t mind popping it back in for them, that’s absolutely fine. Babies are likely to be 10-12 months before they can do this themselves so if you’re happy to stick with it then by this age they should be able to settle themselves by rolling around and finding it. I always recommend putting a few dummies in the cot with them, and using airwrap cot bumpers to stop them going astray
When is a good time to remove the dummy?
There is no right or wrong time to remove the dummy but around 4 months sleep often takes a regression so it’s a good time to get into positive sleep habits. Around 12-18 months it may start to effect their speech if being used frequently throughout the day so this is also good time to remove it. Either way it may take some gentle sleep coaching while your little one adjusts to sleeping without it. If your little one is 2+ they may take a bit more convincing. There are lots of tips and tricks like giving them to ‘the dummy fairy’, exchanging for a new toy or books you can read to your little one to help explain about giving them up.
If you or anyone you know would like some support, drop me an email & I would be happy to help.
Sam, The Baby Guru
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