Between 60% and 85% of infants are using dummies

One of the most debated subjects on our parenting group surrounds the use of dummies in infants. Should you give a child a dummy at all? At what age should a child stop using them and how?

A lot of parents use dummies to pacify their children, there are almost as many people that do not agree that the use of dummies is beneficial.

Over the years the official advice to parents has varied. Dummies were once considered damaging to development now advice has changed, leaving parents unsure what is best.

The NHS advise that babies should be weaned off the use of a dummy between the ages of 6 to 12 months in order to avoid harming the developing speech and teeth.

At On a budget, we believe that only YOU know what is best for your child.

What to do?

We have listed out some pro’s and cons of the use of dummies and included some helpful tips for weaning your child off.


  • The use of a dummy in premature babies helps to develop their sucking reflex and to strengthen facial muscles. It can help to settle a baby during uncomfortable hospital procedures.
  • Helps to soothe an unsettled baby, satisfying their sucking instinct, calming the baby and helping them to sleep.
  • May help to prevent SID’s and here is why:
    • A baby sucking a dummy at night tends to sleep more still, so less likely to be covered or wrapped in blankets.
    • Sucking a dummy helps to keep babies tongue forward.
    • Dummies may prevent a baby from rolling onto their front.
    • Parents of babies with a dummy are more like to check on the baby more often.


  • Dummies can decrease how often and how long babies are fed.
  • Bacteria and Fungus can be transported into the babies mouth increasing the risk of infections.
  • The development of teeth can be affected.
  • If a child is left with a dummy too often and into an older age group, speech problems can develop.

The time has come!

Like many other parents, your child may have taken to the use of a dummy and you now feel that the time is right to try and remove the comforter.

Each parent has their own reasons surrounding why they feel the time is right to remove the dummy. While one way may work for one parent, it may not for another.

Our Tips

  • Firstly remind yourself that a dummy never becomes a lifelong habit. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember, it is up to you to decide when the time is right.
  • Choose your time wisely, if you have recently gone through a change such as moving house or the arrival of a new baby, now may not be the best time to give it up.
  • If your child is old enough to understand, openly communicate with them about giving up the dummy and the reasons why.
  • Take a gradual approach, start by only allowing the use of the dummy for sleep times.
  • Some of our members suggest cutting a little off the teat of the dummy gradually so that your child no longer enjoys the feel of it in the mouth and disassociates it with being soothed.
  • Leave the dummy out for the dummy Fairy or Santa, we all know that the fairies and Santa leave lovely rewards to well behaved and willing children.
  • Some local farms allow children to donate their dummies to the baby animals, this could be a lovely family day out. A win win situation.
  • Some parents simply choose to go cold turkey, but whatever you choose, make sure it is right for you and your child.

Did you know? build a bear allow you to place old dummies into the inside of a bear. Making it the heart of the bear and giving the bear a special place in the heart of your child. What a lovely keepsake.

For more parenting discussions, advice and tips head over to our group now –

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