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Dummies can be very useful to soothe young babies but they are not generally recommended for babies and children older than 12 months. The following information is from the Herefordshire NHS trust:

If your child is still using a dummy when they are in nursery or reception we would advise that you stop as it may be damaging their teeth and can interfere with their speech development.

Giving up a dummy can be hard for a child and we are here to support, please speak to us if you would like some help.

Until they give their dummy up try and remove as quickly as possible once they are asleep and never let them have it in their mouth when they are talking. There is no reason they should have a dummy in while they are awake and playing/moving around. 


Some ideas to help a child stop using a dummy are:

- Offer something else to help soothe your child or help them to sleep. i.e. a soft toy.

- Prepare your child and talk to them about why a dummy is not good for their growing teeth and it is better for them not to talk with one in as people can understand them better. Children will often respond well to this and understand it is part of 'growing up'.

- Get rid of all the dummies from the home and anywhere else your child is looked after. make sure you check for hidden ones -  in handbags, nappy bags and in the car!

-Talk to family and friends about what you are doing and ask for their support. Ask them not to give a dummy to your child at all and to avoid mentioning the subject, unless your child brings it up - then ask them to praise them for not using the dummy anymore and quickly change the subject.

- Give them lots of praise but don't over talk about it. It is best not to bring up the subject and remind them about it. Praise them if they mention it. Avoid mentioning it to anyone who visits and ask visitors not to mention the subject too. Out of sight and hearing  - out of mind! Change the subject and distract quickly if the subject ever comes up!

- If your child struggles to begin with you could use a sticker chart and give a sticker for each day/night they don't use - start with a small number of stickers to get a small prize (2 or 3) and make it longer and longer between prizes each time. 

- You could give the dummies you have to someone to exchange for a small present for your child- some families use Santa if near to Christmas, a dummy fairy or a new baby a family member or friend is expecting.


Once you have removed dummies from the home do not go back. Consistency really is the key. You and anyone else who looks after your child will need to not give in and give a dummy back. 


Good luck and remember we are here to help if needed.