iStock_000003520827XSmallWhat is the best age to dump the dummy? My three month old relies on it and I’m wondering when is the best age to get rid of it without too much pain for bub? I don’t want to see my child still in love with her dummy as a three year old as what happened to my cousin’s child. Loving mum, Garbutt

Definately by six months you need to move on from the dummy if you are not already motivated to do so now.  The longer your baby has the dummy for the more dependent on it they and you will become.  Research shows us clearly that by the age of 6 months the dummy is changing the structure of the roof of the mouth, the longer you use it after this the longer it has to change the mouth structure and the alignment of her teeth and bite position.

Lots of dentists advise not to worry about dummy use or other methods of sucking like fingers and thumbs until their second set of teeth emerge.  This is wrong.  There is much damage done in the years prior with the changing shape of the mouth.  Obviously the more time your baby/toddler sucks for the more damage is done.

Babies can certainly go to sleep without using a dummy, they do all around the world.  If your baby/toddler currently uses a dummy to go to sleep be reassured they can learn to go to sleep without it and you can help them learn them how to do this without needing to suck.

If your baby only uses the dummy to suck to fall asleep for about 10 mins and then dummy then falls out and they do not reawaken calling out for it to be replaced but instead sleep a good two to three hours then the use is minimal and it is not so urgent to get rid of it but you should still have the 6 month goal.

When you decide to move on from the dummy your baby may adjust in anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.  But they will move on!  There are several different strategies that you can use also once you decide.  Have a look at my website for an article on ‘How to Drop the Dummy’ if you would like to read more.

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