Ideally, we recommend weaning your child off the dummy at around six to 12 months of age and replacing this ‘transitional object’ with another source of comfort such as a soft toy. Every baby is different though and some continue to take a dummy well beyond their first year.
If you are tackling the issue of dummy dependence at home, you could try putting your baby to sleep without their dummy and using settling techniques, including shushing and gently patting your baby, if they become distressed.
If you are using a staged approach to tackle dummy dependence, you could start by limiting use during the day. Try putting your baby to bed without the dummy at first to see how they respond. You can go back in and offer the dummy if your baby is protesting loudly after three to five minutes.
Gradually increase the amount of time before offering your child the dummy if they spit it out or lose it during the night.
While dummy use has been associated with reducing the risk of SIDS, prolonged use can increase the chance of ear infections and impact on speech development.