Babies Children’s Health

Weaning from the Dummy

This is a personal issues for each family however if you feel you would like to wean your child from the dummy here are a few thoughts and tips that may be of assistance in making your decisions

Looking at a young 22 month child sucking a dummy, a recent observer working in the child care industry, noted the child was not talking to other children and not interacting with the activities provided. She felt the dummy appeared to be interfering with the child’s social, cognitive and communication development. Hence a good reason to consider to gently wean your child from the dummy.

It was also noted by another parent that every month that went by their two year old was increasingly reliant on the dummy making the weaning process more challenging.

I approached my dentist Dr.Ross MacKay from Natural Dentistry from www.natural-dentistry.com for his opinion.  He advises that long term use of a dummy could create sucking and swallowing problems, teeth crowding and prevent the jaw from developing correctly. He commented that short term use of say up to 18 months is not a problem.

We would certainly not want a child of two or three years to be still using a dummy and it does appear to be easier to start the process sooner rather than later.

Start by removing the dummy from the daytime.  Hide it away & tell your child it is only for sleeping. When your child asks for it use distracting techniques.  The first few days will be the hardest but really try not to give in!  It does work.   You may well find your child is ready to go down for sleep a little earlier knowing the dummy is there as a comforter.  Then after a few months try removing it form night time and offer a soft toy or other comforter.

Some parents may prefer the cold turkey approach: – Tell the child they are big girl/boy now and dummies are for babies.  Ask the child to put the dummy in the bin or give it to a younger baby who needs it.

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