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Dummies and learning to talk

Added 27 Jul 2017 | Updated 30 Jan 20

Baby with dummy

Dummies offer a soothing and comforting transformation to wean babies off breastfeeding, as well as helping children learn to fall asleep by themselves. But dummies can get in the way of a child learning to talk and weaning children off the dummy can be challenging. There is also some evidence linking them to speech impediments.

Our resource offers information and practical advice on dummies. And remember, not all babies need a dummy or bottle.

The resource includes:

  1. Information and advice on dummies – general facts and advise for parents and carers
  2. What a speech and language therapist should know

Information and advice on dummies

  • Why do we give our babies a dummy?
  • 7 golden rules
  • Potential dummy problems – health issues connected to dummy use
  • How do you get rid of a dummy?
  • Things parents have told us about stopping the dummy - reassuring quotes from parents who've been there

What a speech and language therapist should know

Highlights from Acquiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing (Volume 4, Number 3, 2002) by Dr Elise Baker.

  • The pros of using a dummy
  • The cons of using a dummy
  • Regarding dummy use and speech development – How dummies might have a role to play in speech impairment in children and the reasons why

You can find more information on dummies and speech on Talking Point.

If you would also like to see simple chat, play and read activities for children aged 0-5, please visit Small Talk.

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