Dummies and thumb sucking

Key health professionals for delivering this care:
  • Midwives
  • Health visitors
  • Nursery nurses
Key messages: 
  • If you choose to use a dummy, wait until breastfeeding is well established, which can take a few weeks.
  • Using a dummy when putting your baby down to sleep might reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • If you have chosen to use a dummy, it should be gently withdrawn between 6 and 12 months, to avoid possible longer-term problems associated with dummy use.
  • Using dummies or thumb-sucking can cause the top and bottom front teeth to move to make space for the dummy/thumb, making a gap.  Your child's speech development can also be affected
  • Discourage your child from running around, talking or making sounds with a dummy or their thumb in their mouth, and don't dip dummies in anything sweet, such as sugar or jam
  • Never suck your baby’s dummy to ‘clean’ it as this will spread germs between you and your baby. Keep plenty of spares instead