Should my child use a dummy?

The dummy debate is one that is rife between any kind of Mummy community, there are so many views on what the advantages and disadvantages are and I truly feel as though sometimes using a pacifier for your child is frowned upon - which is absolutely ridiculous. I'm such a firm believe in whatever works for you and your child is the right thing. If you are all happy, then it is ok

As you can see from the above, Noah had a dummy, and immediately after that I feel the need to back it up with that he only used it to settle to sleep & if he was ever very unwell (like above when he was 1). But why should I have to defend my actions as a parent? I'm not exactly shoving something toxic into my sons mouth, in fact a dummy or pacifier is designed to soothe, so I'm trying to soothe my son - yet it seems to be looked down upon which is something I despise. There are just as many pros as there is cons for pacifiers and I think if I list a few below, you can decide for yourself:

  • There is a lot of evidence that pacifiers reduce the risk of SIDS, which when we had Patrick as he had a higher risk due to his health and prematurity, we chose to use one. As blunt as it sounds, if something reduces the risk of my baby dying of course I'm going to chose to use it, isn't that why we clip seat belts around ourselves daily?
  • Dummies can affect speech development. This is something I have seen first hand and know to be true. But I think as with most things, it depends how you use a dummy. If a child is constantly trying to talk around an object in their mouth ie. a pacifier, they're going to struggle.
  • The sucking motion of a dummy is actually hugely comforting to a baby and child and it can help to relieve pain, which after jabs and such is very helpful for them.
  • Pacifiers can be detrimental to teeth. Of course as above, it depends on how often your child uses one, and these days there is orthodontic soothers. But anything in your childs mouth, restricting movement of their teeth is going to affect the way they set.
I think the general consensus for me whenever I researched into the use of dummies, was that it's fine in moderation, like most things. Obviously if your child is reliant on one most of the time, it's going to be more difficult for you as at some point they're going to have to give it up, I haven't seen many teenagers with one these days after all. But I think the most important fact to remember is the choice is YOURS and yours alone. We're all raising children, and our journeys are different. Two and two make four but so does three and one, the outcomes are the same but our methods can be contrasting. 


  1. I don't have children, but my friends do and whatever they choose to do someone, somewhere has an opinion on it. If you're not putting your baby at risk and it works for them and you, then go for it!

    corrie |

  2. My child has one. I don't see many of the other babies at playgroups etc with them (he's 4 months) but my baby tends to be the one who is most content...