My DS is nearly 10 months old. He has always had a dummy. We use it for sleep time in his cot (naps or bedtime) and very occasionally in the car or the buggy to help him drop off.
He does also like it when he's not well/teething as it's clearly a source of comfort for him.
At night, he spits it out fairly soon after dropping off and if he does wake can go back to sleep without it, though we do have to pop it back in occasionally. I'm fine with that, it could be a lot worse, I know!!
I'm not worried about it at the moment as I know the issues surrounding dummies are to do with log term use and speech etc.
However I would be interested to know when people feel the best time to wean from the dummy is. Is it best to wait until older, or try whilst he's still little. Do babies and toddlers ever self wean from the dummy?
They won't self wean but you can put rules around their use. Dummy stays in the cot and is only for naps, etc. Speech will be starting to come at 12- 16 months so I would start thinking about what you want your rules to be. You can also try to replace the dummy with another form of comfort object. Like a favourite toy or blanket.
I think they do self wean but only when they're much older- my nephew was nearer 3. My ds is 18 months and still has a dummy for bedtime and naps. He's also allowed it in his cot whilst I get a shower and if he's poorly. He sleeps really well and we're due number 2 any day now so I'm not inclined to cause any upset at the moment!