Advanced search

Using dummies to improve speech development?

(19 Posts)
marchmontmum Thu 24-Nov-16 06:55:41

A friend of mine told me about a study (she thinks through Edinburgh university but can't be sure) about a year ago which said that babies who are given dummies have better speech development than those who don't as it improves muscle tone in the mouth. I can find anything online about it however.
Have any of you heard of this?


AmberEars Thu 24-Nov-16 07:00:49

I don't know about the study, but speaking from experience, my DS2 loved his dummy. He went to speech therapist as a 6yo as he was behind with certain sounds, and I asked if the delay was due to the dummy. She said 'yes, probably' because the problem was the position of his tongue, which was consistent with having a dummy and not being able to put it in the correct place.

So I disagree. However, maybe it would be true if he'd had a dummy as a baby and we'd taken it away as soon as he got to speaking age? (Harder than it sounds as he loved it so much!)

Jabuticaba Thu 24-Nov-16 07:05:25

I imagine it is probably something to do with suckling, not just dummies in particular but rather differences between babies who suckle more (dummy, bottle, breast) and those that don't. I have heard that suckling improves speech development.

ODog Thu 24-Nov-16 07:25:46

DS is a dummy addict and is above average in terms of speech for his age.

I think it probably doesn't make a massive difference but may not help if they are naturally pre-disposed to having speech problems.

I have never heard that it helps. I've heard that breastfeeding helps with the muscle development for speech but not dummies.

Amithenormalone Thu 24-Nov-16 07:31:48

I don't think it makes any difference at all. Both ds 2 and 3 had dummies. Ds2 has speech delay along with.other delays. Ds3 is way ahead in speech he surprises everyone he's 3 and can literally say and repeat anything.

Justwhy Thu 24-Nov-16 07:35:38

My child had a dummy until he was 4 years old. His speech is second to none. It's amazing. He was speaking fluently at 18 months and could hold a conversation. He now speaks like an adult.

He didn't have a dummy stuck in his mouth all of the time. Just for the car and sleeping. I don't think a dummy makes much difference to speech unless it's in 24/7.

Pluto30 Thu 24-Nov-16 07:38:17

One study is not enough to prove something to be true or false.

DS2 took a dummy and has average speech. DS1 refused a dummy and has always been above average for speech. I don't think it has anything to do with the dummy, but the individual child.

Although it's fairly well accepted that prolonged thumb-sucking and dummy use can (not will) cause speech delays due to distortion of the mouth.

derxa Thu 24-Nov-16 07:51:35

A friend of mine told me about a study (she thinks through Edinburgh university but can't be sure) about a year ago which said that babies who are given dummies have better speech development than those who don't as it improves muscle tone in the mouth hmm
As a former SALT, I think dummies are the work of the devil.
-stomach and mouth infections
-middle ear infections (otitis media). This is due to the fact that sucking opens the Eustachian tube, which links the nose and middle ear, and this can allow bacteria into the middle ear from the nasal area;
-dental problems such as open bite and cross bite
-overdevelopment of the muscles at the front of the mouth compared to those at the back of the mouth which may lead to a persistent tongue thrust and further effect placement of the teeth
-reduced babbling and experimentation with sounds. When a baby or young child has a dummy in their mouth they are less likely to copy sounds adults make or to attempt to babble and play with sounds themselves. This is important in the development of speech skills.

derxa Thu 24-Nov-16 07:53:53

There is also a difference between speech sound acquisition and articulation of speech sounds.

Amithenormalone Thu 24-Nov-16 08:03:49

It depends on how the dummies used if it's only used for sleeping then it's not going to stop a child copying sounds and such. Mine never had then all the time.

MiaowTheCat Thu 24-Nov-16 08:05:23

DD1 - dummy addict until we got rid of them around 1 1/2-2... incredibly clear and advanced speech (always has had)
DD2 - not at all interested in dummies... speech delay

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 24-Nov-16 08:06:49

Both my dds had dummies. One was ahead in terms of speech. One was behind.

<helpful >

The dummy did help dd2s suck reflex though she didn't have one when she was born.

Lottapianos Thu 24-Nov-16 08:07:26

I'm a current speech and language therapist and mostly agree with derxa. Dummies at sleep time can be fine up to 1 year old but should not be used with older children

roundtable Thu 24-Nov-16 08:10:14

Derma- a friend of mine is an orthodontist (sp) and she and all her colleagues are very pro dummies as they've seen up close the effects of prolonged thumb sucking which can't be taken away like a dummy can.

I suppose it's like midwives' opinions on childbirth versus consultants who perform c sections and other assisted delivery maybe?

Op I would be highly doubtful that it improves speech. Suckling for prem babies, yes but not speech.

Rosa Thu 24-Nov-16 08:18:51

Dummy until 4 up mainly used from 2 onwards for sleep and comfort.
DD is bilingual speaks perfectly. teeth are straight .

Highlove Thu 24-Nov-16 08:37:48

Am not an expert but I thought it was generally thought that the oppositeness true? That dummies can slow down speech development?

Disclaimer: not an expert or anti-dummy.

Highlove Thu 24-Nov-16 08:42:24

Opposite is true - not oppositeness!

SellFridges Thu 24-Nov-16 08:48:54

I think dummies for anything other than going to sleep are probably a problem. And I say that as a user with both my DC.

DD is 5 and is quite clearly the most articulate and clear child in her class (I say this as she is the most advanced in the class for reading, and has been picked for the main speaking role in all plays so far). No dental problems either. She gave up her dummy at 2.10.

Jabuticaba Thu 24-Nov-16 09:27:39

Rosa same here with my DS 4. Although I also have one who is 14 that never had a dummy, is also bilingual and had delayed speech and a slight lisp in English. So many factors come into it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now