Why You Should Lose The Dummy For Better Baby Sleep

‘What’s your advice on getting rid of the dummy for a 7-month old? My daughter loves her dummy and won’t sleep without it?’

Why You Should Lose The Dummy For Better Baby Sleep.

A dummy or pacifier is commonly given to babies as a way of settling them. The sucking action is known to soothe babies and for obvious reasons, you can’t always give them your boob for that purpose.

My advice though is to lose the dummy for better baby sleep.

 Why babies sleep better without a dummy or pacifier

Dummies teach babies to need the sucking action in order to sleep. Remove this crutch and she will learn to relax for sleep without it. Just as she developed the habit of sleeping with a dummy, she can learn a new habit of sleeping without one. 

Is it better to wean off the dummy or go cold turkey?

Every baby is different. As a mother, allow yourself to be guided by your intuition. Listen to your baby and understand the differences in her cries. If you remove the dummy altogether, does her sleep suffer or does she show signs of getting used to it?

I recommend that you try going cold turkey and see how she responds over a few nights. If it’s too traumatic for her, consider weaning instead.

Two mums from my Ask Raquel Q & As on Baby Sleep had great success with going cold turkey at five months.


I did cold turkey when my daughter was 5 months as we got hit hard with the sleep regression. It’s the best thing we did as she is now able to self-settle and generally sleeps better. It’s easier to start at night as they naturally want to sleep. It’ll be up to a week of screaming but better to do when they’re still young. Good luck, I cried a lot that week too but worth the pain!


We also went with cold turkey at 5 months. Best decision I ever made. It didn’t take more than 3–4 days all up to completely forget about it. They learn quicker than we think. My girl isn’t still a great sleeper but she goes to sleep with no fuss now.

Don’t fear the tear when weaning baby off the dummy for better baby sleep

It’s a natural thing for a baby to complain and cry when things are frustrating and she is figuring it all out, getting used to a new way of doing things.

Try to remember that your ability as a parent should not be measured by how quickly you stop your baby crying. How you truly listen & respond is what is most important. 

We don’t like hearing crying – we are hardwired as adults from prehistoric times of dangerous predators to be alert to this sound. But if we can listen and be present when babies cry and communicate – not only at bedtimes – and offer a calm, compassionate energy, as well as a sleep-friendly environment (dark, quiet, predictable), babies learn to trust that and start to relax and let sleep come.

Communicate with your baby, give her space and she will work it out. She is capable. The older they get the harder it is to remove crutches so as soon as you instinctively feel she’d be better off without it, start weaning her off. The earlier you start, the easier it will be.

Need more advice on helping your baby to sleep? Follow me on  Instagram, You Tube, or Facebook where I do regular live Q&As with parents like you.

About Raquel Tara – Baby Sleep Support Consultant

I’m one of the most experienced voices in the infant sleep support space. I’ve worked with doctors, teachers, celebrities and coaches both-in Australia and abroad. 

I help parents get their babies sleeping with Australia’s most supportive 1:1 baby sleep programs. I’d love to help you too.  Work With MeInfant sleep is major parenting puzzle. Inspired by Magda Gerber’s RIE approach, I’ve been advising families for over 20 years on how to put the pieces together. I’d love to help you too.

Work 1:1 with me through my Baby Sleep Support packages. I also offer free live Q & A’s on baby sleep advice for subscribers to my mailing list in my private facebook group, Ask Raquel. If Instagram is your preferred social media, I offer Baby Sleep Q & A’s in my instagram stories each week.