Sound Start Study: Dummies, bottles and thumb sucking in preschool children with speech sound disorders

Elise Baker, Sharynne McLeod, Sarah Masso, Yvonne Wren

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Researchers have suggested that extended use of pacifiers/dummies, bottles and thumb/finger sucking may have a negative impact on children’s speech acquisition (e.g.,Barbosa et al., 2009). The purpose of this study was to describe the oral sucking habits of Australian-English speaking 4- to 5-year-old children identified with phonologically-based speech sound disorders. Participants were 95 children from the Sound Start Study (stage 3, years 1 and2). Based on parent-completed questionnaires, 60% of the children had used apacifier/dummy, and 82% had used a bottle. The majority of the participants had beenbreastfed (83%), with 32 children being breastfed for more than 9-months. Few children (10%) had a history of thumb/finger sucking, with 6% still sucking their thumb by 4-years old.The majority (90%) of participants had not experienced any reported drinking orfeeding difficulties in early childhood. Across the sample, 9.5% had an interdental lisp inaddition to phonologically-based errors. Of this 9.5%, 4 children had used adummy/pacifier and 6 had used a bottle.The relationship between an interdental lisp and prolonged pacifier/dummy and/or bottle use in children with typically developing speech, children with articulation-only difficulties and children with phonological difficulties requires further investigation.


ConferenceSpeech Pathology Australia National Conference
Abbreviated titleChallenge, Broaden, Revolutionise
Internet address

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sound Start Study: Dummies, bottles and thumb sucking in preschool children with speech sound disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this