Harper Beckham has been photographed using a dummy – sparking concerns over her speech development. David and Victoria Beckham’s daughter turned 4 in July, but the paparazzi shots clearly show her sucking on a pink dummy while walking with her dad in West Hollywood.
The pictures – published on the front page of the Daily Mail – have raised concerns with some experts over her speech development and dental health. The NHS Choices website recommends parents should stop giving babies a dummy when they’re between 6 and 12 months old but it can be difficult to get your child to give a dummy up.
‘I can’t believe she is still using a dummy,” parenting expert Clare Byam-Cook, a former midwife, told the Daily Mail. “If she has a dummy in their mouth at this age, at four, it really can damage her teeth and it is very likely to hinder speech development.
“You are far less likely to speak if you have a dummy in your mouth than if your mouth is free. Many dentists will agree that dummy use at this age really is not good.”
Meanwhile on Twitter, everyone had an opinion.
But parenting expert Judy Reith said it’s up to Harper’s parents when she stops using a dummy. “It is up to the parents – famous or not – to decide when their child is ready to stop using a dummy,” she said. “It’s a personal decision in every family and they know best.
“Given that she is a child in a well-known family, she may have a little extra comfort from her dummy when they are walking about and cameras are clicking away.
“The most important thing is that she feels loved, safe, secure and able to engage with the world.”
Did you have trouble getting your child to give up their dummy? Did you use any tricks? At what age did they give up? We’d love to know – let us know in the comments below.