Children whose mother’s sucked their dummies to clean them were a third less likely to develop asthma and eczema.

Experts from Cambridge University and University College London said that being too clean has killed beneficial bacteria, which keep the immune system strong.

“If the parents pick up the dummy right away and sterilise it or replace it with a new clean one, that child has a considerably greater chance of having eczema and asthma,” Prof Graham Rook told the Cheltenham Science Festival.

“But if you’re the sort of parents that sucks it clean and it sticks it back in the baby’s mouth, then it actually protects them from allergic disorders.”

Related story: Today’s children are just far too clean for their own good

“It’s because they have better bacterial development in the mouth and gut. And this is what protects them.

“We need micro-organisms from our family and the natural environment. Picking them up from birth, breast milk, kissing.”

The rise in antibiotics, caesarean sections, bottle feeding processed food and unvaried diets have all contributed to a lack of healthy bacteria, said Prof Rook.

Scientists, Dr’s John Gilbert and Rob Knight, recently slammed our addiction to cleanliness – both parents – explain how evidence is growing to show that not only can dirt and germs protect against disease – but that our indoor-based, uber-clean lifestyles are weakening our immune systems. Read more from them HERE.

Do you prefer to thoroughly sterilise your little ones dummy if they drop it OR just do a quick suck and hand it back?

Share your comments below.

Image: Getty

  • lolo nope i’m too germ-a-phobe for that! my kids didn’t have dummies anyway


  • Depended where it dropped. But lots of kissing and cuddling and breast feeding was the norm.


  • Interesting. Luckily none of my kids had a dummy :)


  • Yuck. I just ran it under the tap.


  • I only sterilised bub’s dummies and bottles before their first use


  • At home yes but outside l don’t think so!


  • Sounds gross, but mums should actually suck babies dummy clean with caution is what the title should have read lol!

    There were times like after the dog had licked it, that there was no way my mum would have sucked it clean lol!


  • It really does depend on where and when a dummy is dropped.


  • I always did this and my bubba grew up to be a healthy happy girl,in saying that of course if it was a toilet etc I would of course sterilise or throw out if really bad..


  • It basically depended where the dummy landed. A floor at home was suck and replace, but if it was a pavement or shop floor – sterilise!


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