Is your little explorer on a tasting spree these days? Are you worried sick about infections and health hazards that threaten your toddler due to this habit?
If your baby has a habit of putting everything in her mouth, she is displaying a very normal behavior. Read on to know why your baby does this and what it means.
Why Babies Put Everything In Their Mouth?
When your baby is very young, she may constantly try to put her fingers and fist inside her mouth. Soon, almost anything that she can lay her tiny hands on will find its way into her mouth. Your baby’s mouthing habit will keep you on your toes as it means that your need to keep an eye on her constantly. It also implies your little one is raring to explore and learn.
Until seven months of age, your baby could only grip things. Therefore, earlier she was unable to use her hands to hold, stroke or even explore objects. Now, her lips and tongue are more in her control. She can put objects in her mouth, hold them there and prod around using her tongue. Your baby’s lips and tongue are the most sensitive part of her body (1). Anytime your baby wants to explore something, she will instantly try to put it in her mouth. Doing so will give her an idea about the taste, shape and texture of that object. In fact, mouthing will give your baby one of her first lessons in learning more about the world around her.
[ Read: How To Stop A Baby From Thumbsucking ]
Until What Age Do Babies Continue Mouthing?
Your baby is most likely to continue mouthing almost until her second birthday. For some babies, this phase may be longer. Do not fret if your child continues to mouth things even when she is past her toddler stage. She will eventually outgrow this phase.
Safety Precautions During The Mouthing Phase:
Mouthing will help your baby learn, but it is also a very dangerous phase. You need to be hawk-eyed while monitoring your baby’s daily adventure. Here are a few things to remember to ensure your darling is safe during her little quest:
1. Do Not Scold Her:
Your baby will put everything in her mouth out of curiosity. Scolding her will discourage her from putting things in her mouth, but it will also dampen her spirit of learning. Instead, ensure you keep only safe things around her.
[ Read: Teething Toys For Babies ]
2. Remove Anything That May Be Dangerous:
Your baby will instantly find anything that is shiny, has any cords or danglers attractive. Check carefully and remove all those things that are dangerous for your baby. Remove all small and sharp objects and keep them at a safe distance.
3. Teach The Meaning Of No:
There may be times when your baby will play the mischief and pick up an object that she should not. Telling her ‘NO’ in a way she understands will help you stop her from putting it in her mouth. Of course, she may not listen to you each time, so you need to repeat it.
[ Read: How To Teach Babies Sign Language ]
4. Get Her A Teether:
Sometimes, your baby may be putting everything in her mouth because she is teething. Get her a few teethers that can soothe her aching gums.
Mouthing is a very important phase in your baby’s growing years. It will help her understand and relate to the world around her. Encourage her to explore while making sure she is safe.
Hope you liked our post on why babies put everything in their mouth. If you have a truant toddler at home, let us know how you manage to keep her safe during the mouthing phase. Please share your advice and tips with other moms here.
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