It is quite normal when your baby starts to take everything to his mouth. This gesture shows your child’s developing interest in exploring the surrounding world. In their initial years, babies explore the world around them with the help of their senses – touch, vision, hearing, taste and smell. They learn as they explore. In addition to learning to reach, grab and swat, children also learn about good and bad tastes.
Risks Associated to Putting Things in Mouth
Even though it is a positive learning experience, his safety is your primary concern. Some of the risks associated with putting things in the mouth include:
- Infection from germs – When your child plays around and picks up things from various places in the house, he might also pick the germs along with. Remember, it’s not dust, but the bacteria and virus that can make him sick. Group play is common as well as important at this stage. Just ensure that your child doesn’t take to mouth anything that has been licked by another child who is carrying a virus or bacterium that can affect your baby as well.
- Choking – While playing, there are chances that your child puts a small thing or toy in his mouth that can lead to choking. Therefore, make sure that there’s no small toys that can be a choking hazard for your baby.
Tips To Stop Your Baby From Putting Everything In The Mouth
Mouthing can be taken as an excellent learning experience and can occur because of teething or just a curiosity to explore. However, there are also certain risks associated to this learning process. As a parent, you need to be extra careful and eagle-eyed to monitor the daily adventures of your child. There are certain things that can help you keep your child safe during mouthing. Here they are:
- Do Not Scold – Babies put everything in their mouth due to curiosity to explore that thing. Although scolding would stop him from doing so, but it would, at the same time, discourage his learning spirit. It is in fact better to surround him with safe things that don’t have any risk associated even if taken to mouth by the child.
- Teach The Meaning of NO – Many times, your child might get mischievous and pick things that he/she is not supposed to or something that should not be put in the mouth. Saying NO in the way your child can understand and that can prevent him/her from putting it into the mouth. However, it is not necessary that your child follows your instructions every time. Therefore, repeat the instructions.
- Remove Dangerous Stuff – Babies get attracted very quickly to shiny things, wires, cords, or attractive danglers. It is your duty to stay alert to check and remove carefully the things that can prove dangerous for your child. These include things that are small and sharp. It is better to be careful and keep them at a distance that is out of your child’s reach.
- Get a Teether – Sometimes, mouthing might be a result of teething. However, it is an effective learning experience as well. Therefore, instead of taking away his/her toys from the baby to prevent them from going to his/her mouth, it is better to get a teether. Teethers are really helpful in soothing aching gums.
Mouthing forms one of the most important phases of your baby’s growth. It helps in understanding and relating to the surrounding world. Therefore, encourage your baby to explore rather than stopping or discouraging him/her. You can only try to make this experience safe by being a little more careful during this experience.