Why do babies put everything in their mouths? Babies’ sucking their fingers or hands is just second nature to babies. You can try very hard to get them to drop this little habit, but you can’t win, Mama! So what’s the next best thing Mamas can do? Let’s find out below!
Table of Contents
Skip ahead to any section you find the most interesting!
Are you wondering why your little one is so fascinated by her cute little fingers, your mobile phone you rarely clean, a random paper, or the remote control that’s never been disinfected? The answer is simple: it’s all part of their learning and development.
Did you know that this little milestone has a name? It’s called baby mouthing. Your baby will most likely put the most random stuff inside their mouth, but baby mouthing helps them get stronger and stay healthy. Interesting, right? Let’s learn more about why babies put everything in their mouths and what you can do about it.
Reasons Why Do Babies Put Everything In Their Mouths
1. They could be teething
We don’t remember how teething feels, but our Mamas and Grandmamas have most likely warned us that it can be uncomfortable for babies.
So if you notice your little one gnawing and biting on anything—especially tough objects—they’re most likely teething and finding relief from their painful gums.
Wondering if your baby is indeed teething? Then, keep a lookout for these signs below!
2. They could be hungry
In younger babies, sucking on hands can also be a hunger cue. It may be time for another feed if it’s been a while since your baby’s last bottle. This is especially true if accompanied by other hunger cues like fussiness, crying, or flailing their limbs.
3. They’re exploring the world
For babies, putting stuff in their mouths is their way of exploring the world. According to Healthline, they can’t “get the feel of things with their hands and fingertips” like older children would. They rely on their lips and mouths to discover the world around them.
If you think about it, it makes sense since a baby’s mouth “has more nerve endings per square millimetre than any other part of the body,” writes child development expert Dorothy Einon.
4. They’re soothing themselves
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight that babies can usually calm themselves down at two months, so they are often putting their hands to their mouths. Baby mouthing can be quite soothing and relaxing for babies.
Is it Safe for Babies To Put Everything in Their Mouths?
Is it normal for babies to put everything in their mouths? Yes. But is it safe? Not always. As Mamas, it’s our responsibility to keep their baby mouthing adventures on the safe side. We must be vigilant and watchful of what they put in their mouths with babies. Here are a few things we should always look out for:
1. Choking hazards
Choking hazards like little toys or even small parts of bigger toys. Foods can be choking hazards as well. Watch out for grapes, popcorn, nuts, gum, marshmallows, cheese, and fruit chunks.
2. Poisonous chemicals, objects & liquids
These can be extremely dangerous to babies, from battery and soap to kitty litter and alcohol. Once your little one starts crawling and getting more mobile, keep household detergents and other hazardous chemicals away from their reach. Lock them in a cabinet if you must, Mama, because you never know just what your little one can get their hands on. Their hands may be tiny, but they sure are stealthy!
3. Suffocation hazards
Plastic bags or scarves hanging around your home may seem harmless, but they can also be dangerous to your little one. Keep them away from their reach as babies can get stuck or tangled in them.
What Else Can You Do To Keep Your Baby Safe?
When babies put everything in their mouths, they’re just babies. However, they also risk getting sick from invisible germs lurking in everyday objects. So what can we do about it? Keep their hands clean and germ-free with an alcohol-free hand sanitiser and regularly disinfect their play area with a baby-safe disinfectant.
One such product is Mama’s Choice Baby Moisturizing Hand Gel, an alcohol-free hand sanitizer safe for children and babies. There’s no need to worry about irritating or drying out your baby’s skin because it’s 100% alcohol-free.
Instead, it uses Benzalkonium Chloride to kill viruses and bacteria effectively. This baby-safe hand sanitizer is also infused with Aloe Vera and Centella Asiatica, which help keep your baby’s skin soft and moisturized. It uses Lemon Oil as a natural, refreshing fragrance.
Just keep these tips (and Mama’s Choice Baby Moisturizing Hand Gel!) in mind, Mama, and remember that they will grow out of it one day. Soon enough, all your worries will be an ancient memory. But for now, watch them like a hawk, teach them good hand hygiene, and ensure your home is as safe as possible.
Hanna of Mama's Choice
A mama of one energetic toddler, Hanna likes to read books, watch baking shows, and play video games when her little one is asleep.