Can’t find daddy’s wallet? Before panicking see if the little one is licking and feeling the leathery surface.
Where is mama’s favorite hair clip? Most likely, it is lying somewhere near the baby smeared with saliva.
Starting six months, most parents complain how their baby seems to be putting EVERYTHING in his/her mouth. Let us try to understand why babies do this and how to stop this potentially dangerous habit.
Your babies’ fingers are not very useful yet. But her hands are. This means that babies can reach out for things, they can grab them, and then can even bring them closer to – but they cannot really use their fingers to explore the objects yet. Their mouths and tongues, on the other hand, they are adept to use freely. So in order to satisfy their curiosity and explore the object in hand, they use tongue instead of fingers. Moreover, their tongues are super sensitive with numerous nerve endings – so, putting something inside the mouth is the easiest way babies can “feel” the texture of anything. It is simply a behavioral pattern that all babies go through, and it allows them to explore and know the stuff lying around.
As we said earlier, babies do this mainly because their dexterity is still low. They cannot freely move their fingers to feel, prod and stroke something. As they grow older, they become smarter at using their fingers. As they become experts in prodding and feeling with wither fingers, they become less likely to take something to their mouths. Generally kids achieve this by the time they are two years old. Usually, by the time they are three, most kids would definitely stop putting things in the mouth. As of now, you need to ensure that your baby’s play area is safe of objects that could pose a potential danger and be watchful.
So, meanwhile, what can you do?
Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.
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