Every child between birth and 18 months is a big fan of mouthing. This is the name for how babies discover the world and learn about their environment by putting things into their mouth. An average child under the age of three mouths for about 30 minutes a day, but since you never know when, you need to be on your guard for what’s actually going into your baby’s mouth.
Why babies mouth
At birth, sensations in our mouths are more highly developed than any other parts of the body. Babies put their own fingers in their mouth, suck the edge of the blanket and through these lovely habits they become familiar with such concepts as softness, hardness and firmness. “Does it smell? Does it taste good? Is it hard, or is it soft? Well, I’ll just put it in my mouth. There you go. Hmm, it’s lovely. Hmm, this tastes bad, I better stay away.” You can see them chew away with never-ending curiosity, crucial for their development and experiences.
By six months the mouthing process becomes even more sophisticated, the usage of the tongue, the lips and the jaws reach an advanced level so babies can extract all types of sensory information just by putting something in their mouth and chewing on it.
How to keep your mouthing baby safe
Look out for pen caps, coins, hair clips, anything that is smaller than your baby’s fist, and put them away.
How to keep your mouthing toddler safe
For toddlers more than 3 years old, mouthing may not be so common, but they can still be exposed to hazards around the house as they are playing and experimenting. Don’t let puzzle pieces lie around, don’t let your shoes be accessible for your little adventurers, be very attentive about your jewellery whereabouts, and put everything that could provide the tempting ‘I perfectly fit into your mouth’ experience for your toddlers out of reach on the top shelves: buttons, medicine, keys, household supplies.
Especially look out for household supplies and other chemicals, as they can be harmful if ingested and cause serious eye/skin irritation. Your biggest (or rather smallest) laundry helper, Ariel PODS as any other household detergent, should always be kept out of sight, and out of reach on the top shelf in their box.
There are no moments more beautiful than seeing your baby smiling at the world and loving everything about it day after day. So keep these moments safe and happy!
How to childproof your home
Keep little fingers and toes safe with our guide to childproofing.