Every baby goes through a phase where they want to put anything and everything in their mouths. And it can be so stressful for caregivers who are always looking out for unsanitary choking hazards making their way to your little one.
But luckily, it doesn't last too long, and the evidence is mounting that mouthing objects can be good for your baby's oral development.
Most babies start to mouth objects around four months, but it peaks between 6 - 9 months. Researchers also noticed the variety of sounds your baby can make will increase during this period. This would suggest that babies are learning how to produce certain sounds by mouthing objects.
What’s more, babies seem to make more sounds when mouthing an object during play than when mouthing their hands or fingers.
What can you do to promote safe mouthing?
- Provide lots of safe toys to the mouth. If you want to, you can even show your baby how!
- Add some flavor to increase the interest for your baby. Try some mashed bananas, apple sauce, or a smear of bland hummus. If you're worried about the mess, try something like the Boon silicone teething feeder.
- You can even try giving them a carrot if they don't have any teeth yet. Very importantly, this should not be something your baby will be able to chew or break off yet, like a carrot.
- Make it cold (not frozen). Place the toy in the fridge overnight to see if your baby will enjoy the increased sensory experience.
- Always think "sensory sensory sensory" and provide texture. Find toys that are bumpy, soft, squishy, or all of the above!
When your baby explores safe objects with their mouth, celebrate it. Make it a fun experience that they are more likely to repeat next time.
Start the development journey with MonkiBox. Montessori-inspired toys designed to give your child the best start.