Why do babies put everything in their mouth?

+13 votes
asked Mar 13, 2019 in Pregnancy & Parenting by Kenneth (570 points)
edited Jun 25, 2019 by Kris
As my baby growing, I noticed he likes to put every single thing within his touch into his month, and people warn me about this, telling me I should keep things picked up off the floor and out of reach of my baby. It’s hard to understand why babies put things directly in their mouth, what exactly is the reason they do this?

2 Answers

+14 votes
answered Jun 17, 2019 by Dana (810 points)
edited Jul 3, 2019
Babies are like little explorers. Even if they can’t walk or talk yet, they are interested in everything around them. My babies learned about the world by grabbing on to anything that may be within reach. Unfortunately babies always put things in their mouth because that’s the only place on their body where they have complete control. When I was a first time mother I was always extremely worried about this behavior. I always thought that if my baby puts something in his mouth that he will immediately get sick. This is untrue. While there are some things that should obviously be kept away from babies, most things that they are sticking in their mouth are harmless. Most typically it’s a toy that’s within their grasp or a blanket or rag that they found. After having a baby or two I learned to realize that a baby is going to stick things in their mouth dirty or clean. There is no controlling it because it’s how babies view the world.
+7 votes
answered Jul 14, 2019 by Lyinda (820 points)
edited Aug 14, 2019
I assume this is your first baby? You may find that as your baby gets a little older, you constantly have to pick up everything within reach for fear that baby will put it directly in their mouth. You also take great care in making sure that all of their toys are cleaned on a regular basis because no matter what kind of object it is, baby always finds a way to get it in their mouth.

So why do babies put everything in their mouth? Babies have no way of really feeling an object in their hands because they have motor skills that have not been fined, tuned or developed properly. Babies’ mouth is full of nerve endings and babies typically have complete control of their mouth and tongue. When babies pick an object up, no matter what it may be, they will typically go straight to their mouth with it so that they can feel and try to understand whatever it is they are holding in their hands. As babies grow older and gain better use of their hands, less things go in their mouth because they are able to grasp on to an object and study it better.
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