Your baby will no doubt be a curious little guy. When he enters the world it’s a non-stop flood of stimulation, from sounds and sights to touch and feel.Who wouldn’t be amazed, confused and in awe of such a dazzling new environment? Your baby will find a number of ways to explore his surroundings and a very common habit is to use his mouth for experimenting.
Most parents will attest that as soon as a baby can grip things with his fingers whatever he grabs hold of will automatically go right into his mouth. This is only natural. When your baby was born he was quickly introduced to mommy’s nipple and the tip of a formula bottle so why wouldn’t he continue the practice
There are a few commonly held theories for why a baby uses his mouth to test new things. The most obvious is simply curiosity. He can’t talk, walk or communicate so he’s using his sense of taste to find out about new objects. Many doctor’s attribute this to a reflex action. He’s already figured out the difference in taste between skin, milk and pacifiers and now he’s moving on to other new sensations. Toys have bright colors and it’s only natural that a baby will try to figure out how blocks, stuffed animals and other plastic gadgets taste. Watch for potential hazards but if it’s just a harmless toy let him figure out for himself that it’s not something to eat.
Babies will go through a process known as teething, when the first teeth start to form and push through the gums. This is not a pleasant experience and can cause a lot of discomfort. Babies are young but they know pain and will do what they can to try and stop it. Putting things in their mouth can be an indication to the parent that baby is in pain and trying to soothe his sore gums. If he is teething satisfy his urge by providing a cool, wet washcloth or chilled pacifier to bring relief to his curiosity and discomfort.
Babies will also start to gnaw and chew on different things if they are feeling hungry. If you notice your baby reaching for anything he can to suck on you may want to take time out for a feeding or nursing. After he’s done you’ll notice his urge to seek out new objects to taste will diminish.
Don’t try to discourage your baby from trying out new things with his mouth. Rather keep a close watch on the things he’s reaching for and make sure to grab anything that could be dangerous but allow him to explore safe things so he can begin the lifelong process of trial and error.