Baby Puts everything in his Mouth what to keep out of Reach

From the earliest moments, baby is looking for something to go in his mouth. At first, it is a food source that is most desired, be it breast or bottle, and many will accept the comfort of sucking on a dummy or pacifier. Quickly, babies progress to hands and fingers in the mouth, and, whilst parents may worry about the pros and cons of thumb sucking, the real problems arise when baby becomes a little more aware of the world around him, and begins exploring every possible thing by sticking it in his mouth. Life suddenly becomes a constant mission of pre-empting baby, and removing foreign objects from baby’s grasp.

WATCH FOR CHOKING HAZARDS

Most importantly, the health and safety of a baby need to be protected. Caregivers must be ever vigilant in keeping small objects, which could potentially choke a baby, out of reach. If other children are in the environment, this task is all the more difficult as many big kid’ toys have small components which are easily dropped on the floor. One useful idea is to have a sheet spread on the floor when older siblings play with Lego (or similar toys) and to insist that all pieces remain on the sheet. This also makes pack up time far easier. Another option may be to place the older child, and the offending toys, in a playpen, out of reach of baby.

Be wary of larger objects that may have small parts capable of being dislodged, or of strings of beads which may break when baby plays with them. Books and paper may also become choking hazards when wads of paper are chewed by baby.

POISONS
Keep dangerous substances well out of reach of baby. Chemicals, detergents and medicine should be completely inaccessible to small children to avoid the risk of poisoning. Toilet deodorizers, which clip under the rim of the toilet bowl, are best avoided, as the contents may be attractive to a toddler. Try to keep doors to the bathroom, laundry and cleaning cupboards closed at all times, to minimize potential access to dangerous items.

Lead pencils, crayons and felt pens should be kept out of reach of baby. They are not likely to cause health problems (when only small amounts of ink are ingested), but they will make a dreadful mess of baby’s skin and clothing.

Be aware of potentially dangerous food items within baby’s reach. Hot drinks, hot food and high risk allergens need to be keep at a safe distance from him.

MAKE A CLEAN SWEEP (INSIDE AND OUT)

Bear in mind that, although not technically a danger to baby’s health, some things are rather revolting to be placed in the mouth. Try to keep your floors clean. If someone in the house sprays fly spray in a room, ensure that the dead flies are searched out and discarded appropriately. Babies are not discerning in such a situation dead flies and sultanas are fair game! If your baby is enjoying time outdoors, at home or a park, scout the area carefully for mouth hazards…potting mix, snail bait, pet food dishes, fungi, discarded cigarette butts, bottle caps.

PROVIDE ALTERNATIVES
It is a good idea to have mouth-friendly options available for baby at all times. Baby would greatly enjoy exploring your car keys, and the cold metal may well soothe gums irritated by teething. Substitute a hygienic, safe teething ring for the keys.

If you cannot watch baby closely, or are unable to clean an area to your satisfaction, then it would be best to keep baby up, off the ground. Make use of the high chair, pusher or a swing and provide a safe toy or book to keep baby amused.

IT IS A NATURAL STAGE OF BABY DEVELOPMENT
Baby is on a great journey of discovery and his mouth is a favoured method of exploring his environment. Do your best to keep inappropriate objects out of your baby’s reach and to encourage other children and adults to be alert to the dangers. In case of mishap and emergency, acquaint yourself with appropriate first aid for choking and have the number for the poison hot line readily available.

Once you are satisfied that you have done everything possible to keep undesirable objects out of baby’s mouth, it will be time to progress to worrying how to get desirable foods IN to the mouth of your toddler!