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

From the moment your bundle of joy is born into the world, he will be taking in many different kinds of sensations and experiences that his fast developing brain will want to make sense of as efficiently as possible.

As soon as your baby obtains the use of his motorised and directional capabilities he will make an autonomous exploration of the world around him as soon as he is able to, and part of the information gathering will be done via the nerve endings in his mouth.

Your baby’s mouth contains more nerve endings per square millimetre compared to any other part of his body, so by sticking an object into his mouth he can gain a wealth of information, such as taste and texture and begin to build a knowledge of bitter/sweet and pleasure pain sensations.

When you baby puts objects into his mouth, he is just doing what comes naturally exploring his environment in an instinctive way that will help him develop physically and psychologically. The important thing is to be vigilant and monitor his “mouthing” behaviour so that he does not inadvertently harm himself. You will need to keep an eye on him until he fully understands to be wary of new experiences… which will happen gradually over a period of two years.

Many parents assume that they need not worry about this until their child goes through the crawling stage, but be warned, babies are quick at developing their motor skills and can sometimes surprise their parents by their dexterity and manoeuvrability.

From an early age make sure that you have nothing overhanging the crib that could be clutched at and pulled down into baby’s mouth, such as houseplants which could be potentially poisonous, certain drapery cords and/or blind cords, or any other small parts of a toy that could be choked on. Make sure that you have properly fastened any braid or ribbons on clothing and check for loose buttons and fastenings. Even if your baby has not properly mastered the act of holding or clutching, it may still be possible for him to push things into his mouth.

As baby gets older he will learn to pull himself up and hold onto the side rails. He will be able to reach through the bars to grab objects and will be able to reach into drawers and the tops of night stands. He will be able to reach toiletries, medications or other potentially harmful household products. Be certain that he cannot get hold of nail files, scissors, and pocket change that may be inadvertently left on the side within easy reach. Any baby changing products such as lotions and powders should be kept well out of reach.

When your baby starts to crawl then you can say that the real headaches begin. You have to be aware of the fact that anything that is on the floor and within reach of your baby could be a potential choking or poison hazard for him.

This can include flaking paint (a lead based paint will cause harm) loose wallpaper, debris brought in from the outside such as leaves or small stones etc. If you smash a glass it is essential that you find all of the broken pieces… because if you don’t your baby will… and if you have used a work basket, then be careful not to drop sharp objects such as pins or needles or buttons.

Get down on the same level of your baby and try to envisage what would be in easy reach. You will find that they can get hold of the most unexpected items… a friend of mine had a 9 month year old baby that used to crawl underneath her kitchen chairs and eat the staples beneath the seat pads!

If you leave your pet food unattended your baby will relish the leftovers so be certain that you have a special feeding place/time for your dog or cat.

Wastepaper/garbage bins are particularly hazardous and can be easily pulled over by your inquisitive child. You will need to keep electrical cable and plugs out of harm’s way too.

Delicate ornaments can be grabbed and chewed on leading to severe laceration, so make certain that you clear off any low level shelving of any normal household objects and replace them with child friendly toys, rattles and soothers.

As your child gets older he will learn to open cupboards and climb onto higher surfaces. Keep to a tidy regime and make sure that your cleaning and medical products are kept under lock and key.

Hazardous items, such as bug sprays, cleaners, auto care products, and weed killers, are child killers and need to be kept in their original safety containers in the garage, utility room, or basement. Recycling containers for storing glass and metal will need to be kept from baby’s reach too.

If your baby is crawling or toddling then it is essential that you keep a vigilant eye on him. On no account let him crawl out into the garden unsupervised. There is a wealth of information out there that your baby will want to experience, yet not have the maturity to know what will do him harm or not. The rotting corpse of a dead hedgehog will contain interesting squirming maggots and animal excrement can offer a new experience to the taste buds for your baby. All manner of garden bugs also can fall victim to an inquisitive mouth so keep your back door firmly closed or install an appropriate safety gate.

Many parents prefer to keep a special, well vacuumed room for baby, and install gates to keep them contained in their “safe” zone, this means that older children of the family must beware! Older siblings must be encouraged to leave their toys in their own room. Small pieces such as Lego, Barbie accessories or puzzles can become lodged in baby’s throat and be choked upon.

Encourage your guests to be mindful of hot drinks and leftover snacks. If you are not naturally tuned in to be baby friendly, you may be unaware of how relentless an enquiring mind can be.

The most important thing is to be vigilant at all times. Keep your baby busy with his own finger foods, soothers, and safe, educational toys. Check anything that is destined for his mouth to make sure that there are no loose parts or damage that may harm him if mouthed.