Why do babies put everything in their mouths?

why do babies put everything in their mouth

Are you worried your baby will try to put everything in his mouth, whether it’s his toys, clothes, a blanket, or empty plastic food containers? You might be tired of constantly keeping these things away from him, fearing something small might get stuck in his throat. But you’ll be surprised to know that allowing your baby to explore objects with his mouth can benefit him.

Yes! Your baby’s immune system develops significantly during the first year, and he utilizes all his senses—smell, sight, taste, and hearing. The best way for him to engage these senses is through his mouth. With their tiny hands, babies grasp things, strengthen their grip, and instinctively put them in their mouths. This entire process is called mouthing.

Mouthing is also great for your child’s cognitive and physical development. During the first six months, babies discover things through mouthing, allowing them to learn about texture, shape, and taste.

Mouthing is so important that my child didn’t speak a word properly until he was two, so I took him to speech therapist Lindsay Hockey, who said, “Have you stopped your baby from mouthing? That’s the question for me.” It was extraordinary how mouthing is related to speech and speaking. Then he explained to me that one of the reasons why most children talk late and are picky eaters is the lack of different things, textures, and tastes.

I got nostalgic after reading about its benefits, and a nostalgic memory came to my mind when my mother forbade my 7 to 8-month-old younger sister to put anything in her mouth, saying that mouthing was not suitable for her health. I remember that at that time, people believed that putting things in the mouth would cause an upset stomach. The people of that time needed to learn more information. And I always forbade my sister from putting her hands or toys in her mouth.

At that time, I was still young, so I thought it was just a sibling thing. I hope my sister will forgive me for scolding and sometimes secretly slapping her. At that time, I was proving to be a good sister, and that beating was only for her betterment and care. (hehe🤭)

So, let’s move on to the article, and I will tell you from my experience why your baby puts everything in his mouth. Is baby mouthing safe? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Which you can hardly find on the internet.

When mouthing begins

You need to know that when your baby is 3 to 5 months old, they tend to grasp things, and once their grasp is firm, they start to learn things and put them in their mouths. The process of discovery begins. At newborn age babies start exploring their body parts, read our guide on when does newborn stage ends.

Why do babies put everything in their mouths?

When I asked the mothers in my WhatsApp group if they have ever wondered why children put everything in their mouths, almost 80% of them answered in affirmation. Many of them even shared that their children used to put even cat’s tails in their mouths. This mouthing of their children has made them worried, understandably so, as taking care of a baby, picking up things, and washing them can be frustrating. Therefore, I have decided to spread awareness among all the mothers that they should not be frustrated with their babies mouthing, but rather, they should understand the reason why children put things in their mouths.

Baby used to put his mouth and hands in your womb too, so how is it possible that he will leave his habit so soon after coming to the outside world? The National Library of Medicine research baby explores their body through mouthing.

here are the main reasons why babies do that

They want to explore the world.

When we buy clothes, with the help of fingers and hands, we estimate the fabric of the skirt or the shirt. Like this, children also estimate the structure of things with the help of their fingers and cute hands.

They are teething

When children reach the age of teething, they also put things in their mouths to reduce their pain, which is a source of comfort for them. For soothing themselves babies start biting everything near them including you. learn how long does teething pain last.

They build their immune system.

When children pick up a piece of food from the floor or their toy and put it in their mouth, their immune system is active and tries to recognize viruses, bacteria, and other germs.

my baby try to grasp his toy to put in his mouth

They are craving for snacks

During pregnancy, the baby’s teeth are hidden in its gums. Due to this, children like to eat sweet things more than salty and sour things. So, they put their hand in their mouth to decrease cravings.

Is baby mouthing safe?

It is safe to put things in a child’s mouth as long as they don’t put a lot of dirt, dust, or something in their mouth that could cause it to get stuck in their throat. It is safe, but at the same time, you have to be alert.


Mouthing is safe, but it does not mean that children pick up everything and put it in their mouths. You have to pay attention to the toy parts that contain small wheels, which I have often noticed ducks put in their mouths. Pieces of hard meat, pieces of apples in fruits, from which many suffer from choking.

Keep away all the poisoning things

Many household items are poisonous. Children are ready to reach every corner, pick up even the most minor thing, and put it in their mouths. Here is the list of these poisonous things.

  • dishwasher
  • bug spray
  • batteries
  • nail paint remover
  • alcohol
  • toiletries
  • supplements
  • furniture polish
  • vitamins
  • detergent
  • bug spray

Please make sure to keep all these things away from babies.

Pet food

How can children eat a cat’s food as soon as they put their mouths up to the cat’s tail, but that food can be harmful to our baby or cause stomach upset and food poisoning? Also, avoid feeding any stale food to the baby.

Benefits of baby – mouthing

There are lot of benefits of mouthing lets discuss one by one.

  • Babies will be ready for solid food in the future

          According to research, taking toys into the mouth of the child makes it easier for him to eat food of                              different tastes, textures and temperatures in the future. And it prevents them from becoming too choosy                and picky eaters in terms of food.

  • Mouthing helps babies to strength their jaw, cheek and tongue

When children do mouthing, they rotate and explore any toy or object of different structure in their mouth               in different ways, this makes their tongue, jaw and mouth muscles strong.

  • Mouthing gives them soothing.

    Babies mouths to calm themselves, mouthing soothes their gums, and, especially when they are suffering from a toothache, teething is a painful process in which babies try to bite everything. In such a situation, their hearts should not be broken. Instead, keep a clean cloth in the refrigerator and rub it on the baby’s gums. And read how do you help a teething baby sleep.


Many researchers and pediatricians have confirmed that mouthing is very important for babies. It is essential not only for the growth and development of the child but also for the child’s motor skills. The only thing to remember is that the child is putting something in the mouth, which is not.

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