Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why do babies mouth everything?

According to this website:

At birth sensations in the mouth are more highly developed than in any other part of the body. The mouth is truly the baby's "window to the world." After birth, babies continue to put their own hands in the mouth, and suck or mouth the fingers of a parent, the edge of a blanket, clothing, pacifiers, and other objects that come in contact with the mouth. 

By 6 months, the child is now able to hold onto toys without dropping them, and to move them around in the mouth to explore all surfaces. The jaw makes more skillful adjustments in opening and closing, the tongue moves with greater freedom in the mouth, and the lips come forward like a pair of small hands to feel the surface of anything entering the mouth. With this new discriminative mouthing, the child uses the mouth to extract all types of sensory information from whatever enters. By exploring the toy with the tongue, lips, and jaw the child finds out about size, shape, surface texture, taste, and weight. 

Sensations from the gums draw the child's awareness to the mouth during teething. This increases the desire to put things in the mouth. Children discover sensations that increase comfort, and increase their biting, chewing, and oral exploration of toys. 

Oh diba, ang haba ng explanation. In short, babies put everything in their mouth, and that is not something that mommies should be pissed about (ang germs!!!) because mouthing is a critical part of oral development. Before Rocco moved on to mouthing his toys, he was a thumbsucker. Thankfully, it was cured, and he doesn't like pacifiers, so we use his toys as his teethers. I try so hard to be patient when Rocco picks on everything he can hold, and put it automatically to his mouth. We're just taking precaution in not putting small objects within his reach to avoid choking.

Looks like this mouthing stage won't be finished anytime soon. Buti nalang rubberband ang aking patience, kayang istretch! :)

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