How to Get Toddler to Stop Putting Things in Mouth

Mouthing Objects in an 18 Months Old

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Gunjan Baweja (Paediatrician)
View more Paediatrician Our Panel of Experts

Mouthing behaviour in toddlers is not uncommon. They tend to chew on anything and everything within their vicinity, which is perfectly harmless as long as they don’t bite anything dangerous. If you’re concerned, learn how to curb the habit while keeping your child satisfied.

Toddlers frequently put things in their mouths, leaving parents hurriedly trying to remove them! Once your child reaches the age of 18-months to 20-months, he’ll begin to lick, chew, and bite things that are easy to grab. Seeing bite marks on toys and clothing will become a day-to-day scenario! But just why do babies do this, and is there anything you can do to minimize it?

Why Do Toddlers Put Everything in Their Mouth: Decoding the Reason

Well, first and foremost, it’s a natural occurrence and it means that your baby is becoming interested in the world around him. At the age of 18 months, a child becomes more conscious about the things that surround him. Mouthing then becomes a way to explore them. With a child’s mouth being more receptive than any other sense organ at that age, it helps them learn about textures, shapes and, of course, taste. While your baby is still learning to use his hands, he’ll constantly try to reach, grab, and swat on things. So, when he finally holds the object of his desire, he will want to investigate it and his brain signals him to put it in his mouth.

How to Get a Toddler to Stop Putting Things in the Mouth

While not really a matter of concern, you need to keep a check on what your child tries to bite or lick. These tips can help.

  • Chewy snacks meant for babies are a safe alternative to mouthing toys and other objects.
  • You can let your baby know that it’s not a good habit and try diverting him with a gummy snack instead.
  • Another way to discourage your toddler to put things in his mouth is to clean his hands frequently and apply a little bit of pressure to the upper and lower gums. It will not only relieve the pain that comes from mouthing but will help your baby fight the urge of biting and chewing objects.

When Do Toddlers Stop Putting Things in Their Mouths?

When babies are between 18-20 months old, they start taking a keen interest in what their toys can do and frequently put them in their mouths. As they grow to about 2 years of age, they learn to use their fingers to explore things. By the age of around 3 years, most children stop putting objects in their mouths.

Toddlers putting things in their mouths is just a part of their development. You should not feel alarmed or stressed when you see it happening unless your child is mouthing an unsafe object. Always be sure that the things around are safe and clean as they have a high chance of causing infections. Dealing with toddler’s oral fixation is easy when you know how to.
Does your child put things in his mouth? How do you prevent him from doing so? Share your ideas and experiences here to help other mums tackle their babies mouthing objects.

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