Oral Phase: Baby Puts Everything in his Mouth

Why is my baby putting everything in his mouth?

Babies love to explore. For babies, learning is a sensory experience and as many of the senses must be utilized as possible. This includes taste, so you should expect your baby to explore things with his mouth. He will gum down, suck, chew and drool all over toys and pretty much everything else he can find. It won’t be particularly attractive, but it will be one of the ways he learns about the world around him. By putting an object in his mouth, your baby can learn about the taste, texture, feeling and other properties of the object.

Some babies find that gumming down on toys and other objects help to alleviate teething pain. If your baby is drooling lots and gumming down on everything in sight, it could be a sign that his teeth are bothering him. There are plenty of teething toys on the market to help your baby cope with teething pains. If you’d rather save your pennies, you can knock up a teething toy for free at home. Simply stick a flannel in the freezer for a few hours, your baby will find the cold soothing as he bites down on the flannel when his soon-to-arrive teeth start to bother him.

When does the oral phase start?

Most babies are aged between three and four months old when they start putting things in their mouths. All of a sudden, anything and everything will end up in their mouth. The oral phase will last until your child is between 12 and 18 months old. Especially in this phase, you’ll need to take steps and be extra careful to protect your child.

Small objects present a choking hazard and should be kept out of reach of babies. If you don’t want something to go in your baby’s mouth, keep it out of your baby’s reach. This goes for smartphones, remote controls and car keys. Choose toys or objects which you are happy for your baby to explore orally. The oral phase should pass shortly after your baby’s first birthday, but until then you’ll need to keep a close eye on him to make sure he doesn’t put anything dangerous in his mouth.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to persuade your baby to remove from his mouth?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.