Why does my baby put everything in her mouth?
Penney Hames answers:
Your baby's mouth has more nerve endings per square millimetre than any other part of her body, so if she really wants to find out what something tastes or feels like, she puts it in her mouth. If you don't want something to go into your baby's mouth, don't leave it where she can get hold of it.
Babies go on putting things in their mouths well into their second year -- although it's because they become increasingly interested in what their toys can do, rather than what they taste or feel like. But at that age they start to explore using their fingers and eyes most of the time. Toy manufacturers specify that certain toys are not for children under 3-years-old because they contain small parts which could stick in your baby's throat if swallowed. By three, most children have stopped putting toys into their mouths.
On the other hand, many babies like to add to what they know about the food they eat and the liquids they drink by examining them with their hands as well. Many babies like to let their fingers puddle in their juice or enjoy the feeling of pasta squished between their palms.
Babies often mouth
toys more when a new tooth is just breaking through the gum. The mouthing
is also accompanied by drooling and generally being off colour -- it's painful pushing a tooth through. Some babies get looser stools and a sore bottom too.