Keep Your Baby Safe During Moments of Discovery

Keep Your Baby Safe During Moments of Discovery

Learn more about how your baby discovers the world — and how you can help keep them safe.


Every child between birth and 18 months is mouthing, which means that they discover the world and learn about their environment with their mouth. An average child under the age of three only mouths for about 30 minutes a day. However, since you never know when, you need to be on your guard, as you won’t be able to stop this process.

At birth, sensations in the mouth are more highly developed than any other parts of the body. Babies put their own fingers in their mouths, suck the edge of the blankets and through these lovely habits they become familiar with such concepts like softness, hardness and firmness. It is like an entrance gate through which every child steps into a world full of experiences and wonderful things that will enchant them deeply. We are talking about an inexhaustible supply, a never-ending adventure, where they define everything by its taste, fabric and form. “Does it smell? Does it taste good? Is it hard, or is it soft? Well, I just put it in my mouth. There you go. Hmm, it’s lovely. Hmm, this tastes bad, I better stay away.” You can see them chew away with never-ending curiosity, crucial for their development and experiences.

By 6 months, the mouthing process becomes even more sophisticated. The usage of the tongue, the lips, and the jaws reach an advanced level, so they can extract all types of sensory information just by putting something in their mouth and chewing on it.

Mouthing is absolutely normal — furthermore it is beneficial — in a child’s development. It mostly occurs between birth and 18 months while teething, when mobility is not yet available for other forms of exploration. A child under three only mouths 30 minutes per day, but there is a catch moms: you can’t predict when those important thirty minutes will take place!

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You can’t and you shouldn’t try to get your little one to stop mouthing, instead just be aware and on guard. Germs you can’t really avoid, but choking can be a very serious danger. For toddlers above 3 years old, mouthing may be less common, but they can still be exposed to hazards around the house as they are playing and experimenting.

So for all ages, the safest approach is to ensure items smaller than their fists — pen caps, coins, hair clips — are out of reach.

To ensure a safe environment, don’t let puzzle pieces or small toys lie around, don’t let your shoes be accessible for your little adventurers, be very attentive about your jewelry whereabouts, and put everything that could provide the tempting ‘I perfectly fit into your mouth’ experience — buttons, medicine, keys, household supplies — for your toddlers out of reach on the top shelves. Especially look out for household supplies and other chemicals, as they can be harmful if ingested and cause serious eye/skin irritation. Your biggest (or rather smallest) laundry helper, Tide PODS as any other household detergent, should always be kept out of sight, and out of reach on the top shelf in their package. There are no moments more beautiful than seeing your baby learning about their world day after day. Be sure to make these moments safe and happy!

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