Does Your Baby Love Chewing On His Little Hands? Here Are 4 Possible Reasons WhyIt could be his way of exploring his surroundings.by Kate Borbon .
Babies spend most of the day sleeping or feeding, but in the moments when they’re doing neither, one activity they seem to enjoy is chewing on their little hands and fingers. If you also notice your baby doing this all the time, here are some possible reasons why.
First, it might be a way for him to soothe himself, as pediatrician Dr. Alison Mitzner tells Romper. Flo Health adds that a baby might chew on his hands and fingers when he is overstimulated and needs to calm down.
Second, this habit might be his way of exploring his surroundings. In a 2011 article for The Washington Post, pediatrician Howard Bennett says that the most highly developed sensory area in a baby’s body is the mouth. This means that when your baby puts an object in his mouth, it is his way of feeling that object and exploring it with the help of the sensory nerves in his tongue and lips.
A third reason why a baby chews on his hands might be that he’s teething. Dr. Mitzner tells Romper, “By around 3 [or] 4 months you may see a lot of drooling and babies putting their fists in their mouth. This can be a first sign of teething.” Moreover, the discomfort brought on by teething can make a baby want to bite on things, including his hands, to find relief, says Flo Health.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
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What should parents do if their baby can’t seem to stop chewing on his hands? According to Parents, once a baby masters this habit, it’s only a matter of time before he starts reaching out for other things and putting them in his mouth. This means parents should be more vigilant about babyproofing the home and watching over the baby at all times.
If your baby’s habit is worrying you, Flo Health advises looking for what might be causing it. If he’s hungry, offer your breast milk or a bottle. If he’s bored, engage him with colors and music. If he’s overstimulated, cuddle him or play a relaxing tune. If he’s teething, give him a teething toy.
If you’re worried about germs on your baby’s hands getting in his mouth, Dr. Mitzner recommends ensuring that his hands are as clean as possible. This is easier to do when your baby is not yet crawling and touching everything around him, but just do what you can and don’t stress too much.
Note that sometimes babies chew on their hands for no reason. The bottom line is there’s no need to be too worried over this habit since he will eventually lose it on his own. Just enjoy these moments and your little one’s cuteness!
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