From the age that kids normally go through this, she's always put things in her mouth. Toys, the corners of books, glue, etc. I suppose in some ways it's better...she used to bite the tips off of markers, eat crayons...she doesn't do that anymore. But other things have persisted- mostly small toys. Now of course, she wants to play with lots of 'over-3' toys, with little bits and pieces, like Polly Pockets, or the small Lego.
I can't tell you how many times a day she'll put stuff in her mouth. It seems as if the more I point it out to her and try to get her to stop, the more she does it.
I'm at my wits end. I'm worried about choking, lead poisoning, her school mates making fun of her. Her younger brother, who is 4 (and long PAST this phase), rats her out all the time...she gets upset, because she knows she's doing something wrong, then all hell breaks loose and they fight.
I try to stay calm and not get upset when she does it, but it really bothers me. When I see her doing with it, I tell her to stop, and then I calmly take the toy away. I don't know if this is the right tactic. I almost wonder if I should give her a baby teether, something 'safe', and let her bite on that and only that. Hubby disagrees with this- he thinks we should just be persistent, NOT make a big deal of it with her, try to stay low key, and wait for her to outgrow it.
She's a normal kid in every other way. She knows she shouldn't be doing this. Maybe it's a compulsion? Maybe seeing me upset DOES make it worse, and encourages her compusion as a response to anxiety?
I dunno...HELP!!! I could really use some advice here...
She will grow out of it... lots of others do it. I think she will learn what situations are okay to do it and which aren't. My DS always is putting his pencil in his mouth and although they are no longer lead, i tell him it can make him really sick. I am amazed he hhasn't swallowed a lego piece yet., I amnot too woeeied about him choking though, he is six not two.
My Mom was really patient with me and my oral gig (although the hair chewing sent her over the edge), I was preemie and think she thought I needed it.
Hope this helps.
I think someone posted another thread like this recently and it had some good suggestions also (or at the very least more information to "chew on"). Sorry, that was bad. I'll try to find it and post a link....
Here it is:
I'm currently downloading the link to the "chewy tube." Looks promising.
Best of luck all,
I think I drive myself crazy trying to figure out *why* she is doing this...sometimes it's mindless, her head being elsewhere...and sometimes I think it is a stress response (which would explain why, when I freak out that she's doing this, she does it MORE).
I'll be glad when this phase is over.
I'm off to check out that old thread now (thanks Embee!)...because I still don't know what I should be doing about this, if anything...
Thanks again mamas
Within the past few weeks, one of my students' 5 3/4 year old sister has been constantly putting things in her mouth that don't belong. I didn't know about the molars either but I've been saying to her, "that isn't food, it doesn't belong in your mouth. If you need to chew, use a chewy." And I let her pick out one of her brother's to use.
Both of them are anxious kids, and have other issues, so it is hard to pinpoint exactly what leads to the oral issue. But many specialists at the school (school psychologist and OT and speech therapist) say it's a common behavior, it's nothing to worry about, it's just comforting to them. A lot of teachers are up in arms about it (they say it's not safe, setting a bad example to other kids, tons of reasons) but there's not much they can really do about it.
Both kids have chewy tubes, and I think it does help. I think, personally, it's just something they did and found it comforting, and now it's a habit. The speech therapist says kids grow out of it naturally, and find other comforting habits or coping skills.
My 5 yr old son has been putting things in his mouth since he was a baby. Thought it would stop but hasn't. He even does it at school with pencil erasers. It bothers me. Asked him why he does it and he says its because his teeth hurt. So he's teething but i'm hopeful that it will away.
An old thread, but glad I found it. My 3 year old has been chewing on his clothes. He doesn't ruin them, but it drives me craaaazy! I try not to say anything, as I know that can aggravate it, but it's so hard! He only started a couple of months ago, and seems to do it more when he's tired or bored or upset about something. It's so nasty, really, I may look into getting a chewy. I never noticed that he had an oral fixation before. I bf him till he was well past 2, and he never took a pacifier or was a thumb sucker. I do wonder if his teeth hurt (maybe molars?)...we'll be going to visit a dentist in 2 months so can check it out then. My other son, 6yo, had a kind of body jerk when he was younger and under stress. He hasn't done it in a long time, but now he pulls/picks his lip. I think anything around the mouth really annoys me, as I'm always thinking of how many germs are around...and it's such an obvious nervous habit. But I guess you can't take away a person's nervous habit, and if you call attention to it, you may make it worse. I know I did things that drove my mom nuts, and it only made me more determined to do them, when she called attention to it. OP, I wonder if your daughter (now 13?) has grown out of it? Or developed a new habit?