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Thread: Mouthing Toys

  1. #1
    apples and bananas
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    Mouthing Toys

    I have a 15 months old who won't stop putting toys in his mouth. He's been doing it since the day he started with me at 12 months. I've done everything I can think of and the boy will not stop putting things in his mouth. It's driving me a little crazy! I've followed him closely for days at a time reminding him. I've taking away every toy that has gone in his mouth. I've giving my disaproving face... my disaproving voice. I'm out of ideas... and this just may be part of the impatient place i'm in today... but it's really driving me crazy.

  2. #2
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    Ugh! I have the same problem!! Plus he has a cold too! Drives me crazy!

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    I have two in the same mouthing phase although if I let the one have his soother and suckky cloth bunny thing he mostly uses that which is almost grosser when he leaves it laying around. They are 13 and 14 months. I have a dish of baby teething toys, a few plastic jar lids, etc that are ok to mouth. I keep moving them to this bucket to get something from to chew. I take away what they are chewing on and then pick them up and move them to the chewy bucket. They generally scream in indignation but do pick something from the bin so it lasts for awhile. My hope is that with time they will get so used to chewing stuff out of there and that when they get a bit older but haven't given up the habit they will better understand when I use just words to redirect them - I can dream anyways.

  4. #4
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Yup ~ it is like trying to teach a dog not to lick itself .... some children are just way more oral than others and that is how they 'explore' their world so trying to get them to STOP altogether is going against their natural impulses ... oral people will always be oral people ... they are the adults who grow up to bit their nails or chew the end of a pencil or just basically always have something in their mouth ... and like many things in childhood the more we as adults try to stop or change that personality trait in them the more they push back

    I try the redirection route as well ... I either ATTACH something acceptable to mouth to their clothes with a clip such as a teether or their soother or I redirect them to a bucket of 'teething toys' that is acceptable to mouth if they need to ... and in meantime consistently keep saying STOP ~ OUT OF YOUR MOUTH to anything else they try to put in their and redirecting them to either their attached replacement or the teething bin.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

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    See, I tend to deal with it differently...

    As long as it's not something unsafe I allow them to chew/mouth the toys because that is how they explore and use their senses to learn.
    "If we all could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything!" - Chee Vai Tang

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    Apples & Bananas, I think what you are doing is right to try to get him to stop but I think I'm more like Littlefeet and don't usually worry about trying to get them to stop mouthing toys until they are a little older I guess. It does get old having to remove all the drool toys for constant cleaning, I hate it too.

    I have had some very 'oral' children in care and I definitely work on them as you are. I have a boy who came here at 2.5 years old in the summer who I had to wean off a soother for pete sake and then he started sucking on his entire hands and I've almost cured him of this too. Ugh, I hate it!

  7. #7
    Euphoric !
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    My rationale is that the other children have a right to not pick up a toy and have it all slobbered over. As well chewing on some toys is unsafe and while they are ok to play with are not designed to be chewed. While not stopping them from chewing I do control what they can chew on.

  8. #8
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by playfelt View Post
    While not stopping them from chewing I do control what they can chew on.
    Agreed ... I empathize that this is how wee children learn too but there is just too many things that should not be IN your mouth and never too young to learn the difference ... which is why I provide an 'alternative' to meet that sensory learning need while sending the message what is NOT acceptable to be mouthed.

    For me my Melissa and Doug wooden food for example if I let the children mouth that it would look like crap in a week cause the painted surfaces would come off, the soft foam blocks would all have bite marks in them, felt board pieces and puppets that get all pilly and soggy if mouthed and eventually start to 'stink' and have to be washed more often, the edges and corners of BOOKS that they like to gnaw on and so forth ... I already spend a fortune on NEW toys and equipment annually I do not want to have to be 'replacing' my stuff annually on top of that to have it look nice in my playroom and be 'hygienic' cause when stuff gets bite marks in it ~ hard to keep clean and germs fester in those grooves and so forth
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  9. #9
    Euphoric !
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    I agree as well .... When I see a child putting something in their mouth I say "not in your mouth". It truly just becomes a habit and not a need. I also find kids that are allowed to have soothers put more things in their mouths because it becomes a habit of always having something in their mouth. I feel the sooner you break the habit the better so I start right away. 12 month olds don't really know the difference between a toy that's chewable and a book or wooden toy or my favourite the rubber wheels on cars. I discourage it right from the beginning the same way I discourage throwing food, throwing toys, hitting our friends ..... They quickly learn what's appropriate and what's not. JMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspired by Reggio View Post
    For me my Melissa and Doug wooden food for example if I let the children mouth that it would look like crap in a week cause the painted surfaces would come off, the soft foam blocks would all have bite marks in them, felt board pieces and puppets that get all pilly and soggy if mouthed and eventually start to 'stink' and have to be washed more often, the edges and corners of BOOKS that they like to gnaw on and so forth ... I already spend a fortune on NEW toys and equipment annually I do not want to have to be 'replacing' my stuff annually on top of that to have it look nice in my playroom and be 'hygienic' cause when stuff gets bite marks in it ~ hard to keep clean and germs fester in those grooves and so forth
    When I said I let them chew/mouth the toys as long as it's not something "unsafe", this is basically what I meant. If the paint will come off, the foam may rip off, felt may come apart or the glue/marker/paint would be unsafe for mouths in my mind, books coming apart in their mouths etc

    If it's safe, easily washable toys hen I have no problem with them mouthing it. (plastic toys mostly which I have a LOT of..)
    "If we all could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything!" - Chee Vai Tang

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