Is your baby grabbing every possible thing it can lay its little hands on and shoving into his/her mouth? Yes? – Don’t worry, it’s normal. Babies lack the coordination to explore with their hands and fingers, so they use their mouths to contemplate type and texture.
Now it goes without saying that chewing on every object within reach is not the most hygienic of practices – and it’s something that mums and dads simply have to come to manage reasonable.
Your baby is doing what comes naturally, so you’ll most likely find yourself establishing an unconscious boundary of ‘okayness’ – some things you will whip out of your baby’s eager hand without thinking twice, and other things you’ll allow.
As you go about forming said list of ‘okayness’, you might be interested to know that there are some household objects that are dirtier than a toilet seat (according to a study by Domestos and Unicef aimed at raising awareness of the global sanitation crisis). In no particular order:
- Computer game controllers
- Children’s toys, favourite teddies especially (oh the irony)
- Garden trampolines
- Sofa arms
- Fridge handle
Okay, so you probably don’t need to worry too much about your 6-month-old gnawing on the garden trampoline or dad’s bicycle. Sofa arms can sometimes be an enticing tidbit (so watch out for that) as can a football that happens to roll on by.
As for toys and teddies – well… what can you do? My children’s favourite teddies are utterly revolting. Most mums I know have a couple of the same teddy that they rotate in the wash – a brilliant solution to the germ fest that is a teddy that bears the marks of vigorous cuddling, haphazard dragging and dropping, and copious amounts of child saliva.
And stopping your little one from exploring his/her own toys seems a bit extreme, so if you are worried about the germ hazard, just give the toys a clean every now and them – the ones on which that your babs most likes chew. Or don’t – and just put your faith in your baby’s immune system.