At a specific stage of their growing up process, you may find your babies chewing on anything they can get into their mouth, more and more often. Although chewing is generally not harmful to your baby, cautions should still be taken for objects that aren’t supposed to be in the baby’s mouth, like crib rails. Here in the post, we are showing you how to stop babies from chewing on cribs!
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- Why do babies chew on their cribs?
- Is it normal for babies to chew on their cribs?
- Can your baby get sick from chewing on cribs?
- How to stop babies from chewing on cribs?
- Baby chewing on wood furniture: should you worry?
Why do babies chew on their cribs?
Your babies can bite on their crib rails more than often for reasons, some of which can be signs of distress if the behavior is repeated excessively.
One of the most common reasons why your baby can’t stop crib biting is because of teething, which starts at 5-10 months of age and lasts until the child is two years old.
Teething may be excruciating for infants. They have painful gums, so they chew on anything they can get into their mouth to relieve the pain, including furniture, toys, clothes, and, in this case, the crib rails. To soothe their sore gums, babies chew or bite on various objects, and this process aids in the cutting through of the gums by the teeth.
But the behavior if occurs on a regular basis can be a sign of stress or anxiety in babies, especially when they get a bit older. Excessive chewing on a variety of objects is a way of self-soothing that babies can use to deal with stress.
Of course, this behavior alone is not enough to conclude any mental health issue just yet. If you find other anxiety symptoms in your baby together with excessive chewing then it’s time to get a doctor’s consultancy.
Infants who are hyper-sensitive by sound, touch, taste, or texture can cope by chewing cribs, too. But again, the behavior itself is never enough to diagnose the illness.
Is it normal for babies to chew on their cribs?
Not only because of teething, but your baby can also bite many things they can grab out of curiosity as they are exploring the world around them. So, unless they show signs of stress or extra sensitivity, it is better to not suppress this natural process in babies.
It is almost harmless for babies to chew on cribs if the crib doesn’t have lead in its paint, which is only the case for cribs that were made before 1975.
Can your baby get sick from chewing on cribs?
The chewing behavior itself is not something to worry much about, but now your baby is in close contact with the crib rails and all the materials like wood or the paint on its surface, which could possibly cause harm to your baby’s health.
Chemical compounds of the crib railings
If your baby often bites on the crib rail, chances are he will eat the crib paint, which isn’t going to harm anything if your crib is made of free-lead paint. Most cribs nowadays do not contain lead in their paint like the old ones.
Your baby can’t eat too much paint that is dangerous to their body. But in case you are concerned about lead poisoning or other harmful chemicals, ask your pediatrician for advice or even for a test.
Stained wooden crib railings
If your crib is constructed of raw wood, your baby will be unharmed if he chews on it (unless he is in touch with splinters). However, most wooden cribs are dyed to make them more durable. Unfortunately, even if the wood is dry, chewing on it might expose the baby to toxins.
The growing teeth of your baby can still be strong enough to bite deep into the wood, which is likely to encounter splinters. Wood splinters are small, sharp tiny pieces of wood that if swallowed, can damage your baby’s mouth, throat, or even his digestive system.
How to stop babies from chewing on cribs?
There are quite a few things you can actually do to stop babies from chewing on cribs or to make the process not harmful to them.
Use covers for crib railings
If your baby ate wood off crib, crib rail covers will be a smart solution to stop it. These thick crib rail coats are composed of non-toxic materials that are PVC-free, lead-free, and phthalate-free.
When choosing covers for your crib rails, make sure they follow strictly CPSIA requirements and are soft, breathable, and thick enough for teething babies.
There are also silicone guards for crib that you can consider using. They function mostly to cover sharp edges and corners of your furniture to not cause injuries to young infants, but they can also be used exactly like crib rails cover.
Offer teething toys
As babies chew on cribs mostly to relieve pain from their gum during teething, offering teeth toys is definitely going to help.
Not only toys can ease your worry about baby-eating wood from crib rails, but different textures and shapes of toys can also encourage kids to use diverse regions of their jaws, which is beneficial during teething.
When choosing toys for your little ones, make sure they don’t contain toxic chemicals and are safe for babies. Also, avoid using teething necklaces, especially when your baby is not under your watch as these toys pose great risks of SIDS.
Offer food with various textures
What else does your baby also chew apart from toys? Exactly, food. So why not kill two birds with one stone by feeding him with more texture. Crunchy nuts, crunchy vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, dried berries, or pretzels all give baby jaws more practice than regular food.
Soothe your baby’s gum
You can soothe your baby’s gum during teething with an electric toothbrush. Your child may or may not like it, but it does the same thing to their gum as chewing on hard objects.
Many parents use the Z-vide Mouth Stimulator to their babies, offering gentle vibration to relax the gum. Another option is to simply apply massage to your baby’s gum using your finger or a moist toothbrush.
Transition from crib to bed
One simple way to stop your baby from chewing on their cribs is to transfer them to a toddler bed, where there are no more rails they can grab and bite.
Transitioning to bed usually happens when your baby can stand up and potentially pull themselves up to climb out of the crib. But, you can surely make an earlier transition if it helps your little one’s chewing habit.
Baby chewing on wood furniture: should you worry?
Babies chewing on their crib is normal behavior during teething that shouldn’t pose any threat. But preventing your baby from being exposed to harmful chemicals or swallowing wood splinters is necessary. We hope after this post, you have learned different ways of how to keep babies from chewing on crib. Happy parenting!