My almost 4 yr old still puts EVERYTHING in his mouth! (From his toenails...eww!...to toys & books!) What can I do to get him to stop? I tell him 'if it's not food, it doesn't go in his mouth.' I get SO frustrated with this behavior. I thought this phase should be long over! My 16 month old doesn't put 1/2 the things in his mouth that his brother does! Any suggestions?

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User - posted on 01/17/2009

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I have seen a lot of this being a teacher - its a sensory thing. Give him something more appropriate to put in his mouth or something to hold that will divert his attention. For example, when watching tv give him a squishy ball, a piece of silk, a chain, etc...whatever works for you - it depends on the child. My son as a kindergartner this year started chewing on his shirt collar and shirt sleeve at school. the OT at the school said it is a sensory thing or he is anxious about something. I started putting something in his pocket at school to "play" with. Every time he started chewing on his shirt he remembered what was in his pocket and started fumbling with that and not the shirt. I have seen a big improvement.

Nique - posted on 02/24/2014

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everything thats being said i have done an it has not worked yet.. my four year old puts everything in his mouth from batteries to shoes an i dont know why but it is very frustrating to the tenth power so something has to be done asap..

Jessica - posted on 11/17/2014

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I need someone to talk to about my son I have a lot of questions please email me at jessicaconnelly1987@Gmail.com

Odette - posted on 01/15/2009

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My son does the same and he's almost six. He doesn't do it all the time. I've noticed he does it when he's bored or anxious. He craves some sort of stimulation, and tactile is his stimulation of choice. I've also noticed it in some of my friend's kids too when they are bored or crave some sort of stimulation. They put something in their mouths.



Just be patient and know that he will grow out of it. In the meantime, when you see him doing it, redirect his attention to something you think he might find interesting. Try to refrain from pointing out what he's doing. If you do this enough, maybe you'll create a new pattern for him so that eventually he'll unknowingly redirect himself.



Hope this helps.

Stacy - posted on 01/15/2009

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hahaha.. that is frustrating. well i work with children that have behavioral problems and this is the best thing i can tell you. He will stop eventually. You can give him appropriate things that are meant for putting in your mouth, like a teething ring etc. At least that way he can understand that hes allowed to have an oral fixation but with the proper things.

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Kayleigh - posted on 02/02/2012

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My 3 1/2 year old literally eats everything!! We are now having problems at nursery, it doesn't matter what it is, toys, paper, PAINT, clothing, everything! I have now spoken to my health visitor and she ha told me to speak to my doctor about it as there is an illness/condition called 'peeka' im not sure if thats how it is meant to be spelt and i have tried looking it up and can't find any results, does anyone else have any information on this????

Brenda - posted on 01/17/2009

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My 3 1/2 year old still does it.  He doesn't have to many books because he chews them up, and most of his surviving toys have to be something that survives his chewing.  You should have seen the crib, there were chew marks all around the darn thing when I broke it down to change to a toddler bed.  This child has been orally fixated since day one.  We've have to take him and have a nickle dislodged from his throat at about a year and a half.  I still don't know where the nickle came from since I'd just vacuumed...lol.  I talked to my pediatrician about it and she informed me some children will continue to put things in their mouths until five or six even.  My son still sucks on his hands when he's bored.  When we weaned him off the bottle he literaly gave himself hickies and bites because he'd chew on his arms.  Like the previous people suggested, the best you can do is switch to something more appropriate.  I give my son animal crackers that he can snack on throughout the day, so it is something not too bad for him, but something he can chew on.  I've noticed when he has access to something like that he chews on paper and books a lot less.

Danielle - posted on 01/16/2009

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My 8 year old did this as well when he was younger and every once in a while will try to "get back in the habit".



I actually found a product called "Hoof Stop" in the fingernail polish isle at WalMart.  The product information said that it would stop kids from putting their fingers in their mouths. 



It was tough trying to explain to a boy why I was putting fingernail polish on him, but it was clear so it didn't bother him (& I put it on myself too just to show him it wasn't bad).  I never said anything to him about it tasting HORRIBLE if he ever put his fingers in his mouth.  Next thing I heard was him yelling... "Mom, I need something to drink!"  When I asked why he was in such a hurry... when he didn't answer, I asked "you put your fingers in your mouth again didn't you?"



About 5 days of that... and he stopped.  I still have it on hand just in case he gets the urge again or if my toddler starts.

Lisa - posted on 01/15/2009

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Well...THAT makes sense!  Thank you  :D  Try to turn a negative into a positive with some sort of outlet.  I will try that tomorrow!!

Lisa - posted on 01/15/2009

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Occasionally it's for attention, but for the most part....it's just a bad habit.  I catch him ALL the time...when he's watching TV, playing, reading....I don't even know if he's aware of it until I freak out about it happening 'again'.  I find chewed things all over the house all the time.  I feel like I have a puppy, not a child! hahahaha!

Stacy - posted on 01/15/2009

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i can picture u making a big deal about it when it happens. do u think ur son is doing it for the attn?? maybe he likes watching the reaction you give.

Beth - posted on 01/15/2009

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My 4-1/2 yo still does this some!  Some kids are just very orally fixated, I think.... just keep up with the "it's not food"- that's all that I've found to help.  It WILL get better



 

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