Babies will put their fingers and other objects in their mouths. It’s normal and the only way of exploring the world around them.

Infants can’t control their hands and fingers, but they can use their mouths and tongues for exploration. It is a developmental sign of a growing interest in the world and if they want to know what something feels like, they put it in their mouth.

As they grow older and their movements become more purposeful and coordinated (past the one-year mark), they will still continue to investigate using their mouths. They better understand shapes, textures, tastes and very quickly determine what they like and what they don’t. This will go on till the age of about three.

Since everything is a sensory experience in the early years, this also means that as they gain more control of their fingers and toes, meal times will be messier.


1. A baby may mouth objects when teething. Look out for the signs and read Our Quick Guide to Teething.

2. Your baby is at risk of choking so remember that safety always comes first. Pay close attention to the toys they play with. As they learn to crawl and walk, they will gain access to unsafe objects around the house, so it is important to stay vigilant.

3. There is always the risk of germs, bacteria and viruses so be aware of what goes in their mouths and where their hands have been.

4. Babies use their senses to understand the world around them. Sight, touch, sound, smell and taste.

Always consult with a qualified medical professional or childcare expert when taking important decisions regarding your child’s health.

Impress your partner with key facts, take better co-parenting decisions and be 'in the know'. Visit our Partners & Parents resource center for more.


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What Is Colic? Probably the most overused term to define a crying baby.


The Importance of Tummy Time

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