5 - 6 Months

Mouthing and speech development (there’s a connection)

Your baby is tasting and mouthing everything they can now. Until about month 12, babies take in more information through their mouths than they do through their fingers. At this stage, the nerves in your baby’s mouth are more developed than those in any other part of their body.

Studies show that mouthing objects helps your baby’s speech development and prepares them for different food textures, but it’s important to know what is safe for your baby to put in their mouth.

Here are some objects you may already have in your house for safe (supervised*) mouthing and exploration:

  • Unused make-up brush
  • Silicone-tipped spatula
  • Kitchen whisk
  • Baby toothbrush
  • Partially frozen wash cloth
  • Metal spoon
  • Wooden spoon
  • Hands and feet: your baby may love to suck on their own—or your—fingers or toes 🙂

*Supervising your baby with these objects is important because they could choke on the handle of a spoon or toothbrush if it goes too far into their mouth. Furthermore, make sure small chokeables are unreachable.

Things your baby might love to mouth but shouldn’t

  • Your real keys: babies love the jangle of keys, but as tempting as they are, they may contain lead and can be dirty
  • Real tissues: babies can gag or choke on soggy, made-up tissues
  • Wipes: wipes manufacturers do not intend for your baby to mouth and suck on them
  • Your mobile phone: like your keys, your phone can be dirty. Your baby could also drop your phone, breaking the glass screen and releasing its battery, which is definitely not okay to mouth.


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Posted in: 5 - 6 Months, Playtime & Activities, Communication, Mouthing, Real World Play, Sensory Play, Child Development

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