Offbeat — 09 May 2013


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Why do babies chew on their hands

As babies grow up, they begin to do several acts and gestures which make the parents surprised and happy about the growth of their child. Some of the gestures surprise them and some of them raise a cause of concern. For many parents, especially first time parents, the habit of their little child chewing fingers or hands raises an eyebrow. Parents get confused about their baby’s this particular behavior.

Some parents begin to worry that it may disfigure their fingers or hands while some others worry about the child’s habit. Some parents get anxious about baby’s health as chewing on hands can lead to stomach infections and they begin to question as to from where the baby has learnt to chew on hands and why is he/ she chewing on hands?

First of all, all panicky parents must heave a sigh of relief as this is a very normal behavior among all children and in fact is an indicator also that baby’s development is taking place well.

Between fourth and seventh month of their lives all babies begin to grow teeth. This is also the time when the babies begin to explore their surrounding environment. A combination of these two factors leads the babies to chew hands. Since the teeth begin to spurt at this time, the gums get swollen and painful. Chewing on hands relieves children of pain and discomfort caused by tooth spurting. Besides, in their hands and fingers they find a new and accessible plaything from which they can always play and enjoy. The babies also discover the fact that they can control their hands and its movements and that it is a part of their own body which pains if they chew on hard on it.

Once your baby starts chewing on her hands it is important to keep her hands clean and be vigilant about her activities because soon she will be putting all things in her mouth.

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Written by Ritu Insaan

A homemaker, social worker and a mother, Ritu Insaan holds an MBA degree in Public Health. She has worked in the rural areas of northern India for the upliftment of less privileged sections of society. Whenever she finds free time amidst her busy schedule, she does freelance writing for a number of websites.

About Author

A homemaker, social worker and a mother, Ritu Insaan holds an MBA degree in Public Health. She has worked in the rural areas of northern India for the upliftment of less privileged sections of society. Whenever she finds free time amidst her busy schedule, she does freelance writing for a number of websites.

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