Natural teethers – Aajol

Natural teethers

Do you feel the urge to remove your child’s hand from their mouth whenever they put it in their mouth?

During the first couple of years, this urge comes up innumerable times since the baby puts their hands in their mouths a lot and for a long time.

Here’s the hard reality, no matter how many times you ask them not to do it or remove it yourself, the fingers soon find their way back into the mouth. Our reactions may escalate with our frustration.

Let’s look at this from another perspective.

The hands and fingers of our baby is a very handy natural teether which the baby can quickly learn manoeuvre in their mouth on their gums. They essentially massage their gums and soothe them instinctively. This makes this teether more effective than what we buy for the child. It’s available at all times.

Imagine the baby feeling the urge to soothe their gums. And right when the baby is doing that, an adult forces the hand out. Imagine the frustration that may result from this.

What if instead of creating that frustration for our baby, why don;t we focus our attention on washing their hands multiple times? It may seem impractical but you can practise it for a couple of days and find out for yourself. We also spend a lot of energy in dissuading them, in turn creating frustration for them. The labour may be lesser and it is totally worth it.

Note: some parents may be worried about the alignment of teeth getting affected by this. It is the ‘excessive thumb sucking’ for example which may affect the teeth alignment. If the child feels immense safety and warmth with their caregivers, if their needs- physical as well as emotional, are well met, they don’t need to soothe themselves ‘excessively’.


What is your reaction when you see your baby putting their hands in their mouth?

Try replacing that reaction, if negative, with gently picking up the baby and washing their hands. Think of ways in which you can make the experience of washing your baby’s hands multiple times comfortable and even fun for you and the baby.

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