When my twins were babies and toddlers they chewed on everything. Even after they were done with the baby teething stage, we would find teeth marks on things you wouldn’t normally think a human would chew and bite. But, sure enough we’d find teeth marks on all sorts of objects around our home! Some were especially frustrating to find because they were on brand new furniture!
Like most babies our twins chewed on:
- Crib railings
- Board Books
- Regular Books
- each other (here’s how to stop twins from hitting and biting)
- shirts (which is why it’s important to know how to save money on kids’ clothes)
Other more understandable things they chewed on:
- Shoes – there were some serious bite marks in their foam sandals
- cell phones – thankfully just our old ones
- game controllers
- TV remotes
- cords – which isn’t dangerous… right?
Random objects our kids chewed on:
- Our brand new wood dining room table
- Our brand new wood dining room stools
- Mini Blinds (thankfully I learned how to fix broken mini blinds, including bite marked ones)
- Bunk bed ladder (check out my bunk bed buying guide)
- stair railings
- Our new couch
You would think our daughters were trying to sharpen and clean their teeth with all the wood biting? Isn’t that what animals do when they chew on hard things like bone and wood?
We figured we’d take their love of chomping to our advantage and we let our daughters chomp on their toothbrushes (and other chew-friendly objects like teething toys). Even without toothpaste, chomping on a toothbrush helps them actually clean their teeth, instead of getting bits of crayon or wood stuck between their teeth.
How to Stop Kids Who Chew on Everything from Chewing on It
With our twins, the chewing on everything they shouldn’t chew on phase lasted well past the baby and toddler teething stage. They were three and four years and five years old and still leaving permanent teeth marks on objects all around our house.
Many people recommend getting your child something else for them to chew on, especially if they are chewing on their shirt collars and ruining all the clothes they own (that wasn’t that big of an issue for us). If you want to give your child an acceptable object to chew on try one of these ideas:
- Chewing Gum
- Chew Necklaces and Braclets like these Chewlery or Chewigem USA products, or other acceptable Teething Necklaces
- Chewy Candy like Now & Laters, Starbursts, Twizzlers, Tootsie Rolls, Air Heads, Swedish Fish, etc
- Crib rail cover (my poor crib has marks all OVER it because we never got this)
- Chew Toys (yes, for kids, not dogs) like these Knobby chew tubes.
- Drinking through a straw
- Blowing up balloons
- Blowing bubbles
- Puffing out their cheeks
- Pulling cheeks apart and making faces in front of a mirror
Give them something else to do with their mouths like:
We eventually got desperate for solutions and used a parenting tool from The Christmas Story – we put a regular bar of Ivory soap in our daughters’ mouths for a minute. They may not have said a bad word, but they certainly were damaging a lot of objects in our home. They hated it of course, as did we, but the biting greatly decreased after a few rounds of soap. It really helped them kick the bad habit. I assure you that toothbrushing and mouth rinsing happened immediately afterward along with lots of cuddles and discussion.
Our daughters do not have sensory issues and no longer chew on everything around the house as six year olds.
Did your kids chew on everything? Especially things they weren’t supposed to? What did you do about it?