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We need some advice regarding our five year old girl. When she was a baby she used to put everything in her mouth (which was normal for her age group) however she shows no sign of growing out of this behaviour. She chews anything she gets her hands on, she will even suck the clothes she is wearing if there is nothing else available. We wonder if it is an indicator of some other problem. She is otherwise a very happy, secure child. Is there some way we can control/change this behaviour? We worry that one day she will choke on something.
My now 12 year old son used to chew everything. He still does chew things but not like before. He'd chew through his sleeve and his collars etc. We did find out that he has sensory integration dysfunction and he needs more sensory feedback than other children, which was why he'd chew stuff. As soon as they are old enough chewing gum (although not that pleasant a thing ) is cheaper than new clothes. He is a very laidback child..... he likes loud music, and would wriggle if he wasn't getting enough sensory feedback because he was sitting on the floor for instance. If he sat against a wall.... he was fine (enough feedback). If your child is like that, we found small things he could put in his pocket to fiddle with so he didn't need to fiddle with his clothes etc. We were advised to give him a drink in school to sip at all the time (might stop the chewing......but my son used to chew the lids of the drinks cups so we went through a lot of those!!!!).
Good luck... it might just be a phase....
I really wouldn't worry too much, some children need to work through oral stimulation more than others. Try to find things that you don't mind her chewing and are safe. You could get her to help you decide what would be appropriate, safe and satifying to chew? Remember it is perfectly normal and she will grow out of it. Stay positive, guide her to the things she can chew rather than criticising her.
P.S my son age 6yrs chew everything too, but I remember chewing pens and pencils at school, when I was young. I have met loads of children who eat their clothes, (chew on sleves etc). Pease don't worry. Give her a cuddle and tell her you love her the way she is.
I just did a search and found this message and am amazed because my 5 year old is the same. She is also very confident and happy and aswell loves to fiddle and can't sit still (loves stimulation).
We have just given her a baby blanket to chew on at preschool and with the help of her teachers are encouraging her to only chew on that with the understanding that this will be taken off her in time when she learns to stop the habit.
Not sure if it will work but are giving it a try anyway.