Finding a baby chewing on their crib rail can be disconcerting, particularly if parents are stressing about crib paint or crib damage. But parents who wake to find the crib railing peppered with tiny tooth marks should know it’s not necessarily a cause for concern.
Babies use their mouths to analyze the world. It’s called the rooting reflex; anything that brushes against their cheek or lower lip gets a gum job. It’s an instinct that doesn’t cause harm. There’s no reason to rush right out and buy a crib-teething guard.
A pediatric speech pathologist, feeding specialist, and author understands how and why babies investigate the world with their mouths – and how that exploration transforms into chewing through their bed rail like a cartoon woodchuck.
Between the ages of 5 and 10 months, a baby’s front teeth are emerging on the bottom and top gums, and a baby is drawn to gnawing on almost anything. By a year of age, because of gnawing on food and other objects, kids can move their jaws in a diagonal motion when chewing food and wide up and down motions on hard surfaces, like the crib railing.
For babies, chewing on crib railings isn’t merely about discovery.
It’s about pain relief. As any parent who has seen those swollen, sore-looking gums – and dealt with a cranky baby – can attest, the teething process HURTS. It’s not just the first round of teething, either – those toddler molars are hard to reach and can cause a lot of discomfort and frustration, and the process can go on for months.
Molars begin to erupt between 9 and 15 months, and then come to the cuspids peeking out by 18 months of age. Those teeth continue to emerge over time, and second molars erupt approximately around two years of age.
So that biting serves to soothe babies and help those teeth cut through. But parents don’t have to resign themselves to two years of catching splinters and worrying about the ingredients in crib paint (although please check the annual recall report for peace of mind.) Parents can discourage inappropriate gnawing by protecting the crib itself and supplying the baby with the teethers they need to help relieve that discomfort and keep their minds stimulated and exploring.
Extra-large baby-safe silicon guards not only protect furniture but also make it hard for most babies to get a good biting angle. They also have the added benefit of protecting crawling babies as they start to explore the limits of their mobility. Of course, the house should be baby-proofed thoroughly, too.
Make sure the kid has a wide variety of teethers. A variety of shapes and textures is better – differently-shaped teethers let babies engage different parts of the jaw, and different textures are just more interesting. For safety, it’s a good idea to have nothing in the crib while the baby sleeps.
Teethers or pacifiers that stay attached to the child should not be used when left unattended. A rope can wind around their fingers, wrist, or neck, causing all sorts of dangerous situations. Parents can also massage their kid’s guns directly with a finger or damp toothbrush.
One thing parents can’t do, though, is dissuade a baby from exploring with their mouths. They explore, they sense, they soothe, and they discover – and possibly strengthen their immune system unwittingly – with their mouth. It’s not just a comfort instinct for babies – it’s a trend that sticks with many people well past infancy.
Baby Nursery FAQs
Sensory input aside, chewing on something, like a crib, actually helps soothe teething discomfort and aids the teeth in breaking through the gum tissue and erupting into the mouth. (Ouch!) Especially when you consider that children are teething for much of their first months and years after birth.
He called it the “Oral Stage” of psychosexual development. His idea is that the greatest source of pleasure for infants is their mouths. Which sounds entirely reasonable—food goes in, they feel good. They chew on things when they're teething, and it feels good.
Cots are not designed to be chewed on, although some come with a “teething rail”, a plastic rail cover placed on the top edge of the cut sides, which reduces the risk of your baby chomping out paint and wood splinters, and also protects the edge of the cot.
Don't stop them from mouthing everything. Instead, gently discourage them from putting things into their mouth that they shouldn't. For example, you can say, “Dirt isn't food”, “Dog food and doggy chew toys are for Rover only!” or “That's yucky — we don't put it in our mouth.” Vacuum regularly.
When your baby is young and putting everything in her mouth, you'll want her toys to be made from a material you know is safe. Toys made from very hardwood, like birchwood or maple, are unlikely to splinter or break. Teething babies love to chew on things because it offers counter-pressure against sore gums.
Why Do Babies Chew On Crib?
Parents must find their baby chewing or bite on the crib at the baby's age from 9 months to 2 years. Experiencing that your little one is habitual chewing something that is not good for them or can hurt them is quite disturbing. But why do babies do so? Let’s know the myth.
Teething periods for the baby are quite painful and disturbing. At that time, they are always in search of that things can calm their obsession with chewing or biting, and the first thing they find is their crib.
In the teething duration baby's gums have become sore, and your baby's face irritation and itching problems. In that case, they need a hard surface to chew to get a soothing feeling.
If your baby becomes anxious about anything, this would be the other reason for chewing the crib railing or chewing their fingers. When babies probably start chewing materials like cribs, their fingers or any other thing excessively, this is a clear sign that your baby is facing anxiety.
Baby Chewing On Crib Rail | Is Anything About to worry?
Catching your baby while they are chewing on the crib rails means now it’s time for you to have to be a little bit more alert and conscious. You must stop the baby from chewing on the crib because it can be highly dangerous for them. The baby gnawing on crib habits can affect them in several ways.
Effect The Face And Throat
If a baby starts chewing or chomping the crib rails, the first thing that can harm them is the crib paint. No matter how keenly you choose the paint for the crib. It still has some intoxicants that can be harmful to your baby’s sensitive skin and stomach.
Because chewing the crib rails paint, the paint chips not only sprinkle on your baby's face teeth (which is not as dangerous), but they can also go down your baby's throat and cause some miserable situations for you and your baby.
Effect The Stomach
The second thing is the material of the crib. Parents prefer wooden cribs for their babies because of their durability and elegant looks.
But if your baby has grown teeth and they are beginning to nibble or chew the crib rails, then there is a possible chance that they can chew some wood splinter with the paint. These paint particles and wood splinters can affect the baby's stomach and throat pipe very badly.
Sounds dangerous to hear. That’s why it’s quite necessary to do something immediately to stop the baby from chewing on the crib.
Cause Of Teeth Breaking
The crib is made from tough material for long-lasting use. So If your baby continuously chews on the crib rails, there are possible chances that they can hurt their gums or teeth from the railing of the cribs. They sometimes become a reason for teeth breaking which can hurt your baby very badly.
That’s why if you see your chewing marks on the crib or catch your baby red-handed while chewing. Then you must take some appropriate actions to stop the baby from chewing on the crib.
How To Stop Baby From Chewing On Crib | Wise Ways
Don't take tension. You can overcome this problem by doing some little actions which are not so costly yet.
Use Crib Rail Guards
Mostly a baby bit crib rails because they can easily reach them, and chewing them is quite easier than side rails. Using crib rail guards or silicone guards is one of the best and most advanced ways to stop babies chewing on cribs.
You can find useful and standard quality crib rail guards without any hard struggle from the market. These rails guards are specially designed to protect your baby against paints, wood or any other material from which the crib is made while they are chewing the rails.
These crib rail guards are one of the safest ways to give your baby a safe and satisfying teething period. They are extremely easy to attach to the crib rails, and after that, you will be free from the risk of any harm that would happen if the rails guards are not applied.
These rail guards are pretty soft and quite hard to tear (it’s almost impossible). Now your baby chews on the crib without any fear of danger.
Use A Teething Toy
Usually, a toddler chews on a crib to satisfy their teething period. In the teething duration, the baby went through a painful and tough time. That’s why they always find something that can satisfy their pain and inflammation.
Despite that baby biting crib. There is no need to worry about whether you can stop a baby from chewing on a crib by doing a simple task. And that is, provide them something more interesting and soft than a crib to chew.
Soft and non-toxic teething is one of the best solutions to calm your baby's teething obsession.
You will find a huge variety of teething toys specially made for the baby's teething duration. Try to find the right teething toy that doesn’t contain any small loose parts or harmful chemicals. Plus, they should be soft and smooth, so that’s how the toy can’t hurt your baby's jaws.
Feed Frozen Or Homemade Treats With Vanilla
Teething is when the baby becomes grumpy and doesn’t like to eat or feed anything. That’s why your baby’s health affects the most during teething duration.
To solve this problem, you have to introduce some delicious frozen treats to your baby. For these frozen treats, popsicles are one of the best options to relieve your baby from the irritation and pain of the gums. A homemade frozen treat is quite healthier for your baby.
Try to add a small number of vanilla extracts to the frozen meal because vanilla helps to reduce the pain of teething. But make sure that you don’t use an excessive amount of vanilla extracts because they can be harmful to your little one.
Massage Baby Gums
Okay, so last but not least, the final option for your baby chewing on crib habit is messaging their gums. The message for the gums not only calms down your baby’s chewing obsession but also helps grow teeth with less pain and inflammation.
Purchase A Crib Without Lead Paint
Should you suspect that your baby is using their crib for teething, the first thing you need to do is make sure the material isn’t full of harmful toxins.
Many older crib models went through processes that involved large quantities of chemicals and used lead-based paints or sealants—making them poisonous for infants to consume.
For this reason, the key to keeping your child safe is to switch out your current crib for something more natural and compliant with modern safety standards.
Install Silicon Guards
The next thing you should do if your baby chews on their crib is to place soft guards around the model’s railings and bars.
Silicon padding is often the most popular option for this purpose, as it’s flexible enough to be gentle on your baby’s first teeth but firm enough to protect the crib.
These cushions also tend to be large, so babies struggle to get their mouths around them, making it less likely that they’ll chew on them at all.
Provide Your Baby With Teething Toys
Lastly, please supply your baby with plenty of teething toys to deter them from chewing on other things. These teethers are non-toxic and safe on an infant’s gums and developing teeth.
There are also several different types of toys to choose from, depending on your baby’s specific needs, so you can experiment with a few to find the kind they like the most.
Preventatives for Crib Chewing
Luckily, there are several ways you can prevent your baby from chewing on crib railings, answering the ultimate question of how to keep the baby from chewing on crib railings.
These methods are easy and useful ways to give your child something to chew on that keeps them safe in the process.
Just remember that the teething will pass, and the chewing on crib railings should pass along with it after the discomfort of teething is gone.
First, you can always try giving them an alternative.
Though this isn’t the most effective method, giving a baby a wooden spoon or another item that is rather hard to chew on can help relieve their sore gums and distract them from chewing on the crib's railings.
Some people prefer teething toys like teething rings. Others prefer frozen treats that are cold enough to help reduce the pain but not cause the baby harm.
Whether by natural or toy means, giving the child a distraction can help, especially if chewing is not common.
Another option is to make homemade rail covers by using the old bumpers from the crib.
Some moms like the ability to take their crib bumpers, tie them to the railings, and keep their babies from chewing.
Not only does this save them money, but it is also easy to pull the bumpers back down whenever the baby gets through the teething phase.
Plus, the bumpers can always be reused, giving you more bang for your buck.
Finally, the most tried and true method of crib chewing preventative is the railing covers.
Most people choose to purchase a finished railing cover from a website or shop, and while these are great options, other people choose to make their railing covers.
Railing covers are typically made from fabric, though some are made with a gel-like material that feels soft to the baby’s teeth and gums.
If you choose to make your railing cover, you will need a soft fabric with a cushion inside.
Luckily, there are patterns for making your railing covers everywhere.
Various railing covers range from the gel bumpers mentioned earlier to some with Velcro attached to put toys or teething rings for your baby.
These are similar to a distraction for your baby, which helps prevent them from chewing on the railing.
If they still insist on railing chewing, you can be confident that the cover will prevent them from eating paint, stain, or wood chips.
It should come as no surprise that teething is uncomfortable.
Most babies end up slightly sick during their teething time, and you might find that they will chew on anything.
In some cases, chewing can result in chewing on the railing of their crib.
If you find your baby chewing on crib railings or other parts of their crib, there is no need to panic.
However, you do need to take action.
Since the crib can be stained wood or painted wood, it is never a good idea to let your baby chew on the railings should they scrape off chips or pieces, get them in their mouth, and ingest them.
In most cases, chewing once will not hurt your baby, but if you find them repeatedly chewing on the crib railings, you will need to take preventative measures.
Things like providing a distraction, using the crib bumpers, or even getting a railing cover, can be a great way to keep them from chewing and will also keep them occupied at the same time.
This is especially true since most railing covers come with toy attachments for teething rings or other options.
When it comes to keeping their baby safe, mothers will do everything to prevent their baby from harm, especially ingesting a harmful substance.
Remember that teething is the main cause of chewing, and once the discomfort eases, the chewing will ease as well.
The answer to why babies chew on cribs is not always an easy one, but it is part of their normal growth and development.
As they get older, you can rest assured that crib chewing should cease.