Watching your baby chew on the crib can be concerning as a parent. Not only can it damage the crib, but it can also pose safety and health risks to your baby. Today in this article, we’ll explore the various ways to stop your baby from chewing on the crib, including preventative measures, natural remedies, and deterrents. We’ll also address common questions and concerns related to the topic.
Understanding the Risks
Before we dive into prevention strategies, it’s essential to understand the risks associated with crib chewing. There are two main categories of risks: health and safety.
Chewing on the crib can expose your baby to harmful chemicals in the paint or finish. Additionally, ingesting wood splinters or paint chips can cause choking, digestive issues, or lead poisoning.
Crib chewing can cause damage to the crib, leading to loose or broken pieces that can pose a choking hazard. Also, your baby can get their head or limbs stuck in the broken pieces, causing injury.
How to Tell if Your Baby is Chewing on the Crib?
Signs to Look Out For
It’s not always easy to tell if your baby is chewing on the crib, especially if they’re doing it during sleep. However, some signs can indicate crib chewing, including drooling, swollen gums, and bite marks on the crib rails.
Crib chewing is often a symptom of teething, boredom, or anxiety. Teething babies may find relief by chewing on anything they can get their hands on, including the crib. Bored or anxious babies may chew on the crib out of habit or as a self-soothing mechanism.
How to Prevent Your Baby from Chewing on the Crib?
Preventing your baby from chewing on the crib involves creating a safe sleep environment and providing alternative chewing options.
Creating a Safe Sleep Environment:
Ensure that the crib is in good condition, without any loose or broken parts that can pose a safety hazard. Also, avoid using hand-me-down cribs that may not meet current safety standards. Avoid putting any toys, blankets, or pillows in the crib that can pose a suffocation hazard.
Offering Teething Toys:
Provide your baby with various teething toys they can chew on instead of the crib. Look for toys made of safe materials with different textures and shapes to provide sensory stimulation.
Using Bumpers and Covers:
Using crib bumpers and covers made of safe materials can help protect the crib from damage and provide a barrier between your baby and any harmful chemicals or splinters.
Natural Remedies for Teething
Natural remedies relieve teething babies and reduce the urge to chew on the crib.
Teething gel can numb your baby’s gums and relieve teething pain. Look for gels made of natural ingredients and avoid those containing benzocaine, a potentially harmful chemical.
Chamomile tea can help soothe your baby and reduce teething discomfort. Allow the tea to cool and soak a clean cloth, then give it to your baby to chew on.
Wet a washcloth and freeze it, then give it to your baby to chew on. The cold temperature can provide relief for teething pain, and the texture of the washcloth can help massage the gums.
Using Deterrents to Stop Chewing
Deterrents can help discourage your baby from chewing on the crib by making it unpleasant or unappealing.
Apply a safe, non-toxic taste deterrent to the crib rails, such as vinegar or bitter apple. The unpleasant taste can discourage your baby from chewing on the crib.
Place a safe, non-toxic smell deterrent near the crib, such as a citrus-scented air freshener. The strong smell can deter your baby from going near the crib.
Place a white noise machine or a ticking clock near the crib. The consistent sound can help soothe your baby and reduce the urge to chew on the crib.
How to Discourage the Behavior?
Reinforcing good behavior, avoiding negative reinforcement, and teaching appropriate chewing can help discourage crib chewing.
Reinforcing Good Behavior:
Praise your baby when they chew on appropriate items, such as teething toys, and redirect them when they try to chew on the crib.
Avoiding Negative Reinforcement:
Avoid yelling or scolding your baby for chewing on the crib, as this can cause anxiety and worsen the behavior.
Teaching Appropriate Chewing:
Teach your baby appropriate chewing behavior by modeling it yourself and providing them with alternative chewing options.
Getting Your Baby to Sleep Without Chewing
Establishing a bedtime routine and creating a calm sleep environment can help your baby fall asleep without resorting to crib chewing.
Establishing a Bedtime Routine:
A consistent bedtime routine can signal your baby that it’s time to sleep. Include activities such as a warm bath, reading a book, or singing a lullaby.
Creating a Calm Sleep Environment:
Ensure that the room temperature is comfortable and there are no distractions that can keep your baby awake. Blackout curtains and white noise machines can also help create a calm sleep environment.
Using Sleep Aids:
If your baby has trouble falling asleep, consider using sleep aids such as swaddles, pacifiers, or gentle rocking.
When to Seek Professional Help?
Signs of More Serious Issues
In some cases, crib chewing can be a symptom of an underlying issue that requires professional help. Signs that you should seek professional help include persistent crib chewing, prolonged teething pain, or signs of developmental delays.
Talking to Your Pediatrician:
Talk to your pediatrician if you’re concerned about your baby’s crib-chewing behavior. They can provide guidance and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Can Baby Get Sick From Chewing On Crib?
Chewing on the crib can expose your baby to harmful chemicals and cause choking or digestive issues. If you suspect your baby has ingested harmful substances, contact your pediatrician immediately.
Why Do Babies Chew Their Cribs?
Babies may chew on their cribs for a variety of reasons. One common reason is teething, as chewing can help alleviate discomfort in their gums. Another reason may be boredom or a need for stimulation, as babies explore the world around them through their senses, including taste. In some cases, crib chewing may also be a sign of anxiety or stress, especially if the baby is experiencing a significant life change or separation anxiety.
Is There Anything To Stop The Baby From Chewing On The Crib Rails?
Using preventative measures, natural remedies, and deterrents can help stop your baby from chewing on crib rails. However, it’s essential to address the underlying cause of the behavior to ensure long-term success.
Crib chewing can be a concerning behavior for parents, but there are various ways to address it. Creating a safe sleep environment, providing alternative chewing options, and using deterrents can help stop the behavior. Natural remedies and sleep aids can also provide relief for teething babies. Talk to your pediatrician if you’re concerned about your baby’s crib-chewing behavior. With patience and persistence, you can help your baby develop appropriate chewing habits and get a good night’s sleep.