6 Year old always putting things in mouth/chewing on "stuff"
by gr8ful1, Nov 08, 2007
My 6 year old daughter is constantly putting things in her mouth. Her teacher recently informed me that she was chewing on loose staples in class! She is always chewing on paper, pencils, her finger nails, plastic toys/toy parts. She has always done this, althoguh I had expected she would have grown out of this by now. She is other wise a very "normal" child. She does not show any other signs of "oral stimulation disorder" but, I am at loss on how to help her stop this bad habit- we have talked about germs and how your mouth/body incubate them and they in turn can make you very sick, I constantly catch and remind her not to do it, but nothing seems to help. Any suggestions?
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Member Comments (1)
by jdtm, Nov 09, 2007
Constantly chewing can be a sign of anxiety or stress.  Could this be the problem?
by gr8ful1, Nov 09, 2007
Realizing life is stressful & our family life possibly a little more stressful than average, I still don't think this is stress related for her- she has done this for as long as I can remember. It is definitely sort or obsessive compulsive & a hard habit for her to break- but, I am at a loss for how to help her. Having had her teacher express concern is even moreso alarming for me & I am hoping for any ideas in helping to break her of this habit.
by just4fun2007, Nov 10, 2007
I'm in agreement that this is a nervous habit.  Maybe you could give her something that is okay for her to chew on, like a straw?  Not that your household or her life is stressful, but it's just what she has picked to do when she is bored or thinking about something or nervous, like some people bounce their foot or twirl their hair.  
by gr8ful1, Nov 14, 2007
Thank you all for your advice & comments- I am going to try not to bring too much attention to it but also help her know where these items belong (like chewed paper- belongs in the trash). I may ask her teacher if a straw or gum at school might be okay- to avoid staples! I am also going to both try and help her relax/stay calm but keep her busy/not bored.

by Merd76, Jan 12, 2008
my 5 year old does the same thing, although he is otherwise a normal and bright child. he has seen a occupational therapist (recommended by our kindergarten), who says it is sensory seeking behaviour (anxiety or stress is a ridiculous comment). All babies do this to develop this part of their senses, but some children have a delay in it and it needs to be dealt with. We are also seeking a paeditrician next month just to have an overall check.
by ray633, Jan 26, 2010
Hello, today my sons teacher called me for the second time to let me know that he is putting everything that he finds IE:staples pins any kind of object that he finds in his mouth, he even does this at home too. He is five years old and cannot control himself, I don't know what to do. he is also hyper and full of energy. I feel a a loss and am going crazy!
by specialmom, Jan 26, 2010
Hello, the thing to do with a five year old that is doing this is give him appropriate things to put in his mouth----  a straw or coffee stirer or they sell things on occupational sites for this purpose.  Mouthing things is a way to self soothe.  A child may be anxious or nervous or bored when they do this.  

Google sensory integration disorder and see if anything fits your son.  good luck
by benjimom, Jan 26, 2010
My son somtimes chews on paper and other little things.  I always worry he will choke on some things, but not excessively.  I hope you can find out the cause of this.  I know it's worrisome.