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To not understand the be thought process of babies'

(34 Posts)
Throughautomaticdoors Sat 29-Oct-16 07:49:54

I know that they learn by putting stuff in their mouths but why do they learn like this? It seems like an evolutionary fail to me.

Crawling along, spy a shoe / piece of fluff / the cat and straight in the mouth. Surely this insane thought process is a) germy and b) has the potential to result in choking?

Dd is ten months and I now spend half of my life taking stuff out of her mouth. It just seems a design flaw to me. Why don't they just learn by holding and looking at stuff?!
Also surely when it's been in your mouth once (cat's tail) you don't need to try it again?

Throughautomaticdoors Sat 29-Oct-16 07:51:08

Sorry for my extra random apostrophe. It's early. My own thought process has been disturbed by said baby getting up three times last night.

blueturtle6 Sat 29-Oct-16 07:52:18

They have most senses in their mouths at that age, basically its the easiest way for them to learn how something feels.

HeyRobot Sat 29-Oct-16 07:57:20

They get more into using their hands as they get better at using their hands, though, don't they? At the beginning they have little control with their hands and they're a rather blunt instrument, and the first thing they learn to control is their mouth. As they get better at using their hands they end up taking over but for a long time the mouth is still more sensitive. It's just a more efficient way of feeling stuff. I think the closest we can probably get to understanding is trying to do things with our non dominant hand.

FayKorgasm Sat 29-Oct-16 08:04:32

Not a design flaw at all but a very clever way of feeling things. The tongue and mouth are way better than hands at that age. The germs build up their immune system.

Jedimum1 Sat 29-Oct-16 08:13:57

From an evolutionary point of view, there weren't that many small hazards at the beginning of the evolutionary chain, to be fair. They might have gotten sick with some stuff but that would either increase their immune system or teach them a lesson and maybe they would stop eating some specific berry? I'm not that bothered by germs, if it's not a choking hazard or poisonous, I'm not too worried. The only way they can build resistance is by exposition at small levels. They are now even "vaccinations" against certain allergies that consist on building up immunity by exposition at small levels of the allergen that increase with each dose.

I always read that period (when they start putting stuff in mouth) as nature way of saying to start getting ready for weaning

MauiWest Sat 29-Oct-16 08:14:18

I did wonder the same thing! Baby animals don't seem to get poisoned by eating dangerous things as far as I am aware, I haven't researched it that thoroughly. I was wondering how tribal women deal with their crawling babies.

thenewaveragebear1983 Sat 29-Oct-16 08:22:35

They do learn quickly though, and the mouthing eases once they do start eating properly. In July my ds was 10 months and the beach was a nightmare, he ate literally fistfuls of sand. Last week, age 13 months, visited a play ground with a sand pit and he didn't once put any to his mouth. The only thing he's partial to these days is a bit of Lego which for some reason he can't get enough of, but perhaps that's the bright colours?
I read somewhere with regards to blw that things feel 25% (or something like that?) bigger in the mouth because the tongue is sensitive and 'magnifies' the size- don't know how true this is but it makes sense (and even applies to adults if you think how massive an ulcer can feel, or a chipped tooth?)

welshgirlwannabe Sat 29-Oct-16 08:29:11

I don't understand the thought process of babies on so many things, but the number one design flaw is why, for the love of god, why not just sleep if you are tired?? I am holding you. Rocking you. Singing to you. Feeding you. You are warm, safe, cuddled and oh so tired. You know what would make you feel better? Closing your eyes!!! Stop screaming about how tired you are and go to sleep!

Sorry I know this is not what your thread is about but it's a far bigger design flaw imo.

HmmHaa Sat 29-Oct-16 08:35:39

Yes, welshgirl, I am thinking the same: THIS is the design flaw we are focusing on...? 😂

StrawberryQuik Sat 29-Oct-16 09:17:25

I think that's why toddlers get fussy whereas before they'll eat everything...a baby is always with a parent so anything that goes in their mouth is 'safe' a toddler starts to begin to explore out of the cave where the poisonous red berries are...

YY welshgirl DS flaps about like a fish and wails in my arms on a regular basis before cooking out.

I'd also like it if they magically understood to lie still and not immediately flip over and try to escape nappy changes.

StrawberryQuik Sat 29-Oct-16 09:18:17

Err conking out, DS isn't a baby genius who can use a BBQ!

StewardsEnquiry Sat 29-Oct-16 10:23:13

Also they are learning how to feed themselves at that point so need to get good at putting food in their mouths.

Tigerstar123 Sun 30-Oct-16 01:29:22

Welshgirl how bizarre, my friend and I said exactly the same only the other day. I'm tired, I go to sleep. Baby tired, I'll fight it. Why?? Just why? grin Major design flaw me thinks!

aurynne Sun 30-Oct-16 01:32:33

Taking things to their mouths at that age implies no "thought process" whatsoever, it is purely instinctive.

BertieBotts Sun 30-Oct-16 01:41:36

If you pretend to fall asleep convincingly next to a tired baby they will often copy you and fall asleep themselves. It's magic! Worked on my DS anyway, no idea if it works for all babies. I do think they get a bit overstimulated. We'd probably have been holding them more constantly in the past and they'd sleep when they felt like it rather than holding on and staying awake.

I'm not convinced as many things as we think are choking hazards for babies with the obvious exception of things like plastic bags and balloons. If you look at how they act when BLW, if they get something too big in their mouth they'll often gag and spit it out. They don't develop the ability to pick up completely random things and put them into their mouths until they can sit up and move around by themselves - when they're on their backs they can only have what you give them. And you can see when BLW that they can't physically pick up small, chokable objects like peas until they develop pincer grip which comes later. Obviously that's not a reason to leave them unattended or ignore choking hazards, but I think maybe we worry a bit unnecessarily.

YY to their mouths and tongues being much more sensitive than their eyes or hands at that age. You've got to understand 3D shapes quite intimately before you can understand innately what something is just by looking at it. Oral exploration seems like an eminently sensible way of doing that.

It's hilarious to me when they get to the point of controlling their arms just enough to be able to get things to their mouths because it's like they kind of go "OH! That's what those flappy scratchy things are for, that makes sense!"

WiddlinDiddlin Sun 30-Oct-16 01:31:14

I would think it makes little sense now because now, we put babies down on the floor and have to do other things, we have so much STUFF as well...

Early man, er, woman, would not have put the baby down for very long or very often, and when she did it would be in a pretty limited environment, and she had buggerall else to do but mind the baby.

In my experience all baby mammals explore with their mouths though, puppies mouth and lick and suckle at stuff and then progress to chewing, foals will mouth and play with anything they can find when tiny and start to bite pretty early on as well - not had much experience with other baby animals, kittens are the same though...

At some point, being willing to put things in our mouths and explore them wll have been an evolutionary advantage... if we werent' we would struggle to eat ...

Even if something stops being an evolutionary advantage, it doesn't go away unless it becomes the opposite, and although we have increased the amount of time small children spend not being carried, and we've expanded the environment and the stuff they explore, we also know more about not letting them choke or poison themselves ... so it isn't a trait thats selected against.

BertieBotts Sun 30-Oct-16 01:50:43

I think it's a bit of a red herring to assume that "early man/woman" wouldn't have had so many things lying around, because there are lots of things which occur in nature which most parents would be alarmed about their baby eating - stones, insects, sticks, leaves, pieces of food, fruit stones, animal faeces, to name a few.

And I'm sure they had plenty to do to survive that we largely don't need to do today.

a8mint Sun 30-Oct-16 04:12:19

ewelsh- I think you are keeping him awake by over stimulating him . just put him down and walk away.after a few minutes crying he will be fast asleep.I want to shout this sometimes when I see new inexperienced mothers faffing about with a clearly tired baby y that just wants to be put down.

Batteriesallgone Sun 30-Oct-16 04:28:20

Germy is good. The immune system needs exposure to develop. It's really important that babies get the opportunity to put dirty stuff in their mouths. From what I remember when I studied it, the immune system is most open to 'learning' when young, and gradually gets less able to cope with new kinds of pathogens as you age.

I think it's to do with the Hygiene Hypothesis.

meladeso Sun 30-Oct-16 04:44:06

a8mint how snippy and unpleasant. What's the need?!

How about -

"you could be keeping him awake by overstimulating him. Have you tried putting him down and walking away? After a few minutes crying you might actually find he goes to sleep.

I sometimes think mums spend a lot of time doing what you describe not realising they might be better off letting the baby try to settle themself."

Or similar?

DrunkenUnicorn Sun 30-Oct-16 08:17:27

A8mint no need to be so bloody sanctimonious.

I've had three dc. Walking away from overstimulated ds1 would have worked. No bloody way with the other two. What may have worked with your dc won't for everyone so pipe down

MauiWest Sun 30-Oct-16 08:23:25

just put him down and walk away.after a few minutes crying he will be fast asleep.


SamhainSoubriquet Sun 30-Oct-16 08:51:02

Just put the baby down and it will sleep?

Hahahahaha!!! <clutches sides>

You obviously had an easy baby

Batteriesallgone Sun 30-Oct-16 09:12:59

Depends how long you're willing to let it scream for I guess.

I'd rather me get a little stressed and tired than leave my baby crying. Just could never do it.

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