Baby Chewing Tongue: All Reasons of This Behavior Explained

Baby Chewing Tongue: All Reasons of This Behavior Explained
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Last Updated: 26 January 2021

Babies exhibit tons of peculiar behavior. As an adult, it is almost impossible to understand all the underlying reasons for their acts. So if you are a new parent, your baby chewing tongue frequently is likely to flip you. However don’t rush into a panic, since there are several reasons why babies chew their tongues. And we’ll help you find out the reasons why they do it. So let’s take a look!

Should You Be Worried About Tongue Chewing?

Should You Be Worried About Tongue Chewing

When you notice that your infant chewing on tongue, the first thing you need to understand – it’s normal. It is a common behavior among children who are yet to develop milk teeth. It is neither an abnormality nor harmful for the first six months.

However, just because it’s normal, doesn’t mean you should ignore it altogether. Why? Because this behavior may speak a lot about your child’s needs and wants. It can be an indication of something that as a parent you must understand.

Reasons for Tongue Chewing

Granted the reasons why is a toddler chewing on tongue will be completely different from a 3 month old chewing tongue, but both say something about your baby.

Newborn to Three Months

Sucking Instincts

If your newborn baby is chewing its tongue, it could mean that he/she is simulating breastfeeding. Remember: new-born babies have an instinctual inclination to sucking. This ensures that they suck mother’s milk properly.

The sucking reflexes will make them chew at pretty much everything they get. Since their motor skills are yet to develop, they cannot grab their thumb or a toy and thus they do it on their tongue.

Baby is Hungry

A baby chewing tongue could also mean that he/she is hungry. Do the needful if you find your baby biting tongue at particular intervals. Feed breast milk or infant formula, whatever suits your child. If your baby has gas problems, then try some formula for gassy babies, it will help.

Above Three Months

Time to Introduce Solid Foods

From four months onwards, if your child can sit on his/her own in a chair and shows this tendency of tongue chewing, it could mean it’s time you begin introducing solid or semi-solid food in the diet. However, make sure you do not rely on just this sign to introduce solid food.

Teething Reflex

Teething reflex is common among most babies and in most cases nothing to worry about. During this period, children chew their tongues.

Necessary Developmental Milestone

Baby chewing on tongue is often seen as a developmental milestone in growth. This means they are getting ready to use their entire oral apparatus for chewing and controlling food bits, part of oral motor development. This means if you give food on your baby’s tongue, he/she is likely to chew it.

Tips to Reduce Tongue Chewing

Tips to Reduce Tongue Chewing
  • Give your baby pacifiers. It will keep your angel occupied and something to divert their minds to. Plus, it will satisfy their sucking needs.
  • Make sure your baby is well-fed. Stick to a feeding schedule. Newborns feed almost every 1.5 to 3 hours. If you see notice chewing, try feeding your child again.
  • There are several toys available that are meant to be chewed by children in their teething phase. These help greatly to soothe a teething baby.
  • You may begin introducing solid foods in the diet.

When Tongue Chewing Could be a Concern?

If your baby is compulsively chewing his tongue, there could be a reason for you to be alarmed. Here we have listed a few:

If it interferes with your child’s breathing and eating

If it interferes with your child’s breathing or eating, there is no problem in chewing itself but may indicate some underlying conditions such as an enlarged tongue. In that case, seek medical attention.

If your baby is in pain

If your baby is in pain

Sometimes, due to incessant biting, your baby’s tongue may get sore. If that happens, try using pacifiers and keep him/her distracted until the sore heals.

If it continues beyond 8 months

If your baby is consistently chewing tongue after he/she has reached 8 months, it could be a matter of concern. If you notice other signs of progress (motor or cognitive) underdeveloped, you should consult your child’s physician.

Final Word

So overall, baby chewing tongue is absolutely normal. So never forcefully try to stop your child from doing it. However, remember to pay attention to your child’s lip-biting patterns, and don’t hesitate to visit a doctor if you have any concerns! Have you ever had experience with your little one chewing the tongue? If so, how did that work out? Let us know in the comments, we would love to hear your stories!

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