If you’ve ever walked into your baby’s room to find them happily gnawing on their crib, your first thought might be, ‘aw, isn’t that cute?’. That is until you realize that they are taking the paint right off their crib or putting little teeth dents into the wood.
That’s precisely what happened to me the first time I found my baby chewing on his crib. I went to get my son after he woke up from his nap to find little teeth marks on his crib railing, and my son was content from self-soothing his teething pain.
As any first-time mom would, I panicked, hoping he didn’t get a splinter in his mouth (which thankfully he didn’t). I immediately sought some preventative measures to implement.
So today, I’m sharing with you everything I learned after finding my baby chewing on his crib. You’ll find answers to why your baby is chewing on the crib, plus how to prevent it from happening. Let’s get started!
This post contains affiliate links to products I have used and enjoyed. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. To find out more, you can read my disclaimer here. Also, I am not a doctor; I’m just a mama sharing what I’ve learned through my experiences. This information is not to be used as medical advice or diagnosis, and as always, consult your doctor with any of your concerns.
Why is my baby chewing on the crib?
When you first find your baby chewing on their crib, one of your first thoughts might be, ‘why are they chewing on the crib?’. There are a few possible answers to this question.
The most common reason a baby is chewing on their crib is that they are teething. Many babies will chew on just about anything to help relieve their teething pain, especially on hard objects.
Now, if your baby’s crib railing is right at mouth-level, it’s unsurprising that they are trying to chew on it!
Another possible reason babies might enjoy chewing on their crib is because they are simply exploring. Babies love to explore things with their mouths, and their crib is no exception.
How do I stop my baby from chewing on the crib?
Luckily, you have quite a few options to try once you’ve found your baby chewing on their crib. Here are the most effective ways to stop (or prevent) your baby from chewing on the crib:
1. Install Crib Rail Coverings
One of the first things I did to prevent my son from chewing on his crib was to install crib rail coverings. While there are many rail covering options to choose from, here are the top two choices:
As mentioned above, one of the first ways I prevented my son from chewing on his crib was by adding fabric coverings to the rails.
While there are many ways to make your own rail coverings, I opted to buy some premade ones like these ones. I wanted to get a barrier on my son’s crib rails as soon as possible, so buying coverings was the best option for me.
These fabric rail coverings are terrific because they accommodate wide crib rails. But, keep in mind that you’ll want to measure your baby’s crib to make sure that they will fit around the rails.
If you’d prefer a more durable option than fabric, you can use silicone crib rail guards. Many silicone guards come with adhesive that you’ll stick onto the crib railings. But, some can also clip onto the crib.
2. Supply Plenty of Teething Toys
Another great way to prevent your baby from chewing on their crib is to ensure your child has plenty of teething toys to chew on. Supplying your baby with various teething remedies will help them properly soothe their painful gums.
Here are three of our must-have teethers:
Silicone teethers are your standard teether. You’ll find that silicone teethers come in many shapes and sizes, but the Baby Banana is by far the best!
The Baby Banana was always my son’s favorite teether. He would chew on it for longer than any other teether! Plus, it doubles as a baby toothbrush which will help get your little one used to brushing.
Food teethers are another popular option. In addition to getting teething pain relief, your baby will also get the fresh taste of what fruit you choose to put in it.
Also, you can pop frozen fruit into the food teether for even more relief. Your baby can get some cold to help their gums!
Plus, these food teethers are also made of silicone, making them much easier to clean than mesh food teethers.
Speaking of cold teethers, these ones from Frida Baby are another fantastic option. I love that these cold teethers have many different textures for your baby to explore. Plus the cold teether goes into a handle, so your baby’s hands won’t get chilled.
If you choose to use cold teethers, remember that they should chill in the fridge and not the freezer. Freezing teethers can cause them to become too hard, which can hurt your baby’s gums.
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3. Massage Baby’s Gums Before Nap
Like using a teether, massaging your baby’s gums before you put them in the crib to sleep can help prevent them from chewing the crib when they wake up.
To massage your baby’s gums, take a cold, damp washcloth and gently rub it along your baby’s gums. Just know that they might feel the need to chew on your finger, which can also help relieve their pain.
4. Offer Plenty of Foods of Different Textures
If your baby is chewing on their crib for explorative reasons, offering them foods of different textures may help prevent them from chewing on their crib. For example, if your child is old enough for purees, try giving them a slightly thicker version for a different texture!
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5. Remove Your Baby From the Crib As Soon As They Wake Up
Lastly, it’s beneficial to remove your baby from their crib as soon as you hear them wake up. Taking them out of their crib will ensure that they aren’t chewing their crib out of boredom while waiting for you to get to their room.
Is it dangerous for my baby to chew on their crib?
The first thought that you probably had when you found your baby chewing on their crib was if it was dangerous for them. There are a couple of main safety concerns about babies chewing on their crib: the possibility of splinters or lead paint.
If you have a painted crib, it’s possible that your baby can take the paint off as they chew on the wood. If your baby’s crib was painted using harmful chemicals or lead paint, that could be harmful.
While most brand-new cribs aren’t painted with lead paint, that doesn’t mean that the paint is safe for your baby to ingest. If you are concerned, you can contact the crib manufacturer to get the answers you need. And if you have a hand-me-down crib, you’ll want to ensure that lead paint wasn’t used when the crib was painted.
Also, if your baby is chewing on their crib so hard that they are splintering off wood pieces, that can certainly be dangerous. Not only could they get painful splinters in their mouth, but you also don’t want them to swallow a piece of wood.
As always, if you have any concerns about your baby, call their doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will be able to address your worries directly and get you the information you need.
I hope you found my tips on stopping your baby from chewing on the crib helpful! Once you find the best solution for your baby, you’ll have the peace of mind that your baby can’t chew on the crib railings.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
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What was your favorite tip to prevent your baby from chewing on their crib? I would love to know in the comments below!