Why does my baby eat my face? A common sensory problem

Most parents wondered ” why does my baby eat my face? ” so often. It is a universal truth that babies love to put everything in their mouths. This is a part of how they learn about their world. Sometimes your baby may have a sensory issue. But most of the time babies are seeking to conceptualize the cause and effect of the behavior.

Sometimes this may be a pain to the parents. They need to look through the babies all the time and need to stay around them. As soon as a baby finds something and they grab it tightly and put it into its mouth. That is how they explore things. This is gradually becoming a frustrating experience for the parents.

They need constantly lookout for what their baby is likely to shove onto their faces and wipe down their filthy little hands. They also need to make sure the baby’s clothing is secure and nothing is loose. This more familiar thing becomes a pain because constant supervision is hard for the parents.

Mouthing and licking mother’s face may be a sensory problem

If your baby is trying to look at your face too much and on the other hand they are trying to mouth things too much, it may be a normal part of the sensory exploration of taste, touch, and smell. Also, this behavior may assist your baby to develop the oral motor skills of your baby for speech production basically.

Babies may mouth your face because it gives them comfort sometimes. Sometimes it gives them the necessary sensory input which they are seeking for a long time. In another way, this specific behavior is a strange way of exploring things about your baby. Most of the time the children outgrow this behavior once they mature.

Children with autism spectrum disorder are trying to lick their mother’s face and do various mouthing activities to full fill their oral sensory needs. These kids have mild to severe sensory processing difficulties and they show various motor and behavioral problems to full fill those sensory issues. It is better to do a thorough sensory profile by a professional for these kids.

This repetitive mouthing is a form of a stemming behavior of ASD ( Autism spectrum disorder ) kids most of the time. If your kid shows any other stemming behaviors together with repetitive mouthing, it is high to medically intervene for the issue.

The reasons for your baby to grab your face and try to eat 

1. They are trying to discover and experience the texture

They try to touch the face a lot. So they may experience the feeling when touching. Sometimes they are searching soft or rough surfaces by touching them to get a feeling of comfort.

2. As an attention-seeking behavior

Babies love their undivided attention a lot. So they start with grabbing your face and then licking it. This is a common behavior among mobile babies a lot. If your baby is passing the gap between eight months to eighteen months you have to experience this attention-seeking behavior a lot

If you are wearing your baby in a baby sling this behavior is encouraging a lot. What you can do in this situation is to give eye contact to the baby as they love eye contact a lot.

newborn baby and mother

3. The Fear factor

Babies are easily scared and startled. They started to do a lot of random sets of activities at this moment.  So this quite different behavior pattern may be strange to most parents. That is babies try to grab their mom’s face tightly and start to lick it fast. When there is a bang or a sharp noise they start to do this.

This may be due to fear. Close observation can identify whether the baby is in fear or not.

4. The baby may be excited to see you

Babies commonly are intelligent enough to understand their parent’s activities.   Most of the time parents show their affection and love by touching the baby’s cheeks say hello to them.  At this time baby also gets excited and start to grab and lick their parent’s face to show their excitement. With the growing up the baby, you can understand baby become less harsh and grab and lick your face lightly.

5. Express the feeling of hunger

Sometimes the babies are passing the signal that they are hungry by grabbing the mother’s face tightly and trying to lick the mouth. Babies know that the people feed through their mouth and they also try to lick and eat the mouth area to express the same feeling of hunger.

This can be considered as an early communication method and you can be happy that the baby is on his way to improving their communication skills. Don’t think that much of your baby’s behavior if you were able to find a valid reason like this.

As parents, you need to have close supervision of your baby because all the explanations may vary from one baby to another. Finally, you can make a strong bonding with your baby  

The other most important area is emotional regulation. Kids are normally in law capacity in regulating their emotions. The situation is even worse if they are not communicative. Then their level of anxiety increased.  so they become panicked due to that reason. So it is important for the patient to understand the emotions of their kids.

6. As a way of sharing information.

With the growing process, babies love to share their world and other experiences with the people around them. I suggest that grabbing and licking your face at this developmental period is a kind of going the extra mile in their development. Here they want to share their new discoverings with you by grabbing your face like this.

Baby is kissing mom's face

7. Expression of anger and other emotions.

Same as normal adults, babies are also emotional beings. But they may have problems in managing their emotions and their proper regulation. So they show various behavior types when they are entering the regulation part. Grabbing and licking the mom’s face and trying to eat is one of that behavior patterns.

sometimes babies can’t regulate their anger so they try to harshly grab their mom’s face kick their legs simultaneously. They may tend to crawl over and grab you in other situations. So this is kind of grabbing your attention to their matter and solving their problem. So it is essential for you to address their issue as soon as possible.

Final thoughts

Babies try to grab their mom’s face and try to eat to fulfill a few reasons in their day-to-day life. Sometimes these babies may be sensory seekers. They have a deficit of their sensory type. So they try to search the sensory type by doing this behavior type. parents need to do close attention to their babies and try to identify which type of sensory stimulation for their kids.

some times babies need to convert the parent’s attention to address their own problem. So they start to do these movement types. If you have a good understanding of your kid you can understand the way of specific attention and give a proper solution to the problem.

Leave a Comment