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Why (other than hunger) do babies suck on their hands and tongue?

My 2-month-old is sucking on her hands and tongue a lot lately, but she doesn't seem to be hungry. Is it just exploration?

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Asked by Liz_24 at 10:16 PM on Nov. 18, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (16)
  • Teething (yes, my son seemed to be teething at 4 weeks and on) he didn't finally take his hands out of his mouth till he was 4!! Also, it soothes them. Just like sucking on a pacifier, but the skin is more soothing that plastic or latex. There is also the sensation of sucking on the wiggly things at the end of their hands too. Babies are fun that way.

    Answer by son_and_moon at 10:19 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • babies often have a physiologocal need to suck. it soothes them. it can also be associated with teething.

    Answer by teri4lance at 10:21 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • I agree with PP; some babies have a stronger sucking reflex than others which leads them to put their fingers in their mouth to soothe. Also, babies go through an oral-motor developmental phase. This is where they explore their world with their mouth (like we do with our eyes and hands.

    Answer by gwood at 10:22 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • Because she can!! LOL!!

    Answer by CoreyLynn at 10:22 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • Babies are born with an innate need to suck, they suck anything and everything that touches their faces, regardless of whether they are hungry or not. It's just a part of their programming.

    Answer by 3maniacsmom at 10:23 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • my DD has been doing this since 2 weeks old. part of its teething, part exploring, part she needs to suck. she use to take a pacifier till she realized her fingers are better haha.

    Answer by okmanders at 10:27 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • Just wait until she discovers her

    Answer by BrendaMomOf3 at 10:39 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • haha Noah sucks on everything and anything..but then again hes 6 months..and eating baby if ur baby was older i'd say that like my Pedi said its becuz they are learning the swallowing technique..but ur baby isnt old its probaly just exploration

    Answer by SweetPoison at 10:44 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • my daughter constantly has her fingers in her mouth.... when she's happy, sad, hungry, gassy! she has tried to chew on my fingers too! i attribute it to teething, learning about her environment through touch, and comfort.

    Answer by rachelsmommy78 at 11:08 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • I can't put a bib on my son anymore without him trying to eat it. I won't let him suck on his hands too much though because the first time he did it he cut the roof of his mouth with his fingernail and I'm scared he might do it again!

    Answer by jessicarae787 at 1:13 AM on Nov. 19, 2008

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