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Help! Why Does My Baby Eat Paper?

baby eating paper

In most cases, a baby eating a small piece of paper is not a cause for concern and can be a part of their natural exploration. Here is how I know.

It was a typical weekday afternoon when I noticed my 8-month-old daughter starting to chew on a small piece of paper that had fallen to the floor. As a first-time mom, my initial reaction was panic – what if she choked on the paper or swallowed it whole? But as I watched her closely, I noticed that she was exploring the texture and taste of the paper, much as she does with her toys and other objects.

I knew it was customary for babies to put things in their mouths to explore their environment, but I also knew that I had to be cautious to ensure her safety. So I decided to calmly remove the paper from her hands and dispose of it while also keeping an eye on her for any signs of discomfort or distress.

As it turned out, my daughter was fantastic and continued her day as usual. But the experience reminded me of the importance of being vigilant as a parent and always being aware of potential dangers, even with something as seemingly harmless as a piece of paper.

So what happens if a baby eats paper?

If a baby eats paper, it is essential to monitor the baby for any signs of discomfort or distress. If the baby seems to be swallowing the paper without difficulty, it is usually safe to allow it to pass through the system naturally. However, if the baby is choking or showing other signs of distress, call emergency services immediately.

Eating paper can be harmful if the baby consumes a large amount or is coated with chemicals or other potentially harmful substances. It is also possible that the baby could choke on the paper if it becomes stuck in their throat. If you are concerned about your baby’s health after eating paper, you must contact a healthcare provider or poison control center for advice.

Why do babies chew paper?

There are a few reasons why babies might chew paper:

  1. Exploration: Babies are constantly exploring their environment, and chewing is a natural way to do this. Chewing on paper might be a way for the baby to learn about the texture and taste of the paper.
  2. Teething: Babies who are teething may chew on paper to soothe their gums.
  3. Hunger: If a baby is hungry, they might chew on paper to satisfy their hunger.
  4. Boredom: If a baby is bored, they might chew on paper to entertain themselves.

It is essential to keep an eye on babies when they are exploring their environment and to ensure that they do not have access to any potentially harmful items, such as paper that has been coated with chemicals or other potentially toxic substances.

Is eating a piece of paper harmful to babies?

Eating a small piece of paper is usually not harmful to a baby. However, if the baby eats a large amount of paper or if the paper is coated with chemicals or other potentially harmful substances, it could be harmful. It is also possible that the baby could choke on the paper if it becomes stuck in their throat.

If you are concerned about your baby’s health after eating paper, you must contact a healthcare provider or poison control center for advice. They will be able to assess the situation and provide guidance on the best course of action.

In general, it is a good idea to keep an eye on babies while exploring their environment and ensure they do not have access to any potentially harmful items. This can help to prevent accidents and ensure that your baby stays safe.

My baby ate paper with ink!

Eating paper with ink as a baby can be potentially dangerous. The ink on the paper could be toxic and cause serious harm to the baby’s health. In addition, the baby could choke on the paper if it becomes stuck in their throat. Call emergency services immediately if the baby is choking or showing other signs of distress.

If the baby has eaten a large amount of paper with ink, it is possible that the ink could cause digestive symptoms such as stomachache or vomiting. The baby may also experience dizziness, difficulty breathing, or changes in behavior.

If you are concerned that your baby has eaten paper with ink, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The healthcare provider will be able to assess the situation and provide the necessary treatment to ensure the baby’s safety. However, it is always better to be cautious and seek medical advice when in doubt rather than take any unnecessary risks to your baby’s health.

Is my baby eating paper due to iron deficiency?

Eating paper is not a specific symptom of iron deficiency in babies. However, iron deficiency can cause changes in a baby’s appetite and eating habits, which may lead to the baby eating non-food items, such as paper.

Iron deficiency anemia is a common condition that occurs when the body does not have enough iron, which is needed to produce red blood cells. Babies with iron deficiency may be at increased risk of developmental delays and other health problems.

There are a few common signs of iron deficiency in babies:

  1. Pale skin: Babies with iron deficiency may have pale or yellowish skin, especially around the face and inside the lower eyelids.
  2. Slow weight gain: Babies with iron deficiency may not gain weight at the expected rate.
  3. Lack of energy: Babies with iron deficiency may appear tired or lethargic.
  4. Poor appetite: Babies with iron deficiency may lose their appetite or be picky eaters.
  5. Delays in development: Iron deficiency can affect a baby’s overall development, including their motor skills and cognitive development.

How to stop my baby from eating paper?

Here are a few tips to help stop your baby from eating paper:

  1. First, keep paper out of reach: Make sure that paper products, such as books, newspapers, and tissues, are kept out of your baby’s reach to prevent them from accessing them.
  2. Supervise playtime: When your baby is playing, make sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they are not putting any non-food items, such as paper, in their mouth.
  3. Offer appropriate toys: Provide your baby with toys that are safe for them to chew on, such as teething toys, to help satisfy their desire to chew.
  4. Redirect their attention: If your baby reaches for a piece of paper, gently redirect their attention to a toy or other appropriate object.
  5. Discuss safety with caregivers: If your baby is in the care of others, discuss safety precautions, including not allowing the baby to eat paper, with the caregiver.

My baby is chewing on cardboard!

Eating cardboard can be harmful if the baby consumes a large amount or is coated with chemicals or other potentially harmful substances. It is also possible that the baby could choke on the cardboard if it becomes stuck in their throat.

Not enough food

Babies are growing and need to be fed at least every one and a half to two hours. This is because babies are developing rapidly, are highly active, and need a good constant source to replenish their energy as often as possible.

Did you know the brain uses 20% of the energy we give our bodies?

Now imagine a baby’s needs. They are new to the world and are in constant awe. Babies are constantly learning and absorbing information. Doing so requires a lot of work and energy. Coupled with their need to move around and explore, your baby’s diet must provide the energy necessary for your baby’s daily life. So when your baby eats paper, be extra mindful of nutrition.

Babies who are not given nutritious meals every one and a half to two hours tend to become restless, unhappy, and eat everything in sight.

They are little problem solvers and are highly in tune with their instincts, which leads them to solve their need for nutrition and energy to power their explorations by eating the thing they are craving.

Modify your baby’s eating schedule. Have your little one eat every 1.5 to two hours. Ensure your baby’s food has high nutritional value to fuel their growing bodies efficiently.

Your baby is teething.

Teething is a compassionate time for babies and can be uncomfortable. During this time, they reach for anything they can find to soothe their gums. Fortunately, there are many teething toys available on the market. Exploring these safe remedies can help your baby’s teething experience.

To help your baby stop eating paper while teething, try giving your baby chilled fruit. As previously stated, only feed your baby once every 1.5 to 2 hours.

You could also massage your baby’s gums with clean fingers. Alternatively, massage your baby’s gums with a clean, cold cloth. Ensure this cloth has zero preservatives or chemicals on it.

Make sure to wipe your baby’s drool away and keep their face clean to prevent irritation.

Give your baby a chilled teething ring to chew on. Do not dip the ring in sugar or any sweet substances. Doing so could cause cavities for your baby, which are extremely painful and are best avoided when it comes to your little one.

Cavities may encourage your baby to eat paper even more often.

If breastfeeding, breastfeed your baby often. It will help calm and comfort them while teething. Breastfeeding also teaches your baby not to bite as their teeth start coming in.

Your baby could be curious.

A baby-eating paper could also be a simple case of curiosity. Babies are growing and learning about everything around them. Sometimes, they even have a strong urge to taste everything around them!

How does the paper smell to your baby?

At times, your baby may think paper smells appealing. The smell of paper may be causing your baby to consume paper. However, doing so may cause diarrhea and other complications.

Always steer your baby away from non-food items.

It is essential to ensure they are always well fed with highly nutritious food, which often helps override their need to taste paper of non-food items.

Feeding your baby often also helps them form good food habits. Develop a healthy relationship with food. Having a healthy eating schedule keeps your baby content, secure, and less irritable.

Behavioral problems from eating paper?

Babies are often well-behaved when well-fed. However, they become uncomfortable if they lack nutrition and act out to communicate their needs.

It is imperative to keep your baby well-fed, clean, loved, and cooed over. We hope this article has helped you figure out why your baby enjoys the consumption of unhealthy substitutes, such as paper.

So next time you ask, “why does my baby eat paper?” consider the above reasons when helping your baby find a better outlet.

Treatment for a paper-eating baby

Your doctor may help you stop pica in your baby by describing medicines to curb the cravings and advice on the type of food or supplements if your baby lacks zinc and iron. The doctor may also refer you to a mental health specialist to help you manage and prevent pica.

If your baby loves eating paper, it can be a kid’s curiosity; they like the paper’s smell and taste. It can also be a sign your baby lacks some nutrients. Try and identify the cause and address it accordingly. Under two years, babies do not have pica because they love collecting things and putting them in their mouths.

Is your baby eating paper sleep-related?

Your baby eating paper might be related to what’s happening while your baby sleeps. For example, babies often grab things they dream about in real life. So if your baby is suddenly consuming paper, your baby may be dreaming about paper while they sleep. To understand more about the possible relationship between sleep and your baby’s eating paper, click here for our helpful article.

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