Help! My Baby Likes Eating Ice!

Can my baby eat ice?

Babies like to experiment with different items, especially while putting things in their mouths when they are developing more sensory skills as they grow. Whatever your baby can grab, they will and most likely put the item in their mouth; ice may be one of the items they discover. It may be interesting for them to discover; however, it can be dangerous putting ice in their mouths. There are many reasons as to why they shouldn’t eat ice.

Eating ice can cause choking, frostbite on gums, cracked teeth, and even death.

Eating ice damages gums and enamel.

Therefore, it is important to be careful what your baby gets a hold of, so keep a close watch on them and the items around them.

Why Babies Eat Ice

Babies go through teething stages until they develop all their teeth. When babies are teething, they tend to put whatever they see in their mouths to relieve the uncomfortable feeling they may experience. Ice would seem to be a wonderful item that a baby would put in their mouth because of the cold feeling. The coldness of the ice would soothe any pain a baby may be experiencing while teething. Ice could also numb parts of the baby’s gums while putting the ice in their mouths. There are also medical illnesses that link to the enjoyment of eating ice. If you suspect your child or toddler is over-consuming their ice craving, then you may want to contact their medical provider.

Is It Safe for a Baby to Eat Ice?

It’s not safe for a baby to eat ice. A baby can swallow and choke on the ice, even a small chunk. Babies aren’t aware of the harms that can occur among them. The results of choking could end in death. Therefore, a baby should not be given ice, and a parent or guardian needs to be very aware of items put in the baby’s mouth. Frostbite and other harms can happen to a baby’s gums if they eat ice because the item is too cold (King, 2019). When a child starts to develop teeth, it isn’t safe for them to keep chewing ice because it can begin to wear at their teeth. Chewing on ice will put pressure on their enamel, and it will begin to wear away. Also, it can cause chips and cracks in teeth (Montgomery, Garibian, Graff, & McGinnis, n.d.).

How to Prevent Your Baby From Eating Ice

It may seem comfortable for a baby to eat ice due to the soothing of their gums while teething. Someone must always monitor a baby and anything that they grab to put in their mouths. Accidents happen, and it’s not easy to always see everything babies may do. Do not leave ice or cups of ice around a baby or children because they will easily be able to grab it. Make sure to always let other people around your child to know not to give your child ice and to be cautious of what they do. When a child becomes older and can properly chew solid foods, then it may be safer to allow your child to have ice.

What to Do If Your Baby Eats Ice

Ice can be in a baby’s possession. If you notice that your baby has put some ice in their mouth, stick your fingers in their mouth and try to get the ice out by hand or allow them to spit it back out. Try not to startle the baby when discovering that they ate ice. Startling them could cause them to get scared and swallow the ice. Once the ice gets launched in their throats, they can choke. If removing the ice from the child’s mouth and it doesn’t work, and they began to swallow the ice, try to pat their back until the ice comes out or, if necessary, attempt the Heimlich maneuver.

What to Do If Your Baby Chokes on the Ice

It is important to know CPR and any other necessary procedures to perform on your child to save their life. If you notice your child is choking, began to give them the Heimlich maneuver. If that doesn’t work and the child/baby stops breathing immediately, call 911 and get help. You may also try beginning CPR immediately (if properly trained) until help shows up or the child begins to move. Remember to try to stay calm during the process to make sure that you complete these steps as accurately as possible. Always contact Emergency Services if you don’t know what to do or need any assistance.

Conclusion

If you believe that your baby likes to eat ice, then immediately stop them from eating the ice. Due to the many harms and risks that can happen to your baby, it is not safe for them to be eating ice. If you suspect that your baby is teething, then there are other options for soothing rather than eating ice such as:
Chill items such as washcloths, teethers, fruit popsicles, frozen vegetables, and other items your baby may interact with.

You may also try the following alternatives to ice chewing:

  • Breastfeeding may soothe your baby.
  • Get chewing teething jewelry for baby.
  • Allow your baby to chew on your clean finger.

Continue to monitor your children and pay close attention to items they grab and put in their mouths. Make sure it does not chew on ice until they are older and able to eat ice without choking. It is up to the parent to make the right decisions about their child’s health and safety.