The other day I walked into my daughter’s room to get her in the morning and noticed all this white stuff on her face. I admit that I’d been a little slow coming to get her, as I was finishing getting dressed, so I wondered – was she so fussy because she spit up? As I got closer though, no… it wasn’t spit up. It was paint chips! While standing waiting for me, she’d started gnawing on her crib railing and had pulled the paint off!
I grabbed her out of the crib and started making phone calls to friends. The messages I left went something like this. “Hi. I need your advice. This is totally weird and I’ve never even heard of anything like it, so I doubt there’s much to do, but… She seems to be eating her crib! I’ve never heard of a child doing that! What do I do?” I finally got a couple of friends on the phone who said that they’d never heard of it either, but were “sure it was safe.” In the interim, I’d left a message at the manufacturers and when I didn’t get a response, my husband called too. They assured him that the paint was non-toxic (not lead based!), but that this wasn’t covered under warranty (unless it was peeling due to a defect. Nope – it’s peeling due to teeth.).
So we were left with trying to get her out the crib as soon as we could! No waiting lest she gnaw her way out! (OK, a little overzealous, but you see my point. I put her in the crib for 2 minutes so I could go to the bathroom and she’d gotten a new spot stripped – it took no time!) I had no idea how to make her stop! My only thought was, given her complete and total aversion to solid foods, I could cover the thing in cheerios – she won’t put those anywhere near her mouth! (It’s my proposed solution to anything I don’t want her to chew on. The thing is I’m pretty sure she’ll still decide to chew on those things – it’ll just be coupled with her gagging and throwing up a lot more.)
Finally another friend called back and said – oh, they sell crib guards, but I’m sure other people have already told you this. What? No! What are they? So off we went to babies r us to look for “crib guards.” We looked by cribs and bedding, but nothing. Hmm… OK, let’s ask. The first person I asked didn’t recognize the term and said – what? I started to explain that it prevented the baby from chewing on the crib while my husband said, you know, like if a small animal snuck into our house in the night and started gnawing at the wood of our crib – maybe a beaver? (Because OUR daughter would never do something so crazy…) She directed us to the safety section and we found our answer – essentially a blanket that velcro’s over the front part of the crib – like a saddle blanket (but don’t say that to her – then she’ll start trying to ride it…).
So does anyone else have a child who gnaws on his/her crib? (I’m still feeling like I’m the only one!) And, while we’re on the topic, does anyone else have a child who shows a real aversion to solid food? How did you help them over that hurdle?