Babies love to stick everything in sight into their mouths and also chew on it once they’re teething or in the developmental stage wright here they mouth objects to learn what it is. But by age 3, kids have actually usually outgrown this, and chewing on things they shouldn’t — choose their clothing — becomes even more of an enigma than babies’ clear developmental factors.

You are watching: Why do kids chew on their clothes

If your 4-year-old (or older) is chewing on their shirt, there are many kind of possible reasons and motivations. Some might be quickly addressed at residence, and also you deserve to aid speak your child from clothes-chewing. Others may require a speak to to the pediatrician. Let’s figure out what’s going on.



Some youngsters chew on a shirt as a fidgeting behavior. They want some sensory input, and also the shirt they’re wearing is ssuggest the simplest and also closest point to play with. Children fidgain to aid them pay attention bereason they’re anxious, bored, or other reasons equivalent to why adults occasionally fidobtain. Fidgeting deserve to be a sign of ADHD or an additional condition, however it’s likewise incredibly prevalent and also not an instant cause for problem.

You can redirect a child who is chewing on their shirt out of boredom or to calm themselves or to assist with attention by getting them a fidgeting toy to play via rather of their clothes. When you view them chewing, remind them to usage their toy instead. “Chewelry” are wearable playthings that can be chewed on so that it’s always via them (just choose their clothes).


Notice patterns

Is tbelow a pattern behind when the chewing happens? If you deserve to observe a pattern and also figure it out on your own by noticing the time of day or feeling that always acservice providers the chewing, you deserve to settle the concern with a redirection or conversation:

If it’s constantly ideal before snack time, it might indicate hunger and deserve to be quit by giving a snack previously.If it’s always when they’re nervous or anxious, ask what’s wrong and also try a breapoint exercise.If they’re trying to concentprice on homework, market a fidget toy.If it happens once they’re bored, give them an task.

Stress is just one of the many prevalent reasons of a child chewing on a shirt, so the actions can be caused by a huge adjust that’s worrying them, favor founding a new college. If you son is chewing to self-soothe, you deserve to work on finding another way to help them feel much better about what’s concerning them.

It could likewise be purely out of habit at this suggest, choose nail biting. If you notification the pattern of chewing happening when they’re bored and they simply pick up their shirt collar or sleeve out of halittle bit for something to carry out, a fidacquire toy or other redirection could aid.

LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Talk around it

Have a conversation via your son about the clothes-chewing to assist figure out the factor. They might simply tell you they choose the chewing feeling, and you deserve to offer them something else to chew on, choose gum. Their answers might likewise help you number out if chewing on clothes is a symptom of one of these conditions:

A dental issue wright here the son is chewing on what is available for pain reliefWeak jaw muscles wright here the child is normally trying to strengthen themPica, a problem where people (especially children) eat non-food itemsAnxiety, autism, ADHD, or a sensory disorder

If your conversation brings up any of these, talk to your pediatrician around your involves and also how to continue. If you can’t figure out the factor utilizing any kind of of the techniques over, it’s likewise ideal to call the pediatrician for their advice and also probably a screening for any of the possible problems stated.

See more: When You Are Examining Data To Look For Trends, Which Type Of Intelligence Are You Using Most?

In the end, chewing clothing can be led to by a varied opportunity of factors that you’ll have to do some additionally detective occupational to figure out. It’s regularly about dental sensory input, which might be swapped out through chewelry, crunchy veggies, or gum, or an indication of stress or stress, which can be promoted a conversation and also even more sources if needed. By observing and talking through your child, you’ll be on your method to determining which of the feasible reasons is the one behind your child’s chewing halittle — and also then exactly how to fix it.