Inexpensive Chewable Tubing for Oral Fixation

Lately I feel like we take two steps forward and Sensory Chew Tubingone or more steps back sensory wise with our son Tristan.   My recent pregnancy was hard on me physically.  Mentally and emotionally drained I became a reactive parent, rather than one who responds with firm calmness.  Tristan began to bite his nails which is not the first time, but this time the behavior became a habit. With a new baby sister, the holidays disrupting his therapy schedule and new people in the house, it threw Tristan completely off track.  Tristan relies on a schedule and without one he is a mess and regression does occur.  Tristan’s sensory regression includes not only nail-biting, but also mouthing every object he comes in contact with.  Time outs, pushing his hands do not deter him, not even earning stickers or other fun rewards like bubbles help.

I discussed the mouthing issue with Tristan’s occupational therapist and she suggested I get him some clear plastic tubing at a building supply store and make necklaces for him to chew on.  Sensory Chew TubingThe next day my husband came home with several feet of the clear plastic tubing and Tristan took right to it, chewing the tubing even before we were able to cut it into smaller pieces.  The plastic tubing can be thrown in your dishwasher, it is soft enough it will not hurt your child’s mouth, and is safe.  Within a couple of days my son stopped chewing and mouthing everything under the sun in our home.  The nail-biting still happens, but has subsided.  If I see Tristan chewing on a toy or his hands I tell him to chew on his tubes.  He sleeps with them, wears and plays with the tubing like a special toy.

This inexpensive chewable tubing for oral fixation helps tremendously with my son’s sensory mouthing issues.  If you have more questions or suggestions on how you have helped your child with chewing sensory issues please comment on the blog below .




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I am Amee, a housewife, mother, food lover, and DIY cleaner. I am a special needs parent and a woman's health advocate. I love my cats, shoes, chocolate, and Superman.
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  1. Stephanie says

    i love this idea, my son is 12 and still wants/needs to chew often and this is a great solution. I usually try to find a straw for him, which doesn’t last long. I was just wondering what material you used on the inside of the tube to make the necklace? Thanks so much

    • says

      Hi Stephanie,

      My hubby and I got some leather string type stuff over in the craft and jewelry making section of Walmart and strung it through and then clipped it at the length we need it. The great thing about this is if you lose them which we have they are inexpensive, can get wet ie bathtub, and you can boil them to clean them without ruining them.

      :) Amee

  2. Becky says

    What a great idea! My 3-year-old has recently started the same thing, chewing on everything in sight. We have many ruined books, playing cards, mail, plastic toys, etc. around the house because of it. I will be trying this!

    • says

      Hi Becky,

      Yeah it worked so well when he was really chewing bad. I give it to my 20 month old now when I see her chew on stuff she should not. Your welcome!


  3. Susan says

    what is the diameter of the tubing? Do you think the larger ones are better than the smaller ones?
    I work with several siblings, school age, with pica. I have been looking at commercial oral sensory toys, but this sounds inexpensive.

    • says

      Hi Susan,

      It has been so long ago that we had these, but I believe no bigger than 3/4 of an inch. Big enough to get the string in it to put around our son’s neck. I hope this helps and it never hurt our son at all and actually was safer than him just chewing on anything that was hear him.

  4. Susan says

    I am also concerned about the petroleum products that may be in the tubing. Most of the commercial sensory chew toys are labeled as being medically safe. Do you have any information regarding this issue?

    • says

      Hi Susan,

      No sorry I do not. This was suggested to us by those who were helping us back in those days. He chewed on EVERYTHING and ANYTHING so at the time that was the least of my concern. He had other chewies as well, but preferred this tubing. Great question though.

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