Licking my shoes

Why does my baby put EVERYTHING in her mouth?!
When she was very small I didn’t even question why she picked things up and instantly put them straight to her mouth- after all, she was little and didn’t know any better.

But now that she is older and has some great fine motor skills and dexterity I have been finding it frustrating to watch her taste the pebbles and grass in the park, the old piece of carrot she found under the high-chair, the fluff she pulls from the throw on the sofa, lick the bottom of her shoes. In fact….everything!

So I have been doing some research and apparently babies and toddlers can go on doing this until they are 3 years of age! It is because there are more nerve endings in the mouth per square millimetre than anywhere else in the body. So just touching with fingers really isn’t enough to find out what they need to know. To really explore and learn from each texture she is just going to have to keep on chewing and licking everything she lays her hands on! And I’m going to need to stop worrying about it and relax :-)

After all, as the saying goes, “you have to eat a pound of dirt before you die!”