March 03, 2009

Don't Lick That!

Suggestions welcome/encouraged!

At about six months (maybe before) Abby had an obsession with putting things in her mouth - toys, coins, food, fingers... everything.  It is an age-apropriate method of learning for an infant.  They do a better job of using their five senses to learn about things around them than we do - I assume my desk tastes like dust and plastic, so I don't try to taste or smell it - I rely on touch and sight. 

Abby has seemingly reverted to some sort of tasting/licking stage.  Some things are adorable, like when she licks a blueberry before eating it.  Licking her clean feet after bath time was cute, too.

Some things are a little weird, like the freezer in our basement and our fridge upstairs - maybe she was licking each to see if they were the same or different.  (She didn't report her findings to me, but probably has a journal somewhere!)

Some things that she has licked are just disgusting - including our dog and, even worse, a piece of wood at Wendy's on Sunday afternoon.  Just.Disgusting.  I had to run through her high chair and over another chair to get her off of it.  If you've never been to a Wendy's - it was the wooden fram between the old smoking section and the old non-smoking section.  It's about a foot wide and she loves to run a circle and climb over it.  Fun game - gross twist to it.

Our particular Wendy's is not the cleanest thing around, so there were jokes about spots and blisters that would show up in the afternoon, and we were relieved that they did not!

Help!  How do I break her of this new game?  I don't want to create a punishment necessarily, but this is one situation that I would like to stop before it goes too far... 


  1. Mary Grace still puts things in her mouth at 3.5.

    You have to eat a pound of dirt before you die. I wouldn't sweat it too much. The only way she's going to learn that dogs don't taste good is by licking the dog, right?

    She may be getting a new tooth, or she may enjoy the reaction she gets from you.

    She really liked the sucker I gave her. Maybe if you give her something appropriate to suck on, she won't lick inappropriate things... Although she may not have any teeth left by the time she's 5 if you let her have a sucker all the time. :)

    This too shall pass.

  2. My little guy is doing the same thing and I think he is getting his 2 year molars in. I know that my older son does the same thing. Even now, as he is getting his 6 year molars I notice hands in mouth and licking more. Thank goodness it usually does not last long. We have found if we bring more attention to it, it makes it worse. Good luck.