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My Strange Addiction: Baby Edition

I’m not saying that my baby isn’t perfect, but she has a creepy habit that gave me quite the scare! Ever since she started crawling, she’s tried to eat everything that has crossed her path. I'm not talking about baby food either. Every single thing she picks up goes straight into her mouth. I’m constantly hiding the baby wipes, guarding the dog food, and trying to disinfect my entire life.

Can this be normal?

One day I was Googling “Why does my baby eat everything?” when I stumbled over an article about Pica. It made me super paranoid. Pica causes an appetite for non-food items like soil, paper, clay, animal droppings and the list goes on. Originally, I was worried about the germs, but then I started imagining my daughter on an episode of My Strange Addiction sucking up 10 bottles of hand lotion a day.

The doctor weighs in

I convinced myself that we were gonna beat this thing and called the doctor the next morning. Fortunately, our physician got a good laugh at my diagnosis and gently eased all of my worries. This oral fixation is called mouthing.  Babies use their mouths to explore different shapes and textures. They learn about pleasure, tastes, and even pain. It’s a healthy part of the growth process that’s totally normal.

Nevertheless, this phase really freaks me out because there are just some lessons I don’t want my baby to learn the hard way. I do not want my child to have to eat poop to know not to eat poop. What if she catches something from constantly licking things at the park? The doctor assured me that on the contrary, most of the dirt babies consume builds their immune system and protects them from allergens. Dirt don’t hurt!

I was further instructed to keep doing what I had been doing: My best. So, I still find myself saying things like, “We don’t bite balls. We throw balls.” on a daily basis, but at least now I do it with the assurance that my baby is not a weirdo.

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