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Toddler and dirt. WIBU?

(29 Posts)
DontBuyANewMumCuntingDailyMail Mon 09-May-16 09:39:15

Is it realistic to never allow a toddler to put 'dirty' hands to their mouth?

17mo DD was playing in the garden and inevitably had dirty hands - I don't mean covered in soil, I mean she had been splashing in a bucket with garden tap water and a touch of soil in it, and splashing the water in her face.
She put them to her mouth and DH quickly said No xx, don't put dirty hands in your mouth.

Then a short discussion about whether we should always stop her doing it.

DH thinks the bucket is filthy, the water is dirty, the soil is full of germs, etc etc

My opinion is that it'd be near impossible to always stop her putting germy hands to her mouth, and a bit of garden dirt isn't too bad. I think she'll be eating sand, soil, worms etc before she's grown up and unless there is something very dirty like bird poo, dog mess etc then I wouldn't make her wash her hands every time she touched something, just on the off chance she went on to touch her mouth.
Moreover, from experience, if I say to DD 'don't put your hands in your mouth' she'll do it even more as a game. I'm kind of hoping she'll eat some soil and it'll taste rank and gritty and she won't do it again.

Am I being unhygienic and unreasonable?

IamCarcass Mon 09-May-16 09:40:37

No you weren't but I think you know that, don't you?

MrsLeighHalfpenny Mon 09-May-16 09:40:56

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I'm with you. Kids need to build up an immunity IMO.

RiverTam Mon 09-May-16 09:41:21

No, I think you're fine. Are you your DD's main carer? Because ime the parent who isn't the main carer tends to be more anxious about this kind of thing.

BadDoGooder Mon 09-May-16 09:47:59

I ate worms, soil, leaves etc as a kid, never did me any harm! wink

Seriously, we need immunity to the world around us, and the best way to get it is to interact with it.

I caught DS eating sand once, he's fine!
Oh and I know a toddler who used to eat gravel at every oppurtunity!! confused

Beth2511 Mon 09-May-16 10:11:58

We are very relaxed with 17 mo dd. Did draw the line at trying to eat the bread dropped onto goose shit covered grass though!

She is virtually never ill..

almostthirty Mon 09-May-16 10:16:57

I was digging in the garden yesterday, ds (2) was playing quietly too quietly behind me. I turn around to find him sharing a carrot (that we had left on the grass for the guinea pigs ) with the dog! I stopped him as soon as noticed but was a little proud that he was turn taking so nicely

bungmean Mon 09-May-16 10:21:36

The sterility of the modern household environment is contributing to the rise in allergies and asthma amongst kids.

Let them eat dirt! I'd draw the line at dogshit

DontBuyANewMumCuntingDailyMail Mon 09-May-16 11:14:56

Hurrah full house so far.

The problem is, carcass that sometimes you don't know if you're being unreasonable or not. I thought some might tell me I should at least try to stop her doing it, in the hope that as she grows she'll learn that she shouldn't do it.
Whereas I genuinely don't mind if she puts dirty hands in her mouth! shock blush

River Yes I am, in fact I'm a SAHM and the thought of following her round grabbing her hands away from her mouth or continuously saying 'Don't put that in your mouth', 'Now let's wash your hands' is draining!!

Thanks. Feel better already!

I think I felt more stubborn about it after DH said as I was bending over in denim shorts 'Oh you look like the guy in the money supermarket ad.... Not in a bad way....'

NeedACleverNN Mon 09-May-16 11:18:51

If I see they have dirty hands, I wipe them with a baby wipe.

But I don't obsess about it. If it goes in the mouth before I see it, oh well.

Dd is notorious for dropping food and then picking it up and eating it.

herecomethepotatoes Mon 09-May-16 11:19:36

My boys spend half their lives filthy. We're working hard on stopping the younger (20 month) copying the dog and drinking from puddles but in my experience,when they're sick, it's been coughs, colds, snotty noses etc from other children.

We get through a nail brush every fortnight or so as neither of them like shoes when they can get away with it and play in the garden in all weathers.


ElspethFlashman Mon 09-May-16 11:25:32

Mine must have eaten half the bloody garden.

And never get sick!

BoopTheSnoot Mon 09-May-16 11:27:36

Kids need some germs to develop an immune system. Real life isn't sterile. YANBU.

IamCarcass Mon 09-May-16 18:48:02

Have confidence in yourself... (and get your husband a t-shirt that says "keep calm and make mud pies").

WellErrr Mon 09-May-16 18:51:38

I live on a farm and we don't do much hand/mouth vigilance.

Children are fairly robust! They need germs.

TiredOfSleep Mon 09-May-16 18:53:18

There was a documentary that showed the importance of 'natural' bugs, that you'd pick up from the woods or park for developing strong immune system and avoiding hay fever etc. Google it and show the results.

MrsMook Mon 09-May-16 18:56:25

I don't sweat a bit of grubbiness like that. As long as hands are washed at appropriate intervals. My children were a bit unlucky on the allergy genes, but they've been growing out of them. I like to think I've successfully retrained their immune systems with my housekeeping and outdoor escapades grin They're hardy children and have had very few illnesses.

I find the obsession that so many teenagers I teach have with hand sanitiser rather sad.

MintyBojingles Mon 09-May-16 19:24:09

YANBU. A bit of dirt is fine. Just watch plants, there are quite a lot that are varying degrees of poisonous. Most would just make you sick, but foxglove is lethal even to grown adults - get rid of it if you've got any.

BillBrysonsBeard Mon 09-May-16 20:00:58

I think the way some people parent looks exhausting, it's tiring enough as it is without saying No to every little thing. It's so restrictive for the kid and stressful for the parent. Nothing wrong with soil and water in a bucket!

insancerre Mon 09-May-16 20:07:17

I work with children and I've seen them eat all sorts of stuff
Even spiders
They actually need germs to build their immune system
The healthiest children live on farms, research shows

MrsJoeyMaynard Mon 09-May-16 20:11:56

As long as it's not poo or plants (as some are poisonous) they're putting in their mouths I'm fairly relaxed about it.

The worst thing I've caught mine eating was a moth. Half of it gone before I managed to get close enough to grab it out of little hands. But it didn't cause any ill effects -except to the poor moth

babybythesea Mon 09-May-16 20:14:32

It's been a constant topic of debate in my house!
DH grew up on a farm and looks back fondly on a childhood spent digging in the dirt and eating mud. But when it comes to his own kids, he was horrified that I let DD1 eat blackberries straight off the bush (what if something's peed on it?) or without even checking it (she could be eating a caterpillar). He did try to wash her hands every time there was any dirt at all on them. I had a much more laid back approach.
DD2 came along and her favourite game was (is) to play in the dogs water in the garden. He tried to wash her hands each and every time. In the end I had to tell him he was wasting his time as I had found her with a teaspoon carefully drinking the water.
Then the day he was in charge of her, she put her hands in chicken shit in the garden, and before he could get to her she'd licked it.
While the thought made me heave a bit, she was and is fine. We now have comparable levels of relaxedness!! And two kids who seem to be surviving.

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 09-May-16 20:18:45

Kids that play in dirt are healthy kids!!
My sister takes care of a little boy (she's a childminder) who's mother sends him to her with sanitising wipes in his backpack and gel in his lunchbox. My sister is asked to wipe his hands after he plays with the shared toys hmm and guess what?? He is the kid who is always ill.
In contrast, my DD ate sand at the beach yesterday and did a rather gritty poo today confused I'm sure she's fine!

FreeButtonBee Mon 09-May-16 20:20:04

My 9monas in the middle of the flower bed eating handfuls of soil yesterday. Lovely nappies today 🙄 What can you do? I take the lumps out but meh, he'll learn

NeverTalksToStrangers Mon 09-May-16 20:26:26

I agree and disagree. She might not get sick but soil is rampant with threadworms.

I've had a ds constantly scratching his arse due to threadworm infection. The whole family have to be treated and they are a bugger to get rid of.

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