She’s 2 ½. She’s smart. She’s cute. She’ll talk to you all day and night. She’s my sweet toddler, but in the middle of all the adorableness and loveliness, she does something that drives me up.the.wall… she STILL puts everything in her mouth. When she was a baby, I got it. Baby’s put everything in their mouths. It’s the way they find comfort, control and make sense of their world. But I was under this impression that between a year and 18 monthsish, most kids dropped their “pica” (eating non-edibles) habits and stuck with the things that taste good. Besides sand and glue. Most kids eat those till they go to college.
I don’t know if my child has a sensory processing disorder, I have yet to have her completely diagnosed. But upon seeking out the reason for my daughters desire to stop my heart with her rampant eating of dice, pennies and other awesome choking hazards, I stumbled upon this extremely helpful information that may save a lot of parents distress over their children’s strange or misbehavior.
Ever hear of an extremely picky eater? Kid who seems out of control? Has strong adverse reactions to a typical experience of daily life?
This website completely changed the way I saw my daughter’s obsession. No, it doesn’t make it easier for me to deal with all day long, but it has given me ways to help redirect her to appropriate choices for the oral stimulation she seems to be seeking in her daily life (instead of constantly having to tell her “not in the mouth” to EVERYTHING in our home ::sigh::) It has also increased my compassion and ability to empathize with her impulses. I have yet to buy us some chewy tubes, but they are on the amazon wishlist. However, we are big into sensory play, and recently I created something I like to call, the Yum Yum Tray.
It’s basically the raw ingredients of an oatmeal cookie. The ingredients include raw oatmeal, sugar, salt, flour, cornstarch, cocoa, carob and mini chocolate chips. My daughter LOVES to eat uncooked foods. Oatmeal, rice, pasta, you name it, she wants to eat it. (This is another reason I suspect an SPD). So we will add these to the yum yum tray on occasion as well.
When she’s losing interest, I add some water and some fun toys. She can make paste (from the flour) or slime (with the cornstarch). Fun sensory input, safe to eat and compassionate parenting… What’s better than that? <3 (And by compassionate parenting, I mean, remembering that my kid isn’t doing something JUST to piss me off… :O 😉 … I will assign positive intent, I will assign positive intent…)
It doesn’t stop her all day from other nonfood items in her mouth, but hey, at least I get a good 30 minutes of anxiety free parenting a day. So… I’ll take it.