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Thread: Germs, Germs, Germs ... for New Beginnings!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Germs, Germs, Germs ... for New Beginnings!

    PLEASE share your thoughts about this mother's concerns:

    "Now that my two-year-old is walking on his own much of the time while we are out, I find he touches everything and that I am really worried about germs! How do you allow your toddler to fill his touching and exploring needs while maintaining some semblance of cleanliness?

    Responses may also be sent to toddler.tips@lllusa.org and may appear in a future Toddler Tips column. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUT!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Germs, Germs, Germs ... for New Beginnings!

    Something I never thought I'd hear myself say: "We DO NOT lick the shopping cart! Ick, ick, ick!" We also do not eat caterpillars, touch cat poop, taste the dirty dish sponge, stick our fingers up mommy's nose, or pick dead worms up off the sidewalk using our fingers (we have a spatula for that, if you absolutely insist that you must "rescue" the worms).

    There's no way to stop your child from interacting with the big, germy world, and you really don't want to keep your kid in a sterile bubble because some exposure to dirt and pathogens is necessary to the development of a healthy immune system. So try to let go of the fear a little! The germs you should worry about aren't usually the ones you get from nature. Eating caterpillars or touching dead worms is gross, but it's what my mom called "clean dirt". The worrisome germs are the ones you get from contact with other people or things other people have touched. So instead of trying to stop your kid from touching and exploring, focus on teaching your LO good habits like hand washing after the potty or after coming home from a public place. Teach him to sing "Twinkle Twinkle" while he washes, since you want him to spend at least 15 seconds with his hands in soapy water, and be a good role model by practicing good hand-washing technique yourself. Keep some alcohol wipes in your diaper bag, so that you can clean his hands when running water is not available. And of course, if you're breastfeeding, keep on breastfeeding!
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; May 30th, 2012 at 09:07 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Re: Germs, Germs, Germs ... for New Beginnings!

    I think mommal is right on. Most of the world's dirt is not a big deal, just wash him up afterwards.

    In the case of really gross things it is a good idea to have some really short, firm phrases that both you and any other caregiver use to communicate that you don't want him touching something. For us, we use "leave it" followed by a short explanation "yucky". We use the same phrase for all things that shouldn't be touched, so he knows that phrase well. "Leave it, hot" "Leave it, not for you" etc.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

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