There are just some thing that we, as adults, would never munch on…but not babies! They love putting things in their mouth and exploring with their taste buds, much to the worry and gross-out factor that parents have to deal with. Here are 15 gross things babies try to eat.
Babies like the new color and soft feel of grass and pulling it to stuff it in their mouths. Eating grass is no big deal (it may be the only greens your picky kid will eat for a while), unless you know that the lawn has been treated recently with pesticides.
Babies love to rip and tear things into small pieces–paper is great for this! No paper ingested in small amounts will cause any problems– think of it as a little extra fiber for your little one.
Flies, beetles, ants, gnats, even worms (technically not considered an insect but pretty gross nonetheless) shouldn’t be a problem if one ends up in your baby’s mouth. Tell yourself that in some cultures the bug in question might be considered a delicacy.
4. Twigs and leaves
Beyond being possible choking hazards (look out especially for acorns), most tree debris is — like grass — unappetizing but innocuous. Small pieces of leaves, bark, and twigs will pass through your tot’s digestive system — and the dirt may even strengthen his immunity.
5. Dirty bathwater
Your baby’s pee doesn’t contain anything her body hasn’t already been exposed to and thus will not make her sick. More worrisome is the soap in the water. If you’re using products made for infants and kids, you have nothing to worry about.
6. Pet food
It may not be your first choice of lunch, but nothing in the most common dog and cat foods — typically meat, grains, and vegetables — will hurt your sweetie if he decides to nibble some kibble.
Whether your kid takes an accidental face-plant at the beach or shovels sand directly down her throat, a mouthful is pretty much a rite of passage for every toddler. And she’ll probably be fine, but beaches and sandboxes left uncovered are prime defecating spots for all kinds of animals, particularly birds, rats, mice, and stray cats. There’s no need to take your tyke to the doctor after a sand-swallowing incident, however, unless she becomes sick.
8. Pool water
Gulping pool water when you’re learning to swim is pretty unavoidable — and it’s usually nothing to worry about it. The chlorine used to disinfect pools (so your darling doesn’t swallow the bacteria from another baby’s leaky swim diaper), though, is a toxic chemical that may burn your child’s throat and — if ingested in large amounts — cause a serious stomach upset of its own.
9. Anything found on the floor
Babies love to munch on cords, stray food, little things. Just make sure to do a sweep of the floor before baby gets down there to play.
10. Dust bunnies
Your mini scavenger finds a stray Cheerio under the couch and decides to pop it in her mouth, not caring one bit that it’s attached to a disgusting tangle of dust and hair. Not to worry — she’ll probably gag and spit up her “snack” before it makes it to her belly. But if she does manage to swallow that dust bunny, it’s still completely benign and will ultimately make its way out the other end.
Babies shouldn’t be able to swallow keys but they do love to chew on metal keys, especially when they’re teething. It’s not the best toy they could be chomping on, so swap it with something else when you can.
Considering how colorful and sweet-smelling they are, it’s no surprise that crayons are prime targets for toddler teeth. Most crayons are made of wax and nontoxic pigment (don’t buy or use crayons that aren’t labeled nontoxic), neither of which will cause your budding artist any harm in small amounts.
Kids under five shouldn’t be chomping on gum in the first place since it’s a major choking hazard. But if your tot manages to get ahold of a piece and then promptly swallows it, do not freak out. Gum is not toxic and, contrary to popular belief, won’t linger in your child’s belly for eternity.
14. Material like clothing or rags
Babies like to chew on soft things like clothes or rags. As long as the clothes are clean and have no small parts that could be swallowed (strings, buttons etc) it’s fine for baby to teethe on soft material.
Unfortunately, this is a nasty curiosity that can be curbed by frequent diaper changes and no access to dirty diapers for the offending feeder. (this kid is not actually covered in poop– that’s chocolate cake, people.)