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Q&A:
My 26-month-old licks everything -- is this normal?

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Question


My daughter is 26 months old and has recently begun to lick everything: table tops, floors, windows, mirrors, and even floors in public places. Not only is this embarrassing, but can't it also make her sick? And why is she doing this? Does she lack in vitamins? She has even licked the cat and vomited because the fur was in her throat. Is my daughter's behavior normal?

Answer


Although almost all kids use their mouth to explore the interesting things in their environment, your daughter's behavior is unusual. Mouthing and licking are more typical in the first year of life. She is getting some special sensations from this that are satisfying to her. Because she can ingest things that are harmful, such as the cat fur, you need to stop the behavior. I'd tell her clearly and immediately to "Stop licking ..." whatever it is. If discipline doesn't work, take her to her health care provider for a thorough checkup, including a review of her development. Some developmental difficulties are associated with this kind of behavior. Tell the office staff to schedule enough time for a complete checkup. To prepare for this visit, check this site for the kinds of things that we generally expect of 2-year-olds. Let the health care provider know if she's not able to do those things.  
 
 
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Member comments

licking
My son also licks things, not to the point that I need to take him to see someone about. But, when h..

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