Let them eat dirt!

As a first time mom I received lots of advice from everyone on how to keep things clean for my baby. “She dropped her pacifier on the floor, you better not give it back to her.” ” You have to sanitize everything.” “The dog licked her hand; hurry and clean them before she sucks her thumb.” Not only did people share with me their clean advice, but I’ve watched friends chat over social media about all the protections they do to keep baby “healthy.”

 Well, frankly, I think by trying not to hurt are kids with germs we are hurting them. The U.S. is one of the cleanest countries, and our children show it by getting sick so easily. If you travel anywhere else in the world you’ll see  moms who love their kids but don’t put them in a bubble. I’ve watched  

 children living in South America in homes with dirt floors, outside squat toilets, and bucket showers, and they were fine! Were they covered in dirt? Yes, but they bathed.  Their moms just don’t follow them around with hand sanitizer and wet wipes!

By allowing our kids contact with germs and dirt we give them the chance to build immunity. Are there bad germs? Of course, and that’s where vaccines come in to help. You may not agree with me but my little girl sucks her thumb after petting our sheep and playing in dirt (and probably manure). If she drops her bottle on the ground in public we pick it up and go. Our dog licked her spoon the other day and she promptly put it in her mouth. Did she die? No.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want her crawling a all over a public restroom floor, but she needs a few germs! Millions of children around the world survive everyday. Why are we so worried? Let them have fun! Let them have dirt!

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