When I was a new mom, I thought keeping my baby out of all dirt and messes was the best way to raise a healthy baby.
12 years and a million messes later I’ve learned that filth is one thing… a mess and good ol’ dirt is another.
I have come to the unscientific conclusion that keeping one’s little crawler out of dirt is not the key in raising healthy baby… it is merely the key to having to do less laundry. And maybe mop less.
But I digress…
My 2 cents for raising a healthy baby is, “Let those rascals get dirty!”
WHEN IN ROME!
There is a healthy level of clean, and a crazy-making level of clean. As moms… I think we can err on the crazy-making side of cleanliness as we work hard to protect our babies from every-possible germ… real or imagined. There is simply something to be said for allowing a child to explore without the obsessive wiping, cleaning and sanitizing.
Being healthy isn’t just the absence of a runny nose… it is also a thriving will. It’s a healthy curiosity and confidence to explore and learn about the environment. As moms, it is easy to let our ideal of cleanliness get in the way of a really good, mind-developing tactile experience.
A childhood right of passage.
As is a good exploring romp with mom’s stamping supplies that were not quite high-up enough…
Though spreading poop all over one’s crib is highly tactile… that’s not so much what I’m talking about here.
I am merely saying that some time digging in the dirt, freedom to crawl and explore on a floor hasn’t been mopped in two (or four) (or eight) days… could actually be good. HEALTHY, even.
Of my 3 kids, the one I protected from dirt the most was the one who got sick the most as a baby and toddler. Coincidence? Perhaps. However, there is some research to back me up…
Personally, I believe the process of exploring and getting dirt under one’s nails is healthy for the soul… Babies and adults.
Besides, after the mess has been made… Mama can go wash those muddy, sticky, chubby fingers and sing cute songs about bubbles and how fun it is to get all clean and shiny. That’s healthy, too.
Children’s health is at the top of every mother’s mind. What’s your favorite tip for raising a healthy baby? By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and a $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs November 14 to December 18, 2011. A random winner will be announced by December 20, 2011.