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How to keep their hands out of their mouth

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I am a nanny for a 2.5 year old little girl, and I have a 4 month old daughter. The 2.5 year old spends lots of time around lots of other children, and I'm trying to be pretty careful this flu season. However, she is CONSTANTLY putting her hands in her mouth and nose (AND constantly touches the baby. She is all over her every second that she is awake.) The more I ask her not to (I tell she will get germs on her hands, and germs make us sick), the more she does it. I know this is a pretty typical thing for this age (mostly, doing exactly what they were just asked not to do), and I wash her hands constantly, but was hoping you all would have some advice for me on the subject. Since I have a baby, I'm not sure how to handle this situation with an older child!! Her parents don't really have a philosophy on discipline--if they don't want her to do something they just tell her in a really firm voice--no spanking, timeouts, etc. She *usually* listens but is exploring her independence more and more on all subjects. I pick my battles but this is one thing that worries me with all the illness going around here lately!
post #2 of 2
Keeping her hands really pretty and busy. Silly as it is, something like nail polish or little stickers can be a visual reminder to keep hands out of her mouth. You can find packages of those really tiny round stickers, like smile faces, and put one on each index finger nail. Make up a good story as you're doing it about how happy it will make her sister to see those stickers and no germs.

Busy hands are important too. If there's a toy or a book in her hands, she's less likely to put them in her mouth.
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