Spitting? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 02-15-2011, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm sure I'm not the only one who's child spits, so I'm hoping for some ideas as to how to stop this.


My daughter will be three in April.


For the past two months or so she's been spitting... when she's bored, when she's mad, taking her milk or water and letting it dribble out of her mouth or on to the floor (and then licking it up which I find so gross, but that's been fairly easy to work with).


I know the dribbling thing is a sensation thing- it feels cool on her mouth and gums, and at first I thought that the spitting was because of teething (something my ped suggested) so I was ok with asking her to stop, getting her a teether, having her help wipe up the mess. However, in the last two weeks or so, she's started doing it when she's tantruming, or when she's bored, such as when we are in the grocery store, because she knows it will get my full attention (I assume- she can't really tell me "why" yet when asked).


What would be an effective way to handle this? I try to make sure that I run errands when she is rested and fed, and bring things like books or toys along. Lately, since the spitting started I've been saving the shopping for times when my husband can join, as he keeps her occupied, or leave the two of them home while I go out, but that isn't always an option, because he often has to travel unexpectedly for work (so I can't plan a shop before he leaves, that sort of thing) and we don't have many child care options.


In addition to having her help clean the mess (which she enjoys because 1. she likes cleaning and 2. I'm paying attention to her) I give her reasons why spitting isn't appropriate, which I know she will eventually understand.


I've also started just leaving the store, which last week meant we didn't have milk for afternoon snack, which prompted a tantrum (understandably) even though I explained why there was no milk. However, the time between leaving the store milk-less and the tantrum was rather long, so I know she didn't really understand (or maybe she did and I'm just not giving her enough credit- hard to tell sometimes)


I know this will eventually stop, but everyone has their one really aggravating thing, and this is mine- it's like nails on a chalk board.


Any ideas??

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#2 of 3 Old 02-15-2011, 08:16 AM
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Oh gawd. The spitting. I detested the spitting. It's so gross. My DS1 did the same thing at the same age, though mostly at home. We kept it low-key and went through the following mini-lecture: "You spit on the X. Here is a cloth to clean it up. Let's keep the house tidy and clean. Spit only goes in the bathroom sink, the toilet, or a trash can. If you want to spit, do it into one of those receptacles, m'kay? Thanx."


or this variant:

"If you spit on a person, it is one of the rudest things you can do to them. It says 'I hate you.' Is that the message you want to send? Let's practice good manners. If you are angry, use your words instead."


He's 3 1/2 now and I haven't seen him spitting for probably a few months. "This too shall pass..."


You could have her wear a bib in the store or bring a 'spit-towel' or something so that she's not targeting other shoppers...maybe the bib, which is for BABIES, would convince her that she's a big girl who doesn't need to have a spit-catcher. Sometimes with stuff like this, I will talk to DS1 before we start our activity, tell him he has a choice - we are going in the store, and the people who run the store do not allow spitting. Can you be a big kid and keep your spit in your mouth, or do you need this baby bib in case some spit comes out while we are in the store?

Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
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#3 of 3 Old 02-15-2011, 08:46 AM
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Give them a time and place to spit.  You can spit into the trash, toilet, or outside in the backyard. Give her the right substance (water)


At meal times give her a small glass of milk and don't take it away until she starts to spit.  We don't spit at the table. You want to spit go to the bathroom and do it in the toilet with water.  


I was grossed out by my friend's spitting tree until my child started spitting (LOL). The tree was because she was grossed out by random spit on the car, sidewalk, house siding,et.  Spitting at that age does have a purpose on oral motor skills (that is the upside she is practicing them).  

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