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<p>He made me second guess myself. I felt like things from nature should be safe. We went walking and collected little things, like sticks and pinecones and leaves ... which he happily explored with his mouth while I sat with him watching ... and my husband is all freaked out. He said that birds poop on it and he can get sick and die. .... .... .... .....</p>
 

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<p>It really just depends on your comfort level.  Your husband has a point, that things from nature aren't safe just because they are natural - feces are natural and aren't safe to consume!</p>
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<p>I wouldn't let a baby or even older child put sticks and pinecones in their mouths, but I'm a bit more overprotective about things like that than some.</p>
 

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<p>I agree with <strong>Bokonon</strong> that it's a personal comfort thing. I probably would let my 7mo put things like that in their mouth as long as they weren't visibly soiled and I was sure the plant wasn't toxic.</p>
 

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<p>I doubt bird poop or general outside dirt is really likely to hurt anyone, but I don't allow sticks/plants etc in the mouth because little ones can't make distinctions yet among different types of plants and we have plenty of poisonous/irritating ones around here.  Even blueberries need mom's ok, because there are other similarly colored toxic berries around here.  And while I'm ok with playing with sticks, I'm not as cool with sticks in the mouth (becomes a problem as they get more mobile).  Some of these rules become more relevant as they get older and explore more on their own, but why start with one rule and change it a few months later?  </p>
 

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<p>Your babe will be fine. I let all my kids play with stuff outside and something always ends up in the mouth. I just say "not in the mouth" and "only food goes in the mouth". No one has died or even gotten sick yet but I don't want someone swallowing a penny, or a bead, or anything, again (yep it's happened before) so I stick with a -if it's not food it doesn't belong in the mouth rule. My children started understanding what -not in the mouth meant at about 9 months old and would remove the object that they had put in there when reminded.</p>
 
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