Why Does My Toddler Lick Me?

You are not the only one who has to endure the weirdness of your toddler licking you unexpectedly. Toddlerhood is a period of exploration, and each action contributes to their learning curve, which makes licking a manifest exploration and sensory testing. In this article, we shall try to understand why does your toddler lick you. We will discuss different aspects of his behavior and give some suggestions on how to make this process more positive for both your child and you. We would like to take you through all the strange yet normal stages that toddlers undergo.

Table of Contents

Why Does Your Toddler Lick You?

Toddlers frequently act oddly by trying to eat everything they get hold of, and this could be seen as being normal for kids at their age (Browning 3). However, parents should also consider when these actions are socially appropriate (Browning 4). Some experts propose that responses from people in children’s surroundings significantly affect their behaviors (Browning 4).

Sensory Exploration

A two- or three-year-old may lick items as part of playful activities or even due to curiosity about what happens next. Three-year-olds can exhibit such kind of behavior as an expression of interest in something they don’t know about yet. When 2-year-olds observe others’ actions every day, they try to find out some hidden sense behind them.

Comfort and Affection

If somebody noticed the same thing in three-year-olds or four-year-olds, then it might indicate the fact that this child is close to their parents since they consider them safe places. Family members should also note when biting starts becoming frequent among siblings who are together, especially during playtime, as well as other times when parental guidance may not be there (Cowell 9). Children may engage in physical activities just because they want their parents’ attention, especially if these adults appear too busy, such that they have no time for their babies.

Imitation and Play

Parents are advised to discourage children from exhibiting aggressive behaviors such as biting each other. In some cases, it is a sign of affection or feeling safe around the person being bitten; hence, it should not be discouraged. However, it becomes an issue when these actions are directed towards others within their environment or while on school premises (Cowell 9).

Sensory Processing and Autism 

However, autism is usually characterized by several other signs that would make you suspect that your child may be autistic: does he avoid eye contact? At times, autisticsuckers can be seen doing very strange things, like licking people for long periods of time. Nevertheless, parents should worry if they observe developmental delay symptoms apart from just excessive licking alone. Sometimes, all it takes is a peculiar behavior to make parents realize that something could be wrong with their kids.

Seeking Attention 

As a matter of fact, some infants who come from such backgrounds may resort to odd behaviors, which include licking them (Cowell 9). From a very young age, kids learn how to get adults’ attention, and licking is one way of doing so.

Toddlers Licking Faces and Objects

Furthermore, this habit develops during the first year or so when a child starts exploring his surroundings and finding new ways to experience texture on different objects (Browning 7). He might lick your face as a way of expressing affection, but lick objects out of curiosity.

How do You get Your Toddler to Stop Licking You?

Curiosity and sometimes unique ways of sensing, like licking, are major characteristics of toddlers as they explore their surroundings. This may seem innocent, but continuous licking can be an uncomfortable habit for parents. However, there are gentle and effective approaches that you can use to stop your toddler from licking you. Here are some things to think about:

Set Clear Boundaries

When your toddler starts licking you, make them aware that this is not acceptable behavior by speaking gently but firmly to them and using language that they understand.

Redirect Attention

Distract the toddler with something else when you see him or her start licking you. Redirecting their attention away from what you want them not to do is a good strategy.

Model Positive Behavior

Show your child how to express love appropriately by hugging or kissing them whenever possible; encourage imitation instead of licking.

Provide Alternatives

Suggest different means through which a young kid can exhibit himself or herself this time around or try some sensory input in order to meet his/her needs somewhere else other than just by a tongue on mommy’s skin! For instance, provide toys that are safe for mouthings, such as teethers and chewable necklaces.

Consistency is Key

In your efforts toward stopping the tongue action, try being patient and consistent with rules set in place so far; every instance when such an event takes place, remind him/her about the boundaries she has crossed while praising his/her alternative approach towards relating with oneself again. Allow time for understanding and acceptance of limits until they find other ways of expressing themselves rather than speaking out feelings verbally.

Final Words

In summary, for toddlers who explore through the senses as part of the development stage, where sensory exploration, emotional expression, and learning about social interactions are key concerns, this means that everything has been going on in line with expected norms. But if the behavior raises concerns, especially if there are other developmental issues accompanying it, then talking to the pediatrician or even a child development expert could help parents check if the child is within normal limits of development.

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