Why They Drink Bathwater and Other Mysteries Solved

Cynthia Dermody
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drinking bathwater

Photo by Gymmom14

Tell me if you disagree, but I think few things are yuckier than slurping a cloudy cup of water laced with alkanolamides, Jello remnants, dead skin cells, various bodily fluids, as well as gosh-only-knows what else. Bathwater. It's repulsive. But my tots guzzle it at every opportunity, despite my attempts to gross them out by describing exactly what's in it.

Parents magazine interviewed a bunch of experts to try and explain this and other weird toddler phenomenon in the February 2009 issue, and I wanted to share some highlights:

Drinking bathwater

To your toddler, it's like she's at a big tea party and she's sitting in the teapot. Yes, it's icky and you should discourage it, but it's unlikely she'll get sick.

Taking off his clothes -- anytime, anywhere

Toddlers don't know the meaning of modesty yet. Being able to disrobe is a source of pride, and he might do it to seize control.

Shoving everything in her nose or ear

Your little girl has discovered she has this body, it's all hers, and it's fascinating. Inserting beads, peas and rocks into it is part of exploration.

Tossing a present aside and playing with the box

The toy is nice, and he'll play with it later, but just look at that box! It's overflowing with possibilities: He can climb into it, wear it as a hat, pretend it's a house, and there's no adult telling him what to do with it.

Eating something one minute; refusing it the next

When your daughter says she doesn't like it, she may mean she just doesn't want it right now. No one craves the same food all the time, but she does not know how to communicate that yet.

++What kind of bizarre behavior is your toddler exhibiting lately?

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