food on the floor, before & after kids

Before I had kids, if something dropped on the floor I threw it away. It was the proper thing for a lady to do.

Foodonfloor1
My husband had a different idea. He used the “five-second rule” which means you are allowed to eat a piece of food from the floor as long as you retrieve it within five seconds.

I always thought this was gross. But I continued kissing him anyway so I guess I’m not really a lady. 

Then we had kids.

There is no more five-second rule in our house. 

Foodonfloor2

Heck, if I can identify it and remember buying it then we’re halfway there. A tortilla chip on the floor from lunch? Whatever.

Toddlers seem to love eating stuff off the floor for some reason. I think they take pride in the discovery. Probably some instinctual remnant from our hunter-gatherer days.  

So I don’t stress over it anymore. 

At least with dry things like chips or crackers.

But don’t worry. I’m not letting my kids eat moldy blueberries from under the couch every day. (Those are for special occasions only.) 

Do you follow the five-second rule? 

This entry was posted in before & after kids, crappy pictures, food, toddlers. Bookmark the permalink.

334 Responses to food on the floor, before & after kids

  1. Kelly says:

    I used to – for about a week when my son started crawling. Then it became the “Is that food?” rule, cos if it was, I let him eat it.

    • amber says:

      That is a good rule!

      • Sara says:

        Yep, I live by separating things into “gross” and “dangerous.” If something is dangerous, I step in. If it’s just “gross,” eh, I let ‘em. Gotta build those immune systems!!
        My son (3 1/2) picked something small and white off the floor the other day, looked at it, and popped in his mouth… I was like, “Wait! Stop! What is that???”
        “Just popcorn, mom!”
        We hadn’t had popcorn, I know for a fact, for at least 3 weeks.
        Gross? yes.
        Dangerous? eh, popcorn can’t go bad, can it?
        “Okay, go for it!”

        • Bernadette says:

          HA! I do the same thing Sara! Not dangerous, and I remember us having it, then go for it. Not a battle I care to fight. But it REALLY grosses my mom out! hahahahaha

          • Gretchen says:

            Sara, your rule is awesome! Though when my firstborn was first crawling she ate lots of non-food outside such as grass. But that’s pretty close to food, right? :) Maybe it’s especially good for inside discoveries. :)

        • kella says:

          OMGoodness this is way to familiar, my youngest now 6 is still sometimes prone to popping stuff from the floor into her mouth and she does definately know better but sometimes I suppose the temptation is to great, blech!

          I remember when she was a toddler though and eating off the floor was common place for her, there would be the odd times she would put some old item of food into her mouth and would suddenly spit out saying “taste yucky” and I would be like, what do you expect when you go foraging under the couch, ugh!

        • KatieB says:

          I’m with you Sara! And have you tried actually removing a small object from a toddler’s mouth? Talk about dangerous! I’ve nearly lost a finger trying…so if it’s only in the gross category, I consider it a lost cause.

      • c says:

        How about if we all eat from the floor all the time? Who cares about tables, plates, silverware and sanitation! Whatever your pets eat, you can eat that too! If eating off the floor sounds gross to you then for goodness sake don’t let your child. Why would you set the standard for you beatuful child as similar to your pet? That’s absolutely disgusting.

        • Annie says:

          It’s not just for the kids. ;-)

        • Twin mommy says:

          Does this person have kids? I want proof. I let my kids do things I don’t do all the time, like poop their pants and put their feet behind their heads.

        • Andi says:

          Are you kidding lady? I do not “let” my children eat anything “gross”. We cannot control every little thing our children do. They stuff things in the most random places and then they, or their younger siblings find it later. We have affectionately started calling those “treasures”, food storage.

    • Jen says:

      I’m with you Kelly. We were forever just asking “Is that food?”

    • B says:

      If you would not eat off of the floor, then why would you let your child? Dogs eat off of the floor, not children.

      • Chrystal says:

        Is it really THAT big of a deal? I’m certainly not going to yank something away from my two year old that isn’t sharp, raw or poisonous. He will figure it out. You don’t see many 7 or 8 year olds scouring the floor for crumbs. Toddlers are curious. Let it be.

        • B says:

          Once again, would YOU eat off of the floor? If the answer is no, then why would you allow your children? Children are small humans, not animals.

          • Maria says:

            I regularly eat off the floor along with my toddler. Why should he get all the tasty little morsels that got missed the first time? The little chips, bits of apple and peanut-butter sandwiches? YUM YUM I say.

          • Jeremy says:

            The world is a disgusting place. deal with it. There is nothing in this world that is perfectly clean and sanitized… something small and nasty always finds it’s way in. So, you should let yourchildren’s imunne systems develope naturally with a little guidance. If my kid has to eat a rotten bread crumb froom the floor, finds a raisin which used to be a grape behind the the sofa, or whatever, then so be it. My child’s imune system will just be all that much more stronger than your coddled over protected one. Vitamins only work soo far… the body still needs to be infected to know what it is fighting off.

          • Laura says:

            Humans actually ARE animals — even the little ones!

          • C says:

            Yes, I have indeed eaten off the floor. And you know what? I’ve not been sick in over two years. NBD. And if my daughter gets to the food before the dog, then geeze, good for her. She’ll be an Olympian someday.

      • Samantha says:

        You don’t have children, do you…?

        • c says:

          I have 2 children, and I am a Pediatrician. Eating off of the floor is not recommended : ).

          • Lisa says:

            At least you spelled Pediatrician correctly…

          • Samantha says:

            I think the difference here is that I certainly don’t SERVE my child on the floor… given the choice, I would rather she not eat it… but honestly – if I drop something on the floor, I’ll probably still eat it, and according to mythbusters, it’s already as germ-y as it’s going to get. She just has this talent for finding bits of food that I don’t notice until they’re in her mouth… BTW, I didn’t mean to sound as condescending as my last post sounded… sorry about that.

          • Tracy says:

            Um, my DH is a Dr and we let our daughter eat off the floor. Sometimes she will even put it on the floor first and then eat it. As long as the floor is relatively clean it’s fine, and builds their immune system. There is a reason so many kids have allergies, asthma, etc. If you keep them in a sterile environment their immune system will freak out when it sees anything.

          • Andi says:

            Of course it is not “recommended”, but good luck following all your children around at all times and controlling absolutely everything they do.

  2. Nicole says:

    after my own toddler ate a fish stick that he found under my dresser (don’t ask how it got there) that was approximately 5 days old and lived to tell the tale, i became SO much less worried about the crap they eat off the ground…. 3 yr old just ate a teddy graham he found under the couch cushion? oh well…. the baby is eating rocks out of the flower bed? meh…..

  3. rye says:

    is there glass in it? is there hair on it? did the dog lick it?

    …if it passes these then whatever. i let it fly.

    • Lindsay says:

      Did the dog lick it? Yes.
      Meh. Carry on.

      • Shannon says:

        Ditto to Lindsay.

        My 2 year old eats dog food out of the bowl, too. At least it’s organic dog food, right?

        • mandy says:

          I had a pediatrician that told me that kids need to eat a certain amount of dog food and dirt to grow. That was with my first kid-with the second kid, I had to have poison control on speed dial, they knew me by name. We discovered all kinds of things were not poisonous.
          He lived.

          • deneen says:

            Mandy, i think we must have the same child … my son ate canestan, liquid parafin, acrylic paint, dog food, cat food, laundry soap … you would have thought i never fed the boy … his nick name was/is Buddah, we fed him!

      • Lindsay you crack me up! The comment are just as entertaining as the post!

      • hallie says:

        lol. yep. heck, my 2 1/2 year old shares with the dog. Drives me nuts, i think it’s gross… but what can you do?? Atleast he’s learning to share…

        • deneen says:

          i actually learned to bake dog cookies cause the kids were eating dog biscuits … lucky dog …

        • A says:

          I apologize if this offends anyone. Children are not pets. They should not be allowed to eat off of the floor. Dogs eat off of the floor, but we humans know better. If you do not eat off of the floor then why on earth would you allow your beautiful children to eat off of the floor?

          • Erika S. says:

            I DO eat off the floor! Just like Amber’s hubby and I continue to live through it and I expect so will my children. Pick off the hairs & I’m good to go. My husband wouldn’t in a million years put something in his mouth from the floor. My rules when I cook, his rule when he cooks!

          • Katie says:

            A you must be the same person as B. All I have to say is that If you clean your floors regularily they are cleaner than your sink or your counters. Did you know that. The next time you set your fruits and veggies in the sink to wash them I hope you washed your sink first because it is dirtier than your toilet! Before you call out other people know your facts.

          • SueAnne says:

            Its not a matter of feeding them off the floor, its just a matter of they are CLOSER to the floor than the table. They see things before we do. No one is suggesting food be put on the floor, but there are so many more serious things to worry about than dusty cheerios! There have been articles published that state mothers who constantly keep their little ones too clean actually get sick more often, because they lack immunities! I raised 3, theyall lived, the youngest drank 8 oz. of bubbles with a crazy straw then brushed his teeth with bengay…..I had poison control on speed dial too!

          • Laura says:

            How dirty is your floor?

    • Lara K says:

      Yeah, my 2-year-old thinks dog food is a special treat – and I think it’s mostly because I used to try and stop him from eating it. I’ve basically given up on that. And if I had a rule about not letting him eat (or lick) things that the dog had licked, well, I don’t have the time or energy to enforce that rule. At this point, the dog does way fewer gross things than my kid does, so whatever.

  4. Sanddi says:

    HA! He walks up to me, chewing on something… Is that a food substance?! Mud doesn’t qualify so I had to fish that out… but yeah… if it’s food, I don’t stress it. He clearly doesn’t care.

  5. melissa says:

    We don’t really follow any rules. We throw the food out for ourselves, but if our son happens to find a cheerio or a goldfish on the floor of the living room – which is often – he’ll almost always eat it before we can take it away. He’s still alive and healthy and has managed to stay away from all the colds he has been surrounded by lately, so whatever. Maybe there is something to eating food off the floor that is keeping him healthy.

    • Fiona says:

      Yes I totally agree with you, but I completely draw the line at letting them scoop the goldfish out of the bowl.
      :)

  6. Sarah says:

    LOL! If I didn’t let my kids eat off the floor, I’d have two problems: (a) my kids would starve to death, and (b) my floor would never get cleaned!

  7. Amy says:

    Our rule is that if you can beat the dog to it, you can eat it. This applies even if the dog is in another room, outside, etc.

    • Kim says:

      That is SO our house…. :)

    • Elisa says:

      That’s ours too! Food doesn’t stay on the floor very long with a dog around.

    • nopinkhere says:

      Us too

    • Nicole says:

      Ha! Our dog is glued to our 20-mth old these days. She yells “No, stop” constantly as she isn’t faster than the dog, which of course causes my husband and I to laugh hysterically. I give her props for trying though.

    • Erika S. says:

      We have the same rule…but I’m usually yelling “Get it before the dog gets it!!!” I just don’t know how people with children live with out a dog. I’d be sweeping or mopping nonstop! Love my dog!!!

      • Cynthia says:

        We just have lot of crumbs on the floor. And isn’t it amazing how something they wouldn’t touch on the table (except to throw it on the floor) becomes a delicacy once it’s down there?

        • Maria says:

          Ha ha ha that’s soooo true!!! My little boy at the moment will play with noodles in his bowl, but the minute any fall on the floor he says ‘Uh oh!’ and eats them immediately!! LOL : )

  8. Kaylee says:

    The only reason why I would want a dog is so they could help lick up the food on the floor. Until then…yes, we eat off of the floor often.

    • amber says:

      Yes, several people have suggested getting a dog to clean the floors. Somehow I think taking care of a dog might actually be more involved than letting it clean my floors.

      • Merredith says:

        You’d be surprised at how little work an adult dog is. A puppy? I wouldn’t recommend that for anyone with small kids. Too much work, but an adult dog who is potty and leash trained is priceless in cleaning up around the house. But I still let my kids eat off the ground. All the time.

        • amber says:

          Yes, puppies are cute but way too much work! We plan to adopt a dog once everyone in the house (well, besides the cats) can deal with their own poop issues.

          • Elisa says:

            Always a good rule of thumb.

          • Julie says:

            But a dog deals with a cat’s poops very well :) umm tell they lick your face…

          • Maria says:

            Our dog has a distinct penchant for our little boy’s poop. Always has since he was just a baby. Now if there are any poopy nappies that don’t make it to a secure bin immediately, they’re at risk of being ripped apart and licked to within an inch of their lives. Cleaning a poopy nappy is bad. Picking up the tiny fragments of a once-poopy nappy and wipes off the carpet is HORRIFFIC!

      • lisa says:

        Dogs are great for kiddie clean up. But in exchange for no food on the ground you have hair and slobber. Gotta love my dogs!

      • Erica says:

        They do make good vacuums, however the baby soon realizes the dog eats what they drop and then you have a new game on your hands lol!

        • Sarah says:

          And what a fun game that is!! LOL My soon to be 2 year old gives the dog her food then cries for more; all while pointing at the dog like it’s her fault…

        • Twin mommy says:

          I think it’s instinct. My dog stays out except at night, but the kids call him at meals to finish their food.

      • Mari says:

        We got a Roomba. Much less maintenance than a dog plus you can program it to vacuum the house while you are gone. There is still inevitable food on the floor in between Roomba runs and it seems to be fair game for the boy. He has decided that he should wash food that he finds on the floor so now he snacks on soggy but cleaner crackers.

        • Charmaine says:

          We got a roomba too. Cheaper than a dog (but we hope to get a dog in the future).

          My little one is 13 months and purposely throws food on the floor. I think she’s saving it for later.

      • Lindsay says:

        I always tell my husband that I don’t want a dog, I just want one that will come in and clean up after snacks and meals and then go home to where ever it lives lol

      • Lara K says:

        I frequently remark on how much it would suck if we didn’t have a dog because I would have to do so much food clean-up.

    • Dorothy says:

      Just make sure the dog you get doesn’t have food allergies like mine. Damnit. That means I have to clean the floors. all.of.the.time. sigh.

  9. Lisa Lee says:

    Too funny! I used to be that way too. And now my reasoning why I would let my babe eat off the floor like that is that I think to myself it will help build up her immune system. Our society is too clean and hence the rise of allergies in our little tots.

    • Alyssa E. says:

      This is so how I feel. Drop something on the floor and pick it up just to put it right into your mouth? Builds up the immune system. Put your mouth all over the Walmart buggy? Builds up the immune system. One of my favorite shows is Raising Hope, and they did a whole episode on this, to which I laughed and cheered for 30 minutes!

  10. Tanja says:

    Five second rule? Nah… We clean the floors daily, so anything edible on the floor is up (down) for grabs! It can’t be more than a day old, right? Better they eat food off the ground than rocks and bugs!

    • Amanda says:

      Lol. I remember when my now 3 yr old was 18 months and he put a ladybug in his mouth and chomped down on It. It must’ve tasted really bad bc he promptly vomited.

      • kella says:

        i can attest to that, ladybugs taste vile, one flew into my mouth a few years ago, the memory makes me shudder and i really like ladybugs but not in my mouth, blech! blech! and oh yeah blech!!!!!

  11. Lindsay says:

    The best are the gummies or wet suckers that pick up every nasty dog hair or grain on it and it’s slow motion batting it away from them. That’s the only thing that doesn’t really fly. heh.

  12. sarahS says:

    My daughter is 16 months and she doesn’t like eating her cheerios out of bowls or plates so i pour it onto a little bean bag chair and she usually eats it off that. if its in a container she pours it onto the floor. if she gets to the cheerios on the floor before i do then i guess thats just what happens. i try to put them on a blanket or something.

    • lauren says:

      My son ia the same way!! I found the only way he will eat them is out of a plastic ziplock. It’s fun for him for some reason! Lol before I discovered that it was always just “put ‘em in a pile on the floor!” Then vacuum every night (which I did anyway so no biggie!) Lol

    • Amy says:

      That is my daughter too! Plus she shares with the dog!

  13. NobbyNobody says:

    We were always very careful not to let our little one eat food that had fallen on the floor until one day, shortly after he started crawling, I caught him eating a lump of chicken poop that had found its way into the house on my shoe. After that we figured he could eat what he likes and day old floor food is no problem.

    • amber says:

      It is funny how after an experience like that we tend to relax a bit!

    • Thea says:

      Almost the same story here, baby sitting in the grass while I did a little weeding next to him, turn around and he’s eating a dried chicken poo! He’s very healthy and wasn’t even sick from that, so everything else is “better that than chicken poo!”

      (his older brother LOVED dried cat food, we had to keep it locked up!)

      • Thalita Dol says:

        Here was cat poo… =(

        Also once she ate a shrimp out of a REALLY spicy typical “baiana” food called “acarajé”. She got it from the dirty floor of a county fair… yuck!
        She was faster than me. Then, when I hysterically tried to get it out of her mouth, she closed it tightly, cryed, and wouldn’t let me get the nasty shrimp out. oh my!

        I think we will laugh about this story forever!

        hugs from Brazil

    • kella says:

      yep I totally relaxed when I caught eldest when she was a new creeping six month old, I found her sucking on something small and became suspicious as i knew none of her toys were so small that they would fit in her hand unseen, when I prized open her pudgy little fingers I found a partially eaten millipede (i’m from the tropics, so the millipede was almost as fat as my little finger – shudder).

      i kinda figured if she could eat that, whats the point worrying, eh!

    • IntactivistMama says:

      My 17 month old son ate questionable cherries from the ground when we were cherry-picking. He didn’t get sick but oh dear god in heaven the poopy diaper after that. D:

  14. Kiza says:

    We use the “Is it food?” rule. Or, on really stressful days, we slide to the “Will it require an ER run?” rule. Mostly because the 19 month old *really* likes cat food, and sometimes she’s faster than I am.

    • Sesasha says:

      Our big bag of cat food started living in the pantry to prevent the toddler from eating it, but that’s hardly practical with the actual bowl, so, sometimes being food-like is enough to pass in our house.

      • RumpledElf says:

        We solved the cat food problem. We have a new house with “dishwasher provision” so the cat food lives in the space for the dishwasher. We have a large cardboard box duct taped across the front of the space, with enough of a gap above to reach in and put in cat food. The cat gets in and out through a 15cm square cut in the front, which is too small for a fat 20 month old to fit through.

        • deneen says:

          That is AWESOME!!! we cleared off a shelf so the kitties didnt have to “share” their food with the babies or dogs … worked well until they too FAT to jump up to the shelf …

        • We gated off the landing to the basement stairs. Gives the cats a relatively undisturbed place to eat.

          My boy eats floor snacks all the time but I draw the line at cat food. The canned stuff doesn’t bother me so much (gross, but canning kills a lot) but the dry? Stale greasy pellets of who knows what? No.

          Old Cheerios from the car seat, though, why not?

      • Rachel Ellis says:

        Cat food IS food. It’s just meat-flavored cereal, perfectly okay for kids to eat, right?

    • amber says:

      Both my boys really loved cat food, but not to eat. Just to dump it out or dump it into their water bowl. And then dump out the water bowl, etc.

      • Shannon says:

        My son enjoys this game. He’s in the “dumper” stage. Sigh.

      • jen says:

        Have you seen that commercial where they show you gorgeous cuts of beef and chicken and fish and lovely green veggies and get your mouth salivating for a good tasty and healthy dinner and then they cut to the picture of the cat eating its cat food out of the bowl and in that moment you realize you are salivating over CAT FOOD?!!?? Cat food….perfectly ok food for toddlers…..right?

    • melanie says:

      our rule of thumb is definitely the “will this requirea
      trip to the ER”
      At 2.5 my youngest is mostly past the floor food stage – in fact i think she has deemed floor food to only be worthy for dogs. A bit of a pain thoug if the dogs are playing outside and wontcome and clean my floor! :p

  15. candi says:

    I often tell people that after a meal here with my foster kids there is enough food under the table to feed a third world nation. So, if I wait long enough I don’t have to cook one meal and they can just eat off of the floor.

  16. Ashley G says:

    My rule makes me sound like an awful parent…
    “if it’s no good, you’ll throw it up later…then we’ll know”
    ;)

  17. Ash says:

    Amber, do you know how good it makes the rest of us moms feel to know that a “famous” mom does the same crap we do? I’ll be damned if i eat anything off the floor, but my kids and husband are more than welcome to it.

  18. Annie says:

    If it’s food, I’m not particular about the age of it since it’s usually something dry like a cracker or old popcorn. The “is there hair on it” rule would be nice, but she’s usually across the room when popping something in her mouth, so as much as it grosses me out it’s not going to make her sick (any more than old germy food off the floor will). I like the idea that it’s a hunter/gatherer throwback behavior, good rationalizing!!

  19. Alice says:

    Sometimes I throw the food on the floor just cause I know he’ll eat it. He gets his “second dinner” after I let him out of the high chair.

  20. anissa says:

    So, is it or is it not a bad idea to let my daughter feed me food after she’s done playing puppy dog in the kitchen while dad cooks? :)

  21. Kim says:

    I just relish in the fact that my persnickety toddler is actually eating something – the floor is just a lower table; if he avoids the playdoh crumbs, its a bonus.

  22. evelyn says:

    ya know, there are way too many parenting rules. With 3 kids if I did not look the other way at times I would for sure loose my mind

  23. Cat says:

    My daughter used to prefer to eat her food off the carpet. She’d dump her plate, beg to be let out of her highchair, then grab handfuls of food and start wandering around while she munched. Grandma nicknamed her the “free range baby.” She’s much chubbier than her brothers were, so I guess it worked!

  24. Bex says:

    Depends where it drops really.. home is *totally* ok, no matter how long/how much cat hair/grit is stuck to it. Sticky coffee shop floors not so much. Anywhere outside is Nature so it must be ok. Not quite sure where my son found the 8 inch length of cotton that came out the other end one day…

  25. Misti says:

    Gum?! Ew, no.

  26. Allison says:

    Our grocery store gives each child a free cookie when they’re in the store. My two-year-old wants to go there every day. (We don’t.) Last time we were there he dropped part of his cookie on the floor. I picked it up and tried to give it back. He refused – he said it was “nasty” and we needed to throw it out. Is it bad that my child has stricter food rules for himself than I have for him?

    • AC says:

      LOL! My boys have snubbed me with “just fallen on the ground for a SECOND” food too, also saying it was “yucky”. I swear it’s all the kids programming these days. Yo Gabba Gabba has a whole skit about not eating food off the ground because of the “tiny ugly germs”. Little Germaphobes in the making!

  27. dave says:

    This one really hit home! My kids and I scavenge for food in the living room all the time while my wife watches on in horror.

    From my 4-year-old daughter: “Daddy, I love our couch. It smells like chips!”

  28. Liz says:

    Wow, Amber! Look at your pre-children cans. Lol

  29. Christina says:

    I used to… until mine hit about 2-3. Then she got a “toy kitchen” and started storing REAL food in it.. She’d bust out a cracker or a cookie, or other similar items after a week or so and be so proud of herself for having kept it. After that I just gave up.

  30. Velvet says:

    Luckily for us pretty much anything remotely edible that falls on the floor is immediately consumed by our dog. I don’t even want to imagine how much more often I’d have to sweep (or more likely how much dirtier my floor would be) if we didn’t have her. Now whenever my 4 year old drops food he proudly yells, “That one’s for the dog!”

    Our rule has more to do with the amount of cat hair stuck to it. It doesn’t matter so much how long it’s been there, but if you can remove any attached cat hair by blowing on it or not. Dry foods almost always pass, but buttered toast, well…that one’s for the dog.

  31. Vikki says:

    My 2 yo finds great pleasure in placing his food on the floor then eating it like a “doggie”.. used to freak me out. but now, heck, as long as he is eating..

    • T says:

      Ha! Thanks for the laugh. I did this as a kid so my dad apparently tucked a belt in the back of my pants as a tail and started calling me Rover. My mother was not amused, but I ate off the floor for quite a while and lived to tell the tale!

  32. Courtney says:

    I am a (underpaid) nanny for 17 mo triplets. Somedays we do “picnic” breakfast when the morning is crazy. Picnic breakfast consists of dumping half a box of chereos on the livingroom floor. They live it and I don’t have to mess with loading, unloading, and cleaning 3 highchairs.

  33. heathermama says:

    our little one throws stuff on the floor to eat later. you set her down from the table and she eats everything she threw down there. LOL

  34. Melissa says:

    My kids have to fight the dogs for floor crumbs. When one of them drops a breakfast chocolate donette they immediately yell ‘no no no no no molly! no lucy! no no no!’ and then ‘whew, i got it’. So we don’t even need a rule, if its food and you beat the dogs, you’re good.

  35. Franca says:

    I follow the five-hour, hope-it’s-not-too-moldy rule. This is disgusting to all my friends WITHOUT kids or my mother (who must have forgotten what we were like or maybe she was so controlling we never did that. Both options are entirely possible). I draw the line at half-eaten foods or floors I haven’t cleaned myself but my toddler is faster than I am, so sometimes I see her chewing something and I pray silently that it won’t make her vomit for two days straight. Praying seems to be another tool most parents live by. Next to coffee and wine, right?

  36. kmischa says:

    What I like about the before and after pics are the differences you’ve drawn in your figure (aka the perky boobs). Our baby isn’t crawling yet, so the food part isn’t as relevant just yet.

  37. Jessica says:

    I sometimes think my child leaves a trail of food strategically placed around the house so she can eat whenever she likes…XD

  38. Stephanie says:

    My friends son was 9ish months old when I had my son. They came over one day to “help” me out. Her son found something on my floor and started it eat it. She HAD the same rule when it came to food on the floor. Until she fished out what was in his mouth. It was my sons belly button scab…..yeah, we changed that rule quick like.

    • amber says:

      Oh no! Belly button jerky! lol

    • Nicola says:

      Ahahahahhaa! Ewwww! But oh my goodness, my husband is probably downstairs wondering what is making me laugh!! (well he can probably guess, I ALWAYS have a chuckle when I read these comics, and yeah the comments too :) )

  39. Kathy says:

    If you are what you eat, then my kid is almost entirely dirt and cat fur, so I’m not going to let myself worry too much about things that are (or at some point were) actually food.

  40. Natalie B says:

    I think it’s nature’s way of increasing their immune system… that’s right, it’s in my son’s best interest to eat food off the floor ;)

  41. Doni says:

    LOL This is great because just this morning the conversation between my 2 year old and husband went like this:

    “What is in your mouth?”
    “Cookkie” :)
    “Where did you get a cookie?!”
    “Off uh flooorr..” :)

  42. fiona wallen says:

    Its 30 sec rule in our house here down under in NZ :D my crappy 11mth old fights & screams or does houdini moves to escape the straps and stand up in her high chair and takes great delight throwing food overboard to the circling sharks (crappy cat & crappy dog) below she doesnt appear to eat anything (even with crappy BLW). She also takes great delight in finding random crappy morsels on the floor even more so if they are covered in hair & leaf litter trapsed in from outside! my shameful secret is the other day out of desperation to get her to eat as she was very crappy screechy and niggly (despite crappy copious amounts of BF) i left her a trail of sultanas on the floor leading from the kitchen to the lounge, she consumed each one the lil ……..!! but the crappy dog has now developed a palate for sultanas too…… i have decided to only use the highchair when crappy nearly 4yr old brother has to eat at the table the rest of the time crappy crawler is served her food on a plate on the floor which very rapildy gets dumped off the plate onto the floor i have to walk away as the smooshing experiments of food into now crappy carpet do my head in…… :D

  43. Jill says:

    After all the cat food she’s eaten both out of the cat’s bowl and off the basement floor, I’m not too worried! Plus the cat food made her hair all nice and shiny.

  44. Lisa says:

    My kids have a favorite game. They dump their dishes of Cheerios, goldfish, etc. on the floor and then eat it without using their hands. I have chosen to just watch and laugh, rather than fight a losing battle. Glad I’m not alone…

  45. lana says:

    best ever! :) I try to follow 5 seconds rule but it’s getting difficult to pick a 30 pounds screaming toddler in the middle of licking the floor. So i give up. It’s all good.

  46. Melanie says:

    My son dropped something on the floor the other day at dinner time and I grabbed it off the floor observed it and it went back onto his plate. My boyfriend thought this was absolutely gross. I told him I used the 5 second rule…honestly more like 5 minutes by the time I crawled under the table to retrieve it.

    I also find that after we’ve had breakfast and then we leave for the day, when we get home in the evening, my son immediately runs for the kitchen table and hoovers down any left over breakfast, whether it be toast, soggy cereal or a glass of milk. I seem to really freak out when he drinks up a cup of milk that’s been sitting there for 10 hours…

    Yet my kids have never experienced any sickness from this. They are quite resilient little ones :)

  47. Angel Carpenter says:

    Last night as my son was standing around naked before his bath, he have the butt a good inside scratch. Then he ate what he had pulled to the surface. I was helpless, it went into his mouth before I could even speak.

    • nicole says:

      If it makes you feel any better, I’ve caught my LO stowing goldfish and the occasional cracker in his diaper…… :P

      • Tarina says:

        I have a video of my oldest when he was about 2 reaching into his diaper and pulling out a whole ravioli that he had stuffed there at the beginning of lunch and eating it. (there was nothing but ravioli in his diaper!! Thank goodness!) The sound of the video is a combination of him giggling and my trying not to vomit!!

  48. Victoria says:

    I love this. My daughter eats any and everything she can find on the floor. As long as it is edible(or was edible a long time ago), she is good to go. I have to draw the line at insects. We were in Jamaica in the New Year and we were in our hotel room. All of a sudden, she is chewing like she found something but pulls a funny face and opens her mouth. Out drops a live bug. Nice. Guess she didn’t like it crawling around in her mouth.

  49. Anne says:

    This is why, when my daughter was a toddler, I had a blog called “I Hope That Was a Raisin.”

  50. Rachael says:

    As long as it’s not

    a) bread I’ve left out for the birds that has been pecked at and discarded, or
    b) raisins that have been swept into a pile with assorted household fluff and dust,

    it is all fair game.

  51. Melinda says:

    It depends on who’s watching. No witnesses = practical free for all!

  52. We often tell the kids, “It’s okay to eat off of floor at our house but not other people’s.” (Though I ALWAYS feel funny when I hear myself saying this). I would like to claim that the reason we tell them this is that our floors are so clean (they are thanks to hubs), but the truth is that I hate wasting stuff, so I would rather have them eat stuff off the floor than throw it away.

  53. Kate says:

    My little guy very helpfully points out all food on the floor TO the dog. (The dog’s old, he needs help sometimes.) Or, if he finds something on the floor (doesn’t matter if it’s edible), he’ll take it to wherever the dog is sleeping to try to feed it to him. But the grossness factor kicks in when he puts the food halfway in the dog’s mouth and then decides he wants it after all and eats it himself. So food that’s just been on the floor would be an improvement!

  54. Michael says:

    Well this makes me feel a whole lot better. I thought I was the only one letting my kids eat from the floor. My one issue with this is when something falls in the street. I live in Paris and I’m sure it is frowned upon, as it is in other parts of the world I suppose, to let your child eat off the street. But my kids can’t make sense of my lax rules at home and my strictness out in public. My two year old also thought it was okay to throw his food in the kitchen garbage and then go back and grab it. Even I had to draw the line there.

  55. tacy says:

    i once pulled a live cricket out of my son’s mouth. A LIVE CRICKET. so you’d understand why an occasional cheerio or runaway blueberry no longer bothers me.

  56. Liz says:

    Um, I used to not worry…until I found what I ‘thought’ was a regular old raisin on the floor one day – once I picked it up, I realized it had already been digested. Ew.

  57. Tracy says:

    For the most part I don’t really care what they eat off the floor, but I am more careful to at least glance at it before it goes in the mouth. Why, you ask? I caught my youngest trying to eat a spider of the floor. *gag*

  58. ariel says:

    Your husband dresses like mine! Lol

  59. Andrea says:

    This just made my day. My husband is a freak about stuff in thier mouth and how many times they hit thier heads. We have 3 kids, two boys 3 and 18 months, if he only knew!
    After I caught my oldest with cricket legs hanging out of his mouth, when he was smaller, I pretty much didn’t care any more!
    As long as it has not already entered and exited somethings body, I’m ok with looking the other way.

  60. RumpledElf says:

    Never had this with the first kid. Never had this with the second kid. Now, the third … kid #2 eats like a bird and likes to drift around while she eats so she leaves food everywhere. Kid #3 we call a “forager”. He finds food EVERYWHERE. Best I’ve seen him munching on was half a hot-dog sausage that was so old it was rock solid, and I have no idea where he got it from.

    He forages outside too, we grow strawberries, beans, tomatoes etc and he just wanders out and helps himself. I call him “garbage guts”, its like having a 2 foot tall mobile waste disposal unit.

    My solution to babies-eating-catfood is a reply further up :)

  61. Sophie says:

    Funny, my son just dropped his bagel as I was reading this. He was concerned how gross it was but I had to convince him it was fine to eat. LOL

  62. Jennifer says:

    Oh yeah, this is us. My daughter finds crackers and cereal in all sorts of places…who knows how long they’ve been there!

  63. Catherine says:

    My 5yo constantly spills his food on the floor, IE: dumping the entire plate (he’s easily distracted). Since I’m not making him a new dinner, he gets to get it where it fell….

  64. Lisa Lutes says:

    I figure I’m doing her a huge favor letting her eat off the floor. Now she will be able to travel to 3rd world countries and eat their food and drink their water without being hospitalized. I wish I had been given that opportunity!

  65. Nessie says:

    Hahahaha! So pertinent as I’m watching my daughter crawl around and eat lunch leftovers from the floor! I also love the before and after change in your appearance! (Same here!)

    • Jennifer says:

      YES! I love how your boobs were perky, your butt was high, and your hair was curled at the bottom before kids. LOL so true!

  66. Sara says:

    Our rule (generally) is if you can recognize it as food, you can eat it. Almond from the floor of the car from who knows when? Fair game. Oatmeal from yesterday’s breakfast? Ok. Unrecognizable something from the floor? No go!

  67. Keri says:

    If someone can beat the dog to it, then go right ahead and eat it, that is the rule in our house!

  68. Angela says:

    I totally agree!
    Before children – 5 second rule.
    First child – 5 hour rule.
    Second child – Is it edible? rule.
    Third child (due March) – What doesn’t kill them makes them stronger right?

  69. Katelyn Dziedzic says:

    It’s the five-day rule in our house. My kids go through lick-it phases: the floor, the wall, shoes, whatever. I pretend I don’t see it. Unless we’re out and they lick the shopping cart handle or someone else’s shoes, which happens more often than I care to admit. Yuck.

  70. katherine says:

    Nice post.

    When we were out at a restaurant recently, my toddler had to get up and run around before everyone was ready to go, so we let him do that. During this activity he found various pieces of food he had thrown on the floor earlier and I let him eat them. Whatever. It’s just too much trouble not to. At home, our meal routine makes it less likely that there will be a lot of food on the group to discover later but when we’re out anything can happen.

  71. Dana says:

    After my son ate bird poop off a picnic table – and went back for more – I have been pretty relaxed about food on the floor. I don’t think there is much more out there that will top the bird poop. It still makes me gag, and then laugh, every time I think about it.

  72. nicole says:

    I’m in a childhood development course right now that totally justifies me not worrying about month-old tortilla chips or a little “floor spice”. From my textbook:
    “children are overprotected from viruses, bacteria, and allergens, preventing normal development of their immune systems, and leading to skyrocketing rates of all allergies. In other words, too much hygiene may be a problem.”

  73. Vero says:

    I have an “almost” 3 year old and a 8 months old baby. About a week ago, I couldn’t find the red play-doh anywhere… Until I changed my 8 months old poopy diaper… It took him about 2 days to be done with the red poop. He’s not crawling yet, so I suspected his brother, but I had no proof. A few days later, I’m in the kitchen and the two kids are next door in the play room and I hear: “No Sam, no! Don’t eat the pink play-doh. Mama will find it in your poop and be upset. Eat the brown one instead, that one looks more like poop”.

    So, yeah, I think I’ll stick to the if-it-is-food-and-it-is-not-moldy-you-can-eat-it rule. At least for now…

  74. cathy says:

    I figure the kids are lucky to have floors to eat off of… there are children in Africa that don’t even have floors. ;-)

  75. Chelsea says:

    I always make sure to say “Oh no! Don’t eat that!”, just so the people around me don’t think I’m a horrible mother for letting my child eat something off the floor. “Oh man! He got that in his mouth before I could stop him!” is what I say, as I glance up from my book or Angry Birds.

  76. Stacey says:

    Our food finds are in the car seat. 2 year old crying, hungry, and then silence. I look up and he is eating something we have not had in the house for over a month. I know he is the second child because I felt relief that he stopped crying without caring much what he was munching on.

  77. Shannon says:

    One time I made that homemade playdough with salt and flour for my daughter to play with in the kitchen. A few days later, I told my husband, “The other day, I made homemade playdough as a fun activity.” He says, “Oh, that’s what that was.” Here, he was eating things off the floor and came across something incredibly salty. He ate it anyway, but was happy to learn a few days later that it was the playdough.

  78. Alexandra says:

    I adore reading your blog. With 2 boys (ages 4 and 1) I am living it too! I usually don’t read comments but the ones on your blog are hilarious! You’ve got a fantastic following and I think that says a lot about your work and how it touches people :)

  79. Melissa says:

    Hilarious! My son isn’t crawling yet, but I’m sure I will get there too. I like how in the first pic, you actually have boobs, but not in the second!

  80. Lisa S says:

    *This* is the real reason you don’t let people wear shoes in your house.

    ;)

  81. brooke says:

    after watching the documentary BABIES, i never worry about anything anymore. those babies from Africa survived eating bones and rocks off the floor, my boy will survive eating a cookie or a strawberry that’s been there since who knows when. if you haven’t seen that, see it! it will get rid of any neurosis!

  82. Ebony says:

    We follow the Bear Grills rule here. Most of the stuff they find on the floor cant be worse than some of the stuff he eats.

    although I did find it gross when ‘then 3 yr old’ thought it was yummy to eat a maggot off the ground :/

  83. Crazy Mama says:

    *snicker
    Five second. Five hour. Five days, whatever.

    Actually, we live in South FL…so this neat thing happens. You get ants if you leave food in the floor for a nanosecond. That means we have ants pretty much all the time.
    Know what eats ants? Scorpions!
    Want to hear my husband scream like a wee little girl? Let him see a scorpion stalking across the floor all “weapons up” with its stinger. Good times.

    I love your blog. I think everyone should also check out *my* blog – because I’m a narcissist – or maybe just because I’m dying for adult communication in whatever form I can get it – even if it just means I talk and another adult reads it.
    Either way.

    Shine On, You Crazy Mama

  84. Kerin says:

    Once you’ve had microbiology, there’s no going back. I’m constantly skeeved out by the unknowns my children consume from the floor before I’m able to stop them.

    I try, but they’ve learned to be sneaky about it or mommy may swipe their goodie before they’ve had a chance to check it out! So far, so good… all four are still alive. But I can almost hear the tiny colonies of microorganisms cheering our demise when the toddler pulls a hidden treasure out from under the toybox or the couch!

    • *Laura* says:

      hahahaha! the cheering makes me laugh. also, i don’t know if you watch Futurama, but there’s an episode where Fry eats an oogie sandwich from a gas station and gets worms. but these worms actually repaired his tissues and made him stronger and smarter and everything. that’s what i try to think about when i see the 1 year old eating a petrified piece of tomato she found…they’re not cheering for demise, they’re cheering because they get to fix stuff ;)

    • Laura says:

      I am Ok with the microbiology knowledge. The parasitology completely changed my interaction with dogs & cats – no more kisses, thank you very much!

  85. Erin says:

    So funny!! I definitely look the other way when my 2.5 year old son finds an edible treasure. I figure he will learn himself, that some things just aren’t that good off the floor… especially covered in dog hair. :-)

  86. La says:

    “Oh man! He got that in his mouth before I could stop him!” is what I say, as I glance up from my book or Angry Birds.

    ^That is my life.

  87. Windy says:

    I have 11 month old twins. They make a huge mess whenever they eat. We also have a dog named “Rapp”. When the babies are done eating we say…”Rapp!…VACUMME!!” and all is well. On an extra messy day we put the babies on the floor and say, “Babies! …VACUMME!”

  88. J says:

    while watching tv yesterday, my 2.5 yo daughter suddenly dropped to all fours, crawled around the coffee table and announced, “hey, why nothing here for me to eat?”

  89. Tennille Guidry says:

    My son shook a bag of Veggie Straws all over the floor this morning as we were leaving for storytime at the library, my thinking……..either the dog will eat it while we’re gone or the toddler will eat it when we get home!

    We usually follow the “is it food?” and “is there hair on it?” rules! :)

  90. Melissa says:

    One time my son had thrown pieces of banana on the floor. Apparently I missed one, because later I saw him put an ant-covered, ants-crawling-all-over piece of banana in his mouth. He started freaking out as the ants started crawling out of his mouth, and I freaked out too. I did my best to try to rinse them out with water. I had the creepy crawlies for the rest of the day.

    • Jessica says:

      Oh man, if this had happened to my son, I think I would have been in hysterics just looking at his face. Unless of course, by freaking out you mean crying.

  91. MamaWolf says:

    OhMyGosh, this had me laughing so hard! As far as the playdough, it makes me so glad I made our own…I know exactly what’s in it. *L* Plus my Pup only ever plays with it supervised because our floors are just horribly disgustingly dirty, and a fresh batch of playdough would immediately be pretty nasty. (Seriously…I could mop on a daily basis and NEVER get the floors clean. My Roomba died around her first birthday and I haven’t yet gotten it fixed, or at least all the debris would be picked up regularly. Bleh.)

    My personal nasty addition to this theme though relates to my daughter’s interminable love of raisins and curiosity with our pet rabbit. Anyone who has owned a rabbit or ever been around one can tell you just how strong a resemblance a stray bunny poop shares with a raisin when seen from across the floor. So if I happen to notice something small, dark, and roundish on the floor just as she is reaching for it, yeah, the mommy-panic-button goes off. ;) Nast-tay. I am pretty sure she has had at least one by now, and obviously survived…but now she knows the better thing to do is pick it up, put it in the toilet, and wash her hands. (THANK GOODNESS!)

  92. Marie says:

    My rule has become – if it stinks or has mold, it gets thrown away, other than that – sure, baby, help yourself.

  93. Lana says:

    When my daughter was 3 (now 5) she had the amazing ability to hide food in places her daddy and I could never find. It was always when we relaxed that she would bring out a piece of highly questionable food and attempt to eat it if I wasn’t fast enough to pry it from her tiny fingers first! Usually it was a chicken nugget that was from a few weeks ago- and we buy the Real- Real chicken type from the grocery store- not feeding the ‘could withstand a nuclear blast’ type from McDs. Although, not really sure which would be worse after a few weeks hidden in a still-undisclosed- hiding place (yep to this day we never discovered her hiding places).

  94. MJ says:

    My kids used to eat the “snacks” that they dug out of their car seat. At least I had a reasonable clue as to what they were digging out of it but I had no idea how long it had been there. Oh well! They survived that and so far, a lot of other stuff too!!

  95. Stephanie says:

    After struggling for weeks to keep my very persistent boy from eating the cat food, one day I figured “I’ll let him eat a piece, that’ll teach him a lesson”. He ate it, and then (of course) reached for the next tasty bite :) Nowadays, I only panic if he heads for the litter box.

  96. Heather says:

    My daughter, who was about 14 months at the time, I think ate cat poop. I will never know for sure but I had run to the bathroom and when I came out, there she was playing in the ‘sandbox’ with a weird substance in her mouth.
    I googled it and apparently everyone else who had it happen said their kid was fine.
    Gross!!
    Oh and maybe a tiny toy purse that her older sister wanted back, I ‘looked’ but never found it.

  97. Marie says:

    My daughter is 20 months old and isn’t really talking, but we’ve had several arguments already over what she wants to eat. Mama says, “eww, yucky;” baby says, “mmmm.” Mama, “eww, yucky.” Baby, “mmm.” And so on until Mama gives in. I’m a bit worried about the future.

  98. Jamie says:

    Not only do we practice the 5 hour rule at our house now- I have also watched food being passed back and forth between my one year old and our dog.

  99. Nicole says:

    I love this post! It’s definitly more like the 5 hour (or day) rule at our house. Plus my 2 year old likes to stash food. He sometimes comes up with food we haven’t had in weeks….. They aren’t dead yet, so it can’t be too bad for them right?

  100. Karen says:

    So far, the overwhelming majority seem to be in favor of the 5 second (or 5 day) rule. I was too, but want to add this caveat: When my youngest was a toddler he used to pick up stuff off the floor and put it in his mouth when we were out SHOPPING! He’d passed the babyhood stage and so I had a heart to heart talk and made this deal, he could still PICK up anything he wanted, but I asked him to hand it to me first and I would decide if it was edible or not. THE VERY NEXT DAY we went shopping and he came up to me and said “here Mommy,” as he handed me something off the floor. My heart nearly stopped as I read the lettering on the “food”, it read V-A-L-I-U-M. Needless to say, we go for the “you can pick it up” rule in our house.

    • Jessica says:

      if you were having the kind of day I usually have with the kids at the grocery store, I would have pocketed that pill for myself… C’mon… 5 hour rule can apply to Mommies in this case…right?

  101. ms burrows says:

    It was when I realized my older girls throw food directly onto the floor for the baby that any ideas I had that we were civilized were pretty much over.

  102. Cass Garrett says:

    Floor? Isn’t that just one huge plate?

  103. Janette says:

    Yes, I had standards before children. Now? Not so much… We ALL had the flu last week and my son actually got ice cream for breakfast, with rice crispies as sprinkles. All because I was exhausted and too tired to drag myself to the grocery store before breakfast. And he dropped a popsicle on the floor and I rinsed it off. That is gross, but I still did it.

  104. Laurie says:

    mine have been eating food off the floor for almost 10 years now, and they seem pretty normal.

    i like how your crappy shape and clothing changed from pre and post-kids!

  105. Gretchen says:

    LOL! We call them “floor snacks” in our house.

  106. Lidia says:

    My daughter eats dry Cheerios and a cup of milk for breakfast every morning in her exersaucer thingamajig. When I take her out she then has second breakfast like a hobbit by finding all the cereal she dropped. She continues to snack throughout the day :)

  107. Amy says:

    Hysterical blog entry aside, I’m dying over the “figure” differences in your before & after kids pics!

  108. amy says:

    The 5 second rule was actually disproved by Mythbusters…once it hits the floor the damage is done. Funny with a 1 year old and a
    2 1/2 year old I seem to care less…

  109. Laura says:

    My 2 year old ate his own poop. Once he did that, eating off of the floor didn’t seem so bad. His latest game is to hide food. Maybe he is saving it for a rainy day (or nuclear holocaust) or just because he prefers his food crunchy. My latest discovery was a pile of small potatoes under my bed. Not a sign of mold, but they had sprouted roots right into the carpet.

    We now have locks on the pantry, the fridge, the diaper pail and the recycling bins.

  110. Jessica says:

    We have the “is it edible?” rule in our house too. My 2 year old is constantly finding pretzels, or graham crackers, or whatever around the house. I think he stashes them so he can have a snack later. LOL. I’ll say “What are you eating?”.. he says “Pretzel”… “Where did you find that?” And then wish I never asked.

  111. Tammy says:

    There’s a rule?? What I don’t understand is how people have kids without dogs? I mean, do you sweep and vacuum every night or what? So, our rule is, if you can get it before the dog it’s fair game!

  112. Lucile says:

    What we tell our kids is “if it falls on the floor, it’s not food anymore.” What we do behind their backs is follow the five-second rule.

  113. Julie says:

    My husband’s work deals with lead poisoning prevention. He works with families of lead poisoned children. So eating off the floor in our old house is technically a no-no… but if it’s half way in and, like you, I can ID it as something dry and fairly recent, I will sometimes let it slide. Cheerios, etc. Sure whatever. But this is not an issue when there is a dog living in the house.

  114. Jammie says:

    Five seconds? No! 5 days, oh yeah! I own a bakery and my son is always coming to me with “oohhhh I found a green one (referring to some random stray candy sprinkle he’s found).” at least I HOPE they are all candy sprinkles….. That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself. Lol.

  115. Tanha says:

    Um, we throw the remenants from our 9mo son on the floor….dogs go nuts. A little extra for everyone!

  116. Meggin D says:

    My mom says that when I was a baby she used to sweep and wash the floors in their house EVERY MORNING before I woke up. Seriously, I had to check that out. I thought she was just telling me stories to make me think she was super mum. But no, it is true! Gasp! :) My floors get swept, oh, once a week (or 2, or whenever guests come over). I do the kitchen floor on my knees (because I was stupid and picked rough slate which catches everything) about every week. The rest of the house? Forget it! Spot wash at best :)
    My kids are fine, and never get sick so we’re on to something great I think. Plus, because we don’t have a dog it’s nice to know that all the little bits will still get eaten up.
    And my mum?? She never even comments on my lack of clean floors – she really is super mum!

  117. Kate says:

    I caught my 8 mo. old son lapping up a mud puddle like a little puppy one day. He had a mud goatee and a huge grin! I was grossed out, but he was happy and healthy afterwards. They are tough little buggers.

  118. Katy says:

    Tonight my son decided that instead of eating his dinner, he’d throw most of it on the floor. So after he was “all done” I picked up some of the larger pieces and placed them on the table while I went to scoop the smaller ones up. Turns out all our dinner needed was a little floor spice because he gobbled down all the ones I had picked up.

  119. Rina says:

    My toddler actually just ate a cracker off the floor five minutes before I opened my laptop and read this. I thought about taking it away, but meh. Not worth the tantrum I am sure it would have caused. :)

  120. Samantha says:

    When my daughter was oh…. 8 months old we were outside at a friends house and she found a cigarette butt in the 2 seconds I wasn’t looking, and shoved it in her mouth. A week later she tried some dog poop. She no longer eats things she finds “in the wild.” Anything under the kitchen table or in the living room though she has deemed as safe. After watching her learn with dog poop and cigarette butts, I’ve decided to let her learn the hard way- short of loose change, anything electric and thumb tacks.

  121. Marissa Triplett says:

    With my first I wouldn’t even let him eat a sultana that had just dropped on the ground, then one day I saw him eating handfuls of sand out of the sandpit. If the kid can eat sand then he can eat whatever food like product he happens to come across.

  122. Toya says:

    Haha! With my oldest I was such an OCD, helicopter parent, lol. After my 2nd, who I believe LIVES to drive me crazy, I could care less, lol. I check to see if its edible and not some random choking hazard….then I let her continue, lol

  123. Melanie says:

    If it resembles food, it’s fair game. Heck, that rule doesn’t even apply to the kids only. My toddler tossed perfectly good canned peaches off his high chair today, and I just kept staring at them on the floor. They were calling to me. I’m not too proud to say that five minutes later I was on my hands and knees eating peaches off the floor. I did throw out the one that had cat food stuck to it.

  124. Kate says:

    Kids who live with dogs have a reduced chance of getting childhood asthma and childhood leukemia, so I’m always happy when Mr 2 shares food with a dog. (provided the dogs worming is up to date)

    Sorry I have to ask, people keep talking about goldfish, are they cereal or a cracker? (Im Australian and we don’t have them)

    • Beth says:

      They are a small cheese or pretzel cracker in the shape of a fish. Best finger food ever. And they come in a bunch of flavors and sizes. And are relatively healthy…. or at least I hope they are as my son lives on them some weeks.

    • Carol says:

      Goldfish are little crackers of a vaguely cheesy nature, usually yellowish orange, but sometimes rainbow colored. They can be found on every kid’s carseat in America, and are usually seen swimming from some disgusting crevice into some kid’s mouth. And that’s fine with me.

    • Jessica says:

      LMAO… I just imagined reading the comments so far not knowing that goldfish were crackers… that made my day!

  125. Dave says:

    Our 15 month old daughter loves dog kibble. We tried to stop her but have learned it is futile. Our once pampered and slightly chunky dogs have slimmed down and our daughter’s hair looks healthier and shinier than ever. Win, win! I am thinking about getting a doggie bowl with her name on it. Is that wrong?

  126. Julia Adams says:

    my son won’t eat a green bean off his plate, but unidentified who-knows-what off the floor and it’s gobble gobble.

    • RedinNC says:

      Yep. When he was 14 mos., my son would NOT eat table food. It was Stage 1 baby food purees or nothing. I had tried for months to get him to try a cracker, a mushed banana, a pea, a grain of rice CUT up into 4 pieces (not kidding). No dice. But then I dropped a slice of banana on the floor (accidentally) and guess who picked it up and ate it. Parenting keeps you humble.

  127. Jen says:

    Snacktime for my 10 month old involves scattering cheerios all over our living room floor so Mama can get some internet time. The more places it scatters the more time I have.

    Please don’t tell my mother-in-law. She’d be horrified.

  128. Beth says:

    When my son was two, he dropped part of a grilled cheese sandwich on the floor at Panera. He got to it first and defiantly shoved it in his mouth, chewed and swallowed before I could even move. He’s still alive over a year later. Just thinking about it grosses me out….but again, he’s just fine. He used to eat off the floor at home, but now he’s decided it’s more fun to demand that mommy picks it up, or wipes it, or gets the “rocket” to vacuum it up. At least he keeps me on my toes! :)

  129. Evie says:

    Obviously we do this b/c our floors are SO MUCH CLEANER now that we have toddlers!!

  130. Cassandra says:

    Boy do I story to share!!!:) Our family had just moved to a new home and I was so thrilled to decorate my daughter Faith’s room! ( She was not nearly a year old and could have cared less). Anyways one afternoon I was hanging a few pictures in her room and in the process managed to drop a tiny lil nail on the floor. Gasp! Relentlessly I crawled around on my hands and knees looking for the darn thing and could not seem to find it. A few weeks passed and my mother came to visit. Proudly I showed off Faith’ s room to my mother as Faith crawled around on the floor. Turns out my lil darling somehow discovered the nail and thought it approriate for a snack. I never noticed her even picking it up!!! She gagged for two seconds grabbing my attention and I thought maybe she grabbed a handful of new carpet fiber? Afterwards she seemed unaffected. Hmm? Three daus later I go to change her diaper and what would appear??? Yes. The dreaded missing nail!!!! I was mortified! Guess my baby is tough as nails and defied all the “rules”! Haha

  131. Cassandra says:

    Please excuse the typos on previous post:)

  132. Ashleytheislander says:

    Love this! Sometimes I feel badly about how much food my crawling baby eats off the floor. Glad to hear I’m not alone! My older daughter never ate things off the floor, never put stuff in her mouth, wouldn’t even eat any food at all until 13 months and is still a finicky eater. My 10 month old son is another story… he eats anything that fits in his mouth. I am just relieved if it is something edible. Dirt, leaves, sticks, grass are all okay too. I just spend my time worrying about things that might actually be dangerous. Last night he drank shampoo (but it was okay, poison control said he’d be fine and he was). So random bits of food he finds on the floor… no big deal. He’s a healthy happy little guy, so I like to think floor-food/dirt does in fact build the immune system :)

  133. Shannon says:

    Plenty of weird with my kids for sure but none as gross as the totally unsupervised 80’s incident when my 4 year old sister walked into our house chewing gum (which we never had in the house). My mom asked her where she got the gum and she casually replied “on the street”… My mom: ” was it in a wrapper?” “mmm..no?” my mom pulls it out of her mouth, holds it up and says, ” did it already look like this when you found it?” My mom reports to the family at dinner that Mary ate a piece of “ABC gum” today. My dad stares. The rest of the kids were like, “that sounds cool! Where’d you get it?” ( we’d give anything for ANY piece of gum in those days!)

  134. Haha! I’m glad I’m not the only one that does this. I always tell myself that I’d rather my toddler eat a few germs off of the floor than be a complete germaphobe and have her be getting sick all the time. Besides, they eat dirt and stuff too right?

  135. Dave says:

    There is a reason that rats have the best immune system and it’s not because they have free health care or receive regular immunization. Just think of those moldy Cheerios as free inocculations from the under-the-sofa clinic!

  136. Leslie says:

    Great post as usual :) However, what I can’t help but notice is the “before” and “after” way you drew yourself since I’ve undergone the same transformation from coiffed hair to easy-care hair and boobs to no boobs.

  137. Rachel says:

    I usually don’t care when my 2 year old picks up stuff off the floor and eats it. But I drew the line today when he tried to pick up SOMEONE ELSE’S popcorn off the floor in TARGET and eat it.

  138. Rosemary says:

    Love your blog! It’s funny what we, as parents, will put up with.
    My first child…I think I kept this kid in a sterile surrounding…didn’t want the “poor baby” to touch germs, etc.
    Second child…relaxed the rules a LOT…dirt and weirdness filtered into life.
    Third child…this kid ate everything that didn’t MOVE whether it was on the floor or not! Very relaxed home life by then.
    Still can’t figure out how to get them to eat green beans though!

  139. johanna says:

    When I was on bedrest my mother in law watched my toddler. If my toddler wasnt eating it off the ground my mother in law was! So if its good for her its good for my toddler!

  140. Lara says:

    When I pick my son up from day care and have to do a ‘mouth inspection’ to see what he has in it last, week it was a girls hair clip. One day it was part of a blue ballon, the rest he passed in his poo the next day. I dont stress anymore as long as he isnt choking Im ok with him eating all sorts of things.

  141. Jessica says:

    Never mind eating off of the floor, for some reason my almost 2 year old son is like my dog – the dirtier (or more ‘flavoursome’ I guess) the water, the more he wants to drink it. Clean, cold water in a cup? Kinda boring, Mum. Rain water that’s been in the watering can for 3 days? YES! Bath water? Yum! Washing up water in the sink? Quick, while Mum’s not looking! Chlorine water in the swimming pool? Tasty! I once managed to stop him while he was on all fours attempting to lap out of a puddle on our driveway from the rain. THAT habit grosses me out more than the food on the floor!

  142. Estelle says:

    We don’t have any rules. My children eat toys, blankets as well as food off the floor.

  143. Shelli says:

    We call it “leftovers” in our house!

  144. Robin Guyette says:

    I love your posts, they are always so accurate and funny! I have twin 20 month old girls and a 4 year old girl, and I went from being a germaphobe to eating scraps of food thrown on the floor for dinner–yes, MY dinner. When I let the twins out of their booster seats we all fight over the scraps of food. We are like a pack of wild dogs. It’s absolutely disgusting but I don’t have time to prepare meals for myself anymore.

  145. Betsy says:

    So, we’re at Great Wolf Lodge, a big indoor waterpark. We have gotten our Nasty Pizza and the ravenous kids are wolfing it down. Through an inadvertant tilt of the hand, my daughter’s Nasty Pizza slips off her plate and neatly falls cheese down on the floor. I hand her another slice of Nasty Pizza and tell her I’ll clean up the other slice in a moment. I go to get more napkins and return to find my husband scooping the fallen slice — which, mind you, is face down on the floor of a water park — up off the floor and nonchalantly eating it. The kids stare at him in silence. He says “What? they clean this place every day!” One of the little girls looks at me and says, “Does he ALWAYS do that?” Supressing my gag reflex, I tell her, “Yes, he always does. But that doesn’t mean you should.” Needless to say, no mouth-kisses for him.

  146. Esther says:

    so funny! before i had kids, i would look on in undisguised horror and disgust at anyone putting something filthy from the floor in their child’s mouth. as the parent of a finicky 2 year old (and a chubby infant) i shrug when she eats a bug and think “protein”

  147. Amanda says:

    So I have a cat that cleans up my floors for me. She fallows me around the kitchen while cooking. As for the kids eating things.. as long as it wasn’t sticky or wet, go for it!

  148. Meg says:

    It’s so true, with toddlers it’s like “Oh, don’t eat that… oh well, you just did. At least it’s food.” My toddler spent most of the morning eating sand at the playground. Hopefully she won’t get worms.

  149. Stasi says:

    We always quote the line, “Chocolate or poop?” from Knocked Up. Unfortunately I recently had the experience that it wasn’t chocolate. Thank God I hadn’t tasted to check.

  150. Lauren says:

    One of the boys I nanny for found a piece of chocolate in a cup holder in the back of the car. He took a bite and said, “this tastes funny.” Uh, yeah! Duh. It’s like five-day-old chocolate.

    Kids are hysterical. And you’re hysterical. So glad I found your blog!

  151. Natashajk says:

    My 8 month old daughter was screaming as she got her diaper changed this afternoon and I found a puff underneath our bed and popped it in her mouth. She stopped screaming and my husband, who was changing her diaper and is normally grossed out by this stuff, commented, “Suddenly I don’t care where that puff came from!”

    I guess this all to say that it didn’t look bad and our almost three-year-old has eaten a lot grosser stuff than that!

  152. I read every post but not always do I post a comment since well, there are usually a million other comments. But I just wanted to mention I loved seeing how “pretty” you were pre-kids, your hair was even curly at the ends and the perky boobs! That WAS me pre- baby! And this post had me holding my stomach in hysterics!

  153. Stephanie says:

    Oh, it’s only a Cheerio she’s sticking in her mouth. Wait. The last time we bought Cheerios was about…3 months ago?!!

    We call her floor-findings, “floor candy”.

  154. Lisa says:

    5 -sec rule in my house now that toddler is older.

  155. Tara says:

    LOL “5 hour rule” yep, that’s pretty much what we follow..along with the ‘won’t kill ya … ok, that might’ rule :p

  156. bekah says:

    i do love that every ones ignore the few ‘hater’ comments, but i have to respond to the ppl who said ‘they not pets, dogs eat off floors not children’ ect, my dog is ALMOST as important as my child, and if he can eat it, so can she, and visversa. they love sharing and her cleans her hand brilliantly when she refuses a wipe, iv read website and asked vets, a dogs mouth is cleaner then ours! rarely anything on the floor once his cleaned up but sometimes there are a few crumbs that only a toddler and spot, lol. i feed him from a bowl in the hallway, luckily she hasnt eaten any since the first attempt but my 18month old loves getting handfulls and throwing them in his direction, lmao :P

  157. Samantha says:

    So true! My daughter at a piece of waffle off the floor this afternoon. I think it was waffle… that’s what we had for breakfast, but i didn’t actually get a good look at it before it was in her mouth. Whatever.

  158. Cheryl P. says:

    No eating food off the floor in our house. My son tries to but then he spits it out. Why? It’s usually covered in animal hair. With two cats and a dog, nothing in our house is without fur. The dog and cats have full reign on the food on the floor though. They don’t seem to mind the fuzz. Best investment we got before we had our child was the dog. He eats everything off the floor, I mean EVERYTHING.

  159. Katie says:

    My son loves to take of his diaper at nap time, once he played with his poo and even at some! Gross!! But I figure if he can survive that a cheerio off the floor is nothing.

  160. PD says:

    I used to have the 5 second rule and now it’s more like a 5 day rule. My almost 2 year old gets all sorts of stuff, if the dog hasn’t got there first. It is a bit embarrassing in restaurants when she goes scavanging around the place, and confusing for her to be honest, when the same rules do not apply. Especially when it comes to food under other peoples tables. That’s my line drawn.

  161. Emily says:

    Wow… We must be really out of the ordinary. It was super hard to get my four year old and five year old to not eat off the floor. But then, I rarely clean my floors even though I am so germ conscious I don’t even eat food that touched… The kitchen counter. Lol. For all those who remark, why would you let your kid do that…. Sometimes you just can’t stop them. Try, sure, If it is important, but sometimes. You. Just. Can’t.

  162. Meghan says:

    Oh, yeah, my kid eats off the floor all the time. And in fact the only time he makes a yummy noise after eating something, is if it’s “discovered” food. What a weirdo.

  163. I have no limits with regards to eating food off the ground. In fact, I now do it, too! What’s worse, when my son spits out a too-full-mouthful of unchewed food, I’ll catch it and eat that too. Gross? Maybe. Hunter-gatherer? Perhaps. I do draw the line, however, at drinking from the toilet. That’s a deal-breaker in my house.

  164. Katy says:

    I am cracking up! Just a few weeks ago while at an indoor waterpark I find my 3 year old under another family’s table eating Cheese-Nips off the ground! Could it get any more disgusting??? It is certainly not my preference that they eat stuff they find laying around on the ground… but they are quick and slightly crazy… so it happens! I try to tell myself that it is strengthening their immune system. Probably incorrect, but I continue to live the lie. Love your blog! Happy to see that others live similar crazy lives!

  165. Mercy says:

    I think mine has become a 24 hour rule, or more. The only limit I place is that they not eat off the ground, though they have done it. My kids do like to eat snack on the balcony and dump their bowls sometimes, and the birds like to help clean up afterwards.

  166. Rosemary Tseng says:

    We have always used that rule, since we had children. My youngest will be 25 soon, and all three kids are still alive (rule still effective)!! Guess it’s not that bad, used with precaution…

  167. Mandy says:

    I have 3 boys and there is absolutely no point in even TRYING to get them to not eat stuff off the floor.

    Is it food?
    Yes: Does it look like a science experiment?
    Yes: would the dog still eat it? (yes: meh) (no: pry away from kid)
    No: meh

    No: Is it obscenely dangerous?
    (yes: initiate finger-risking battle royale to get it away from kid)
    (no: meh)

    Besides.. most foodstuff that’s dropped on the floor never makes it into the kids mouths because the dog get it. He follows my toddlers around and worships the ground they walk on…

    He was 7.5lbs pre-kids… and is a fat (relatively) 11lbs post-kids.
    Hopefully my dog doesnt starve to death after my kids stop chucking their food on the ground.

  168. Christina says:

    It is so funny that you mentioned a moldy blueberry, because just the other day, I was sweeping under the couch and out rolls an old blueberry. And of course, my sweet little boy immediately puts it in his mouth. I did retrieve it, but how nice it is to know I’m not alone.

    P.S. My son eats off of the floor all the time. I’m all about the five day rule around here. :)

  169. Erika S. says:

    Found a entire new food storage location UNDER the microwave. I cleaned it out and made the mistake of showing my toddler the amazing smorgasbord of things I found under there. She started to grab for cheerios and dried peas as I realized she was actually planning to eat it! Thankfully my reflexes were fast enough to stop that snack! Yuck!

  170. Shir Kaduri says:

    You ladies are making me piss myself laughing! My 8 month old ate a moth the other day,… you know… those huge gray ones with crazy eyes? yeah… i freaked out. and almost threw up. he was crawling around and started chewing and making nasty cough faces… so i went over there to see whats in his mouth and fished out the nasty thing! Its crazy because my mom JUST finished washing her floor after i swept it so i guess the moth died and fell next to him -.-

    You cant control EVERYTHING your kid puts in their mouth. i always fish it out though JUST in case, since the moth thing happened…. never again. lmao.

    When my sister, brother, and i were babies we used to play outside and my sister ate a butterfly wing, i used to eat sugar ants and my brother ate newspaper and we all three ate wallpaper … we’re alive n healthy..

    Im pretty sure things that are “not recommended” arent forbidden. JUST SAYING!

    Love your blog! :)

  171. Sheryl says:

    We always used a 3-second rule, and then we moved out of the country for a year to a developing nation. Food was expensive, the kids were hungrier than they had been in the US. My youngest announced, “In America, it’s a 3-second rule. Here, it’s at least a 5-second rule!”

  172. Cheryl says:

    My youngest (who just turned 1 but is now running around the house and climbing furniture) purposely puts food on the floor just so he can pick it up and eat it. He even went so far as to convince me that he could hold a bowl of dry cereal while sitting on the floor and pick out one piece at a time to eat…then proceeded to dump the whole thing on the floor so he could chase it as it rolled away.

  173. I burst out laughing. This is the first time reading your blog and I truly love the pictures. Five minutes ago my daughter dumped her cheerios on the floor, picked them up, and then put them in her bowl just so she could eat them straight off the floor. So, yeah, she seems to prefer food with a few extra germs. Maybe they give her food some much needed flavor or something. Thanks for the laugh. I really need it!

  174. Katie says:

    Love your blog and find it hilarious, but I particularly liked the “pre-children” you in the first drawing-curled hair, perky boobs, etc. That was great!

  175. JGo555 says:

    I try to not let them eat dried up meats from the day before on their high chairs…

  176. JGo555 says:

    The 5 hour/second rule applies to households without dogs. If it falls to the floor I highly doubt my children will get to it before the dogs. However if it’s on a high chair, carseat or the couch it’s fair game.

  177. JGo555 says:

    Another rule we must all apply: 5 sec/hour rule applies but only IF IT DOESN’T CHOKE THEM!

    That’s one we have here too.

  178. Karen says:

    I do believe there was a scientific study done (professionally!) that proved the 3 second rule- that under standard conditions an item of food does not gather enough bacteria in 3 seconds to be of due harm. Besides, I cannot imagine how a busy mom of one toddler, let alone of multiple kids, could ever have the time to run around making sure none of them eat anything off of the floor in their own home(s).

  179. Lori Langone says:

    This is the first time I have seen Crappy Mama wearing anything other than a purple dress.

  180. jade says:

    My daughter used to find rollypollys in her room and chew the life out of them. We searched her room top to bottom after the second one we found her chewing. We never found out where they were coming from! We also couldn’t figure out of she was finding them alive or already dead since by the time I got them out of her mouth they were gonners :) after that I figured a little food off my mostly clean floor wasn’t going to bother her

  181. Frogwoman says:

    People worring about kids wating frOm the floor when they are guilty of feeding them worse; your child has survived eating MCDonalds or any other fake fast food joints then I’m sure your child can survive a legit Munchie off the floor. People tend to forget they feed their kids unhealthy things that are way worse then floor munchies…pop, candy, noodles, high salt or sugar foods, JUICE, gluten, MSG ..
    Parents often dose their child with mercury and formalahyde,(common immunizations) and don’t think twice or blink once at that…
    I don’t worry too much about floor food and all 4 of my kids survived so far. :)
    Then again I’m more wary of the more important stuff.

  182. Erica says:

    My daughter taught me the “iguana rule.”. You can eat food off the floor until you’ve seen an iguana pass by. After that, don’t touch it. Needless to say, there are no iguanas around here

  183. Heather says:

    For me, the length of the rule depends on how bad I want whatever fell to the floor. As far as the toddler finding and eating things, my pediatrician told me if what she’s about to put in her mouth will not poison, choke her, or cause her to bleed, then just let her do it.

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