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What has eating your toes got to do with child development?

Waiting in the Apple store to be seen by a tech expert, I noticed a mother with her baby in his buggy. He was doing what my mother always called “eating his toes!” when my son did the same! In fact, my son was with me.

I noticed the baby lifting his toes in a very sophisticated way to his mouth and sucking away.

I entered into a dialogue (turn-taking) with him, “Ooh, I can see you’re eating your toes!” He was laughing and in-between ‘sucking’ was talking back to me.

At that point, I knew I wanted to write a blog about this although I didn’t want to ask for permission to take a photo or to film this unique moment. I am mindful of boundaries and I did not know the mother.

His mother smiled at me and I said, “This is my son and he did the same when he was a baby and he is nearly 25! My mother calls this eating your toes! Is your little one nine months?”

Mum: “Yes, how did you know?”

Me: “I just guessed!”

I didn’t want to go into the.. ooh, I work with children!

But, how did I guess, correctly? I have my NNEB course to be grateful for and years of noticing children all around the world and in different contexts.

Child development knowledge is 100% essential for educators who work with children. Knowing when children reach their expected norms and milestones, helps educators to support children effectively in their day-to-day work. Key attributes for educators are to be loving, (cross reference, Dr. Jools Page, Professional Love) provide quality and meaningful attachments with children.

I have written previously that we should notice more and there is more to notice about the little ones in our day-to-day work of emotionally connecting with them.

The baby then started to eat his right foot, smiling away!

No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” ~ James Comer

For information about my unique and research/evidence-based baby course, ‘It’s all happening before two’ please email, admin@LauraHenryConsultancy.com

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