For the past few weeks my child has started to put her fingers in her mouth constantly, licking things and playing with her saliva. Why is that?

After the awakening period, many children will have an emotional/developmental age much younger than their chronological age. So yes, I’ve seen this many times before. It’s important to try to gauge your child’s emotional age and reset your expectations for that age. Allow them to work through the levels of normal development. This approach helps put their behaviors into context and allows the parent to align expectations with the emotional ability of the child. Some parents will over-focus on a smaller issue (constipation, bowel movement characteristics, giggling more, waking up earlier, holding hands over ears, moodiness, etc.) and interpret such an event as bad or negative instead of a phase in healing. Parents want their children to talk, but the lack of rapid speech improvement is also not an indication that balancing of the intestinal tract failed. Over-focusing in this manner may cause a parent to miss the bigger picture: this is just one step in the child’s gradual improvement.

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