Is this normal behavior for a baby? (pretty gross)

My boss recently told me that her 10-month-old daughter was caught eating feces out of her diaper. I know this could be considered pica or pica-like behavior, but what I really want to know is, how normal is this? I know little kids experiment with things all the time out of curiousity, but how normal is that? Also, is it dangerous? It seems like it would make you very ill. My daughter never did that when she was a baby, so I don’t have any experience in this area.
My boss told the story like it was just adorable, but really freaked me out. :eek:

What is *pica * or *pica-like * behaviour?

Pica is a desire to eat things that aren’t food. For example, a few of my family members ( who are not children) crave dirt and chalk.

According to my mother, both me and my sister have done it. I guess it is normal for these ages.

Ew. I’ve had 3 babies and known many others. Some of my best friends are babies. I’ve heard of them taking their diapers off and smearing crap on the walls, but I have never heard of a baby eating it. You’d think some sort of natural aversion to it would prevent that, seeing as how it contains bacteria and such.

I have seen my old dog do that, very often, too. But not my two kids. Has she discussed this with her pediatrician?

I was curious and found this: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_fit/nutrition/pica.html

Also, check the related links on the bottom. It doesn’t mention feces, however I’d still call the doctor as I’d imagine feces isn’t pleasant tasting (I don’t know, I’ve never tried it–nor do I plan to :smiley: ), and there may be underlying factors as to why she does it.

Probably not related, but feces eating is a symptom of vitamin K deficiency in rats.

here

So likely in humans too. I’ve no idea whatsoever how K deficient rats figure out that eating their own shit is the healthy thing to do :confused:

Father of five, and none of mine were poop-eaters. My experience with my own children plus my wife’s day care kids is that it is uncommon but not extremely rare for babies and/or toddlers to consume what we might consider vile. I’ve seen kids eat some pretty odd combinations of things, putting catsup in cereal for example. When I was small, I drank turpentine once. So I don’t think poop eating is that extremely exceptional, just an oddity about that particular kid.

I have a vague memory from the age of two or three of fishing a nice big one out of the toilet and eating it like a banana. And then getting caught by the nanny who whisked me back to the bathroom to get cleaned up and brush my teeth.

But that could just have been a strange dream…

Ewwwwwwwwww! We gotta get the barf smilie for this one!

Seriously, that is one of the most horrible things I’ve ever read!!! It reminds me of some awful foreign film. . .
:o (this is the closest thing to the barf smiley)

WHen I was five my nieghbour’s kid brother, who was maybe 2 at the time, did the Bughunter with a dog turd he found on the grass. We all ran away screaming and the poor kid was really confused.

BARF :o ~~~~~~~~~

My mother told me I used to eat dirt. And the doctors told her, as has been mentioned in this thread, that I lacked something in my diet.

How I knew dirt had what I needed…I have no idea.

Hmmm…From what I’ve heard in some of the “really-freaky-fetish-people” forums, poop does taste a lot like dirt, if any taste at all. Most of the smell is just farts stuck in the play-doh. Where’s the jism-frying dude? We could use his input here.

Now there’s a quote I would not expect to see anywhere else but on these boards.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

So was this baby’s snack a weird one time deal, or is it a recurring thing? It may have been that the baby was just curious and wouldn’t ever do it again anyway.