We’re all in for the “5-second rule” (food dropped on the floor is OK to eat if you pick it up in 5 seconds or less) but one mum has taken this to the extreme and lets her young baby eat dirt and chew on rocks.

Alice Bender, 22, a passionate vegan, shares a number of eyebrow-raising videos on her TikTok channel, showing her “crunchy son” eating sand, dirt and chewing on rocks and sticks.

She said that while her eight-month-old boy is exclusively breastfed, she said that she lets him chew on whatever he decides to put in his mouth. But we’re not talking about a stray crust of bread or a discarded cookie. No, her TikToks show Fern digging his squidgy hands into beach sand and putting fistfuls into his mouth. In one video, Alice hands baby Fern a dirty rock and the bub immediately gives it a good suck. Just seeing that skyrockets my germ-phobia to Mars and beyond. Seriously, who does that?

The alternative mum-of-two, also loves to show how she takes her bub on shopping expeditions where she is totally chilled out when Fern licks the dirty shopping trolleys. Yuck!!!

Tried This? RATE IT Now…

Oates General Scrub Brush image for the MoM Rate It Listing
Oates General Scrub Brush

Submitting your rating…

@comingupfernReply to @sydneybrassyfields those crunches ???? ##teething ##homebirth ##unassistedbirth ##vbac ##grounding ##babygrounding ##naturebaby ##8monthsold♬ Runaway – AURORA

Bacteria Is My Friend

“I do not fear bacteria. In fact, I welcome it. I trust nature and my baby. It is not a coincidence babies have this instinct while they are breastfeeding,” the controversial mum declared in the video, which has attracted over 6.2-million views and over 23,000 comments.

She also said that she takes him outside as much as possible but doesn’t use sunscreen as she doesn’t “fear the sun”.

Burnt To A Crisp!

While there are always going to be those who support her weird ways, the majority of commenters on the video were shocked, especially about the no sunscreen admission.

“I feel like you’re treating him as an experiment,” one person wrote.

“I get where you’re coming from, but also parasites, flesh-eating bacteria, meningitis, measles, MRSA etc…” another said.

“It’s one thing letting your child eat food off the ground, but you’re taking it too far,” another said.

“The only crunchy thing about your baby is its skin!”

dirt baby
Pics Via TikTok


Is This A Joke?

Many viewers actually thought that the video was a joke.

“This is a joke right?” one asked.

Alice has a whole host of controversial videos on her ComingupFern channel, which has over 275,000 followers. She shares her unassisted home birth story, talks about her vegan lifestyle and how she goes “dumpster diving” for food. There are certainly all types in this world!

Are you chilled out or neurotic (or somewhere in the middle) about letting your kids eat dirt? Do you agree or disagree with this mum’s lifestyle? Tell us in the comments below.

  • I don’t see any harm in the child eating a bit of dirt or chewing on a rock. I think it is actually helping her immune system. I think the more we sterilize things the less resistance we are able to build up against germs. I don’t think my mother ever put sunscreen on us as children either.


  • I’m quite chilled with my baby, but I’m very strong on teaching her that only food or certain toys go in our mouths. I would prefer her get her bacteria incidentally rather than purposefully letting her put things with bacteria in her mouth.
    This has to be a joke for sure.


  • I’m not over the top when it comes to dirt, germs, bacteria etc but I do feel like this is a bit much.
    I also don’t agree with for wing vegan/vegetarian on children. They should be able to make that decision for themselves. But just my opinion


  • I was definitely not as easy going as this but i know some parents who would totally agree with this.


  • I wouldn’t do this for my children but everyone has their own ideas.


  • She’s young & wants to do her own thing.. Preaching all she does..on TikTok..?!!! Each to their own. I just wonder how she’ll handle things if her child became seriously ill.. Not my cup of tea..!


  • I was somewhere in the middle. But each to their own I guess.


  • A bit of dirt won’t hurt most kids, but that doesn’t mean actively shoving it in their mouth. I’d also be worried about injury if he’s chewing on rocks and sticks. Generally I’m live and let live, but I think there’s a real risk of harm here.

    • Yes, I agree. rocks can damage the teeth & sun exposure can cause skin cancers


  • Each to their own but this grosses me out.


  • Look I wouldn’t go crazy with worry over my kids putting rocks, etc in their mouth but I wouldn’t encourage it. A little is okay but consuming too much dirt could be harmful if it’s a regular thing. Also, no sunscreen? Is she crazy? Has she not heard of cancer?


  • I was an avid steriliser when my children were babies. Having said that, if they ate some dirt I didn’t panic. I find that children who aren’t allowed to get dirty and experiment with nature are the children who are constantly sick. Don’t judge, I’m sure he will end up with a fantastic immune system


  • My son loves to be outside, exploring and learning. The first thing he does is play in the dirt, with the watering can, with rocks, grass, and flowers. Everything goes in his mouth, because hes a TODDLER and that’s one of the many ways they learn, via textures. Of course in the beginning I was jumping up the moment something was in his mouth and stop him, but he would always go running back immediately. I figure, why stop him? Keep a watchful eye, make sure they’re still safe, but let them be a kid!! I’m sure most of you ate snails, ants, and grass like a lot of other people as children, it’s not fair to make this woman seem like a bad mother for giving her child a different way to play.


  • I read an article just recently from another mum about her son eating sand and ending up in hospital I can’t remember exactly what happened but the sand cut his insides up and he was bleeding internally Im the mum that doesnt mind but would stop them from eating putting things in there mouths still as soon as I noticed them doing it some of what this mum is doing in my opinion is quite dangerous and could be life threatening to her son


  • You can trust mother nature but the pollution humans generate on it has a 100% impact on mother nature. So, dirt is still dirty and that’s why it’s called DIRT. It’s ridiculous she isn’t giving her child the option to have non-vegan food. Mother nature has given humans different kinds of teeth and that proves that it’s not just for vegan-style diet.


  • I’m chilled about my child eating dirt.
    I remember well when I took my youngest (who has Down syndrome) for the first time to the beach. She went face first in the sand and LOVED the crunch. Now at age 7 she still dips her banana in the beach sand before she takes a bite. I know in her case it has to do with sensory issues and I’ve learned to relax about it. And honestly a bit of beach sand is not that dirty and I rather have her eating some sand than chewing eating a crayon (what she also does). In my opinion sand is healthier than for example a processed donuts with all kind of colourful icing.
    I don’t agree with her opinion about the sun though, being diagnosed with a malignant type of carcinoma myself due to sun exposure


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating