When the baby grabs the nipple of the breast with his mouth, he automatically begins to suck and swallow liquid food – mother’s milk. Congenital reflexes are responsible for this process: sucking and swallowing.
By the time of applying to the chest they are already quite well developed. Up to 4–6 months, a child can consume only homogeneous liquid food.
If a denser lump of food gets into your mouth, a gag reflex will work.
From 4 to 6 months in the crumbs appear chewing movements. Parents may notice that the baby doesn’t suck at the toy that gets in the mouth, but tries to chew. Gradually, the work of the masticatory muscles is consistent with the swallowing reflex, the baby shows interest in the food that he sees on the table with his parents.
At this age, the protective reflex of pushing food with food more thickly than breast milk also fades. This is a signal that it is time to acquaint the child with liquid homogenized (homogeneous) mashed potatoes and cereals, the consistency of which resembles thick cream.
From 6 to 9 months, when many children already have their first teeth cut, you need to switch to a more dense food – puree (1.5 mm crushed particles). But the dishes still have to be without lumps.
If they are caught, the baby will push them out of his mouth.
After 9 months, the baby is already trying to gnaw everything that gets into his mouth. This suggests that it is time to complicate the structure of the food and move to coarse puree (3 mm particle size). Apples can already be rubbed on a coarse grater, or just finely chopped.
To encourage chewing, offer the crumbs also a piece of bread or baby cookies.
After 12 months, when there are already 8 teeth in your mouth, you can knead boiled vegetables with a fork. As the chewing reflex continues to evolve, it is time to teach the child to bite off food in small pieces.
For this baby give baby croquettes, fruit slices, a slice of bread, simple donutas.
Terms dating crumbs with a thicker food, of course, tentative. But if you strongly delay or hurry with its introduction, problems may arise.
Haste can cause regurgitation, vomiting and fear of the food to be bitten off. If you decide to postpone a meeting with a thicker or solid food for a long time, then there may be a lag in the development of the digestive system and chewing apparatus. It will be more difficult for a child to learn how to bite off and chew food.
For this reason, you need to carefully study the inscriptions on baby food packaging. Regardless of the recommendations of the manufacturer, be aware that acquaintance with complementary foods cannot occur earlier than 4–5 months.