It is considered that the majority of babies are ready to get acquainted with food in 6–8 months pieces. In fact, age in the development of chewing skills is not the main thing.
The crumb must be ready for the introduction of solid foods both physically (to be able to actively work with the tongue and correctly press it to the palate) and psychologically: food interest must “wake up”, the desire to look into the parental plate and try what adults eat.
“The appearance of the first chewing movements occurs at 4–5 months, at the same time, the gag reflex is moving from the middle to the back third of the tongue,” says pediatrician Yulia Rakhimbekova. “And if during this period you do not introduce supplements, but continue to stimulate only the sucking reflex, then the chewing reflex, which is not supported by practice, will begin to fade. A few years ago, the baby, before the appearance of the first milk teeth, received from the mother drying, a crouton or even a chicken bone and learned to “chew” on the gums. Today, parents often inject supplements after 6 months and later, when 2–4 front teeth have already appeared in the mouth.
But these teeth are used for nibbling, chewing on them is impossible, and that is important! – they prevent the baby from chewing gums. So the moment is missed. Further, at the age of 7–12 months, the child continues to strengthen the biting and chewing skills, develop lateral movements of the tongue and the ability to move the tongue to the food with the teeth.
He is already able to eat cereals, chopped fruits and vegetables. Of course, everything is individual. Full-term or premature, healthy or with health problems, there are teeth or have not yet appeared – anyway, by the year the crumb must produce high-quality chewing movements with the jaws.
But this will only happen if the parents gradually taught him that. It does not happen that the child was fed only breast milk, and in a year he sat down at the table, took a spoon and began to busily eat from the table. ”
If the child is already more than two years old, and he has become accustomed to pureed food, is reluctant to chew, or does not know how to chew at all, please be patient: in order to catch up, you will need time – from one month to six months.
The ability to chew solid food to a child is absolutely necessary:
The inability and unwillingness of the baby to chew hard pieces of food leads to disruption of the formation of bite, and subsequently – the oval face. Baby teeth do not have enough load and may fall prematurely.
The use of products mainly in a puree state adversely affects the work of the gastrointestinal tract: it provokes the appearance of allergies, intestinal disorders, bloating, constipation. Since the food that you just need to swallow does not mix well with saliva, your baby has poorly digestive enzymes.
The gastrointestinal tract becomes “lazy”, receiving only tender food, which the child is no longer age. As a result, the problems grow like a snowball: the underdevelopment of the enzyme apparatus, excess weight, increased bowel sensitivity.
“The inability to chew is not a direct cause of speech delay or its absence,” says speech therapist Tamara Novikova. – At the same time, this is an indicator of negative changes in articulation tone. It is likely that the child will be uncomfortable, uncomfortable to pronounce some sounds, because for this, too, you need to make an effort. “
- for normal mental development
“Before the age of 1.5, we ate only pureed food, as the pieces were crushed. Absolutely not bothered: 15 seconds in a blender – and ready.
To be honest, it was even more convenient for me, because it was faster and easier to feed. It’s just now that he refuses to eat meat ”- a similar story can be found on any parental forum. Many mothers pity their babies (and themselves) by giving them pureed food.
But the age of 1–2 years is quite dangerous in terms of manipulating a child with parental opinions. Make every effort to ensure that the little ones are not able to blackmail you with their unwillingness to chew and swallow hard pieces, because in the future this can turn into far greater problems.
Food “slices” should appear in the child’s diet no later than the first tooth erupts. The ability to chew well is a guarantee of healthy teeth and clear articulation.
Situations when the crumb refuses to chew, happen quite often. Why is this happening?
Too early or abrupt change in food consistency.
You should not immediately move from homogeneous puree to food in slices: first, the baby may simply not understand that it is also edible, and the lack of “normal,” from his point of view, food will make him nervous. Naturally, this is a stream of tears and a tightly compressed mouth. Do not worry!
Each baby has its own pace of development and timing of maturation of the body systems. If you have introduced solid supplements according to all the rules, and the baby stubbornly refuses to use “solid” products, consult a specialist (pediatrician, gastroenterologist, neurologist).
Articulation tonus disorders
“The conditions in which a woman today bears and gives birth to a child are far from ideal,” says speech therapist Tamara Novikova. – A large percentage of future mothers to the last works, exposing themselves to stress and hypoxia, drives a car, does not always give up bad habits – all this indirectly affects the development of dysarthria in the child (impaired muscle tone of the vocal apparatus), because a weakened fetus is already formed in utero . What we get in the future? A tongue that cannot turn over food in the mouth, poor performance of the muscles that constrict, lift and lower the jaw, and unwillingness to chew.
Those parents who give up breastfeeding too early have a disservice to the little one. To get the milk from her mother’s breast, the baby needs to work hard – to work with muscles. With the usual bottle of articulation tone to work out much more difficult.
Nevertheless, all these difficulties are surmountable. ”
A baby can refuse to chew even if it is difficult for him to swallow. Attempts to cope with solid food can cause him to cough and even gagging.
Swallowing disorders may be associated with malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract or other diseases: for example, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, stomatitis, inflammations of the oral cavity, and larynx. “Possible problems that can interfere with high-quality chewing, are sure to show up when the child is undergoing medical examination,” says the pediatrician Yulia Rakhimbekova. – Do not neglect the dispensary appointments of doctors. A child should visit the dentist twice before the year, 4 times – at the neurologist, 3 times – at the surgeon.
If necessary (for example, there is a suspicion of a short bridle of the tongue), the baby can be referred for consultation to the maxillofacial surgeon. ”
There is no special method of teaching chewing, because everything must go on as usual. However, with the help of our advice, you will help your child to quickly master this skill.
Arrange a place. Think in advance where the pussy will feel as comfortable as possible: in a highchair or on your lap.
Choose a moment. It is important that the child not be too hungry – otherwise he will be nervous, and your efforts will go down the drain, but at the same time wanted to eat.
Prepare cutlery. Use for feeding light plastic spoon with a rounded handle – then the crumb can wield it yourself.
Think over the diet. “Usually we advise moms to offer babies pieces of apple or soft cookies that they will bite and thus learn to chew. An inquisitive baby will definitely agree to try a new product, but at the same time he will understand why he needs his teeth and will practice chewing movements, – says Julia Rakhimbekova. “Any dish that you consider appropriate at the moment is suitable, considering whether it is part of dinner, snack between meals or dessert after a hearty lunch.”
When buying canned mashed potatoes, be guided by the labeling on the label: among the jars recommended for the age of 8-10 months, you will definitely find those that have “pieces that they learn to chew”.
Do not hurry. Start feeding in small portions. If the baby refuses to new foods, do not insist.
Over time make the consistency of the dishes offered thicker – thanks to this, the need to work with jaws, lips, tongue develops. If the dish is too thick, add a little water or milk.
Use his curiosity. In 4-7 months, the child will persistently gnaw in the mouth and try to chew what you give him.
Your task is to ensure that it is safe. The main thing is not to allow sudden transitions in the diet: you should not give a solid carrot, if before that a crumb ate only ground porridge and mashed potatoes.
Do not distract. Let the child focus on the process of absorbing food, then the actions of the hands, tongue and lips will be as coordinated as possible.
Niebler is a device that resembles the methods of our grandmothers, when some product (an apple or a piece of sugar) was wrapped in gauze and the child, without danger to life, could spend too much time in his mouth. Nibler contributes to the taste of the product, activates salivation and trains chewing movements.
The main thing – to monitor the integrity of the mesh and thoroughly wash it after use.
“If parents delayed the transition to a solid food, problems usually begin,” says Yulia Rakhimbekova. – Even a two-year-old baby has already formed eating behavior, it becomes very difficult to teach him to chew and just make him take something unusual in his mouth. In this case, the main advice is not to rush, not to pressure and in no case starve (they say, if you are hungry, you will eat).
The transition from mashed food to “pieces” should be gradual. Attract the child to cooking, jointly chop the product, first in a blender, using a meat grinder or grater, a little later – with a fork.
Remember that children love to imitate, so be sure to practice “sharing the table”, where you will chew food together with great pleasure. ”
What else can help you teach your baby cheerfully and chew with gusto?
- Lay out “rainbows” on a plate, fold “houses”, “draw” animals from slices of boiled carrots, beans, broccoli and cauliflower, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes. If you initially chew the baby will not turn out very well, just feed him the usual rubbed food. Try to cut into slices in the first place those products that he likes the most.
- Add small-small pieces of soft fruits (for example, pears), boiled vegetables, berries (raspberries) to porridges and mashed potatoes. Gradually increase the size and number of pieces in the dish.
- Play Take, for example, a piece of boiled carrots and picture the bunny: “How does the hare eat carrots? Like this! And so can you? “
- Invite guests, as well as eat out – practice situations where it will not be possible to grind food.
- Refer to the speech therapist: he will show how to properly conduct speech gymnastics and speech therapy massage. Such a massage (5–7 minutes of training per day, 3–4 times a week) will correct the changes in tone and help in training the muscles of the articulatory apparatus.