Many parents think that chewing and sucking are the same for babies and they do not need any special training. In fact, your baby’s chewing ability is acquired later in life and it is different from sucking.
4-6 months baby: mushy food
Babies of 4 months old, the actions of sucking and swallowing liquid are finally developed, and they can drink milk well. Your baby’s little tongue also becomes flexible, so you can start to train your baby how to chew and swallow.
At this stage, you can add some mushy-like foods to your child’s diet, such as rice cereal and fruit and vegetable puree. The baby will spit or eject food with his/her small tongue initially, do not worry it is normal as the baby is not used to eating food this way, you just need to train him with a little patience.
7-9 months baby: fine, soft food
Most babies begin to grow teeth at 7 months old, which also means that the baby’s ability to chew and swallow is more advanced than before. Your baby will try to chew food up with his gums, and his desire to take initiative to eat will increase. Sometimes when he sees you eat, he/she would also wants to taste.
The food given to your baby at this stage can be thicker than before. The form of complementary food should be semi-liquid or semi-solid, such as vegetable puree, fruit puree, porridge, egg custard, etc. These foods can cultivate the baby’s chewing ability and promote the germination of teeth. If your baby is uncomfortable with teething, you can prepare some harder foods such as molar cookies. By biting, pinching and grinding, it can help baby teeth to erupt, and at the same time, exercise the baby’s chewing ability.
10-12 months: softer, chewy food
At this stage, the baby has 4-6 teeth, his/her chewing action will be more coordinated. Your baby will try to bite or break the food before chewing. Whether a baby can chew food well can affect his teeth development. Because proper chewing can stimulate the growth of his baby teeth.
The complementary food that your baby eats can gradually shift to adult diet. However, it should be based on soft and chewy foods, such as soft noodles, vegetable porridge, meat porridge, meat paste, egg custard, etc. Don’t give foods that are too greasy or difficult to digest. In the process of feeding, you can also cultivate your baby’s ability to eat on his own.