As adults, we often eat mindlessly. Take a bite of food, chew, repeat. We never think about, or even notice, all the work that our tongue, jaw and throat are doing for us. But for a baby taking his or her first bites, eating is not always so intuitive.

Does your baby push rice cereal or baby food out of his or her mouth when you are trying to spoon it in?

Babies have a reflex called the tongue-thrust reflex, when the baby moves the tongue in and out of the mouth. This reflex is necessary for breast feeding but can make spoon feeding tough!

Try gently but firmly pushing down on the tongue with the spoon as you remove the spoon from the mouth. This pressure should inhibit the thrusting reflex.

baby eating

 

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