Improving quality of life for the differently abled Children & Adults

MOUTHING OBJECTS

by April Ariola                                                                         

Did You Know?

Did you know, babies suck their thumbs before they are born? That’s right! A baby may find his or her mouth by four or five months in utero! As a baby reaches delivery time, they are so limited on space in the womb their hands stay curled up next to their faces. This gives a baby a head start by the time they are born to begin sucking. Babies often “find” their hands again around eight weeks of age. Once babies learn about their hands, they increase their oral motor and touch experiences. It is important for babies to place appropriate objects and toys in their mouth so they can learn to control their jaw, tongue and lips. This practice helps with chewing various food and with speech development. By mouthing objects, babies will learn to move their tongue separately from their jaw. Biting and mouthing objects also provides sensory input when babies begin teething. This experience with mouthing, biting and chewing on hands and objects will help your baby as they begin eating food. Babies will learn how to bit hard versus bite softly. All of this along with giving kisses, patting and wiping faces will prepare babies for the complicated demands of chewing and speech.

Feeding and Nutrition for the Child with Special Needs. 1994. Klein, M., Delaney, T.

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