chewing and talking

The Surprising Link Between Chewing and Talking in Babies

By Bea Waterfield of Baby College

We love fun baby development facts at Baby College! Did you know there is a fascinating connection between chewing and talking in little ones? In this article we will uncover one of the secrets to improving your baby’s speech clarity and give you some tips that you can use to help reluctant chewers.

The power of chewing

At Baby College, we believe that every step in your baby’s growth is extraordinary. And guess what? Chewing isn’t just about eating—it also plays a surprising role in their ability to communicate. When your baby starts using their fingers and teething toys, they’re also developing their biting and chewing skills. This gradual progression is closely connected to clearer speech. It’s an exciting process where their little mouths learn to coordinate movements, paving the way for improved communication skills.

What can you do to help?

As parents, we have a crucial role to play in helping our babies develop their biting and chewing and then in consequence their emerging language and talking skills, ultimately enhancing their ability to express themselves. Understanding the link between chewing and talking may help unlock and nurture your baby’s development. Here are some simple yet effective strategies to help with introducing harder and more chewy foods for those little ones who seem reluctant to progress from purees:

Chewy toys

Introduce your baby to chewy toys designed to boost their oral awareness and provide sensory stimulation. These special toys help exercise their lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw, laying the foundation for improved chewing abilities. We love our chewy shape toys in our classes. Babies love them so much we have now named the whole activity Chewy Shapes!

Lead by example

Show your baby how to bite by demonstrating it yourself. You can use real food or even puppets with movable mouths to make it fun. Encourage them to mimic the biting action and make encouraging sounds like “yummy” or “mmm mmm.”

Guided chewing practice

Use a mirror so your baby can see themselves biting. Place a chewy toy in their mouth and guide their jaw movements while saying the word “bite.” This visual and tactile feedback helps them understand the concept.

Gradual progression

Once your baby grasps the idea of biting, introduce the word “chew” and practice together. Start with placing a chewy toy between their premolar teeth and guide them to chew. Gradually increase the number of chews on each side of their mouth.

Real food

Once your baby masters biting and chewing, dip the chewy toys into pureed or sticky foods. This way, they’ll associate the act of chewing with the pleasure of eating real food. 

Check out Weaning World’s recipes for some tasty purees.

Speech milestones

Understanding the stages of your baby’s language development is a fascinating journey. From the early biological sounds of coughing and crying to the mastery of language and grammar, each stage unveils a new chapter in their communication abilities. It begins with cooing and laughter, progresses to vocal play and babbling, and eventually leads to the emergence of first words and word combinations. By the age of three, your child becomes a language master, engaging in complex conversations and expressing their thoughts with clarity.

Witnessing these exciting milestones amazing and shows the incredible growth and development of your little one. Join us at Baby College to learn more about your baby’s development and support their weaning and language journeys.

About Baby College

Baby College is here to help families with their parent, baby and toddler classes, located across the country. Their friendly and knowledgeable teachers will help you enjoy the amazing classes, make friends and provide you with squillions of ideas for developmental play. Many parents also find comfort, companionship, advice and support from their own new “villages” on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclaimer: The views and advice given in this article are those of the guest writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Weaning Week or any other organisations represented on this platform

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