Category Archives: Chewing

How to Teach Biting and Chewing Skills

For infants, learning how to bite and chew is a crucial stage of feeding development.  At approximately 5 months of age, babies begin using their fingers and teethers for oral exploration using a bite and release pattern.  The development of biting and chewing continues from this point on, with the baby refining the movements of the jaw, tongue, and lips.  When infants miss a part of this developmental process, intervention may be necessary to develop the ability to bite and chew.

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G-Tube Advice

Q:    I am a mother to a baby who is 6.5 months old, corrected age.  He was born at 29 weeks gestational age.  Because of being on a high level of O2 support for a long period of time, being intubated several times, and experiencing reflux, he has had an aversion to liquids and was not able to learn how to suck on a bottle effectively.  A g-tube was placed before he left the NICU.  He is now fed exclusively through the g-tube, but his speech therapist and I are making progress on his oral acceptance of liquids and solids.  However, his oral mechanics still do not allow him to process more than .1 to .2 ml for each swallow.  He has marked tongue thrusting.

Regarding tools —  at this point we are making use of the Baby Grabber and are using a 1 ml syringe for liquid practice.  We have attempted to use several sippy cups without much success so far.  His speech therapist has not suggested any other tools/devices at this point.  Could you suggest products that we could use for feeding practice, tongue placement/mechanics, and general oral work that will help us work towards g-tube independence?  Our speech therapist cannot provide them, so we are looking to purchase just a few items that will have maximum usage and effect.

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