Parents’ Guide to How Feeding Helps Baby Talk

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Did you know eating can help baby learn to talk? They both use the same muscles! It makes sense when you think about it. Feeding and swallowing helps your baby build muscles they need to start talking.

Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, Heidi Sloan (MA, CCC-CLP, C/NDT), says, “The mouth has a whole bunch of muscles! The most important, and the most obvious ones, to us are the muscles of the lips, tongue, and the muscles that control the jaw. So, for example, we use our lips to say, “ba, and pa, and mmm”. Those are the same muscles that you use to clear food off of a spoon. We use our tongue muscles to say, “ta, and da, and nnn, llll”. Those are the same tongue muscles you need to bring food over to your molars to be able to chew it. And then to able to bring it back to the back of your tongue to swallow.”

Try giving baby different textured foods to eat. In addition to being a great sensory experience, this helps build the muscles baby needs to start talking!