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about breastfeeding, weaning and speech development (for tori32)

(21 Posts)
mummypig Thu 20-Sep-07 22:41:20

Hi there

my internet explorer crashed and then I had to finish the school newsletter smile so I am only just back on

just in case anyone is wondering what this is about, it's an extension of a discussion on this thread

Tori32 made some comments about a 9 month old having to have food to chew, in order to develop facial muscles and aid in speech development (or prevent delayed speech development).

I thought the comments should only apply to bottlefed babies as the sucking action is different, and gave a link to a paper suggesting that breastfeeding is more beneficial for oral motor development.

Tori32 said that chewing food is necessary regardless of whether bf or ff, and referred me back to a comment in the paper I'd referenced.

Is that a fair representation, Tori32?

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, Tori, but I was certainly under the impression that (a) breastfeeding was more beneficial for oral motor development; and (b) that if a 9 month old wasn't chewing solid food yet, it wasn't too terrible - surely as long as they start chewing at some point (unlike your example) they will be developing the right muscles.

I suppose I'm wondering where the 'at 9 months babies should definitely be weaned' comment comes from, as I'm not aware there is really such a strict window for introducing solid food. You clearly have an extreme example of a child who did not get practise with these muscles but do you have any references to back up your timescale?

Not really wanting to start an argument, just interested (and dp is not home yet and I'm delaying doing the washing up wink)

suzi2 Thu 20-Sep-07 22:44:56

No idea about all of this really... but from my own anecdotal evidence...

DS, exclusively breastfed until 6 months, then did BLW and he only eats solid/lumpy foods now. He's 25 months and only started speaking a couple of months ago. Is slow on the speech front.

So I don't think either are the be all and end all for speech. I don't think that for the few that aren't taking solids or being weaned at 9 months, this shouldd be a major concern.

bookthief Thu 20-Sep-07 22:52:25

Purely anecdotaly (so useless really but there you go wink), I was an incredibly fussy baby (and child as it goes) with food. Would only eat purees until I was quite old and would only eat extra smooth, runny shop bought purees which drove my mum to distraction but she went with it (was also bf).

So, I was weaned at 4 months as was the fashion at the time, but only ate very soft food...learned to speak very early. Not suggesting any connection.

mummypig Thu 20-Sep-07 22:53:46

thanks suzi

I just wondered if tori32 had any evidence for her 9 month recommendation, but she isn't around at the mo so I guess i ought to go to the much-delayed washing up now...

...off I trudge

mummypig Thu 20-Sep-07 22:54:54

and thanks bookthief too

(still delaying washing up, and dreaming of the day when our dishwasher is fixed grin)

moondog Thu 20-Sep-07 23:23:57

I'm a salt (and avid breastfeeder) and despite combing literature have fonud nothing to suggest anything detrimental to speech either way.

DaisyMOO Thu 20-Sep-07 23:42:39

IIRC the 'theory' that babies need to chew food to develop the correct muscles for speech came from a small study looking at tube fed babies. So hardly relevant to breastfed or bottle fed babies.

tiktok Thu 20-Sep-07 23:43:06

Check the archives - tori has form on making assertions that are not necessarily evidence-based.

Trying to be polite here ;)

cazee Fri 21-Sep-07 08:39:27

The HV yesterday told me this about speech development, as part of her assertion that I must poush solids. She kept talking about a "window" too.

tiktok Fri 21-Sep-07 10:13:34

DaisyMOO you are right....the study is cited in the DoH's leaflet for healthcare professionals 'Infant Feeding Recommendation' which is a 'Q&A' format. In answer to a question about chewing, they cite a 1964 study on babies who had develomental delays and disabilities, and who were deliberately kept on a liquids-only diet, and the study, they say, was 'inappropriately extended to younger babies with normal development'.

Offering solid food and going at the baby's own pace is fine.

StealthPolarBear Fri 21-Sep-07 10:20:23

What's a salt?

StealthPolarBear Fri 21-Sep-07 10:20:43

speech and language therapist
[thick]

snoozer Fri 21-Sep-07 10:27:37

Cazee -- I just read the other thread and don't have any tips for you, but just want to let you know that you're not the only one dealing with this. My 9mo ds shows almost no interest in solids and eats less than the equivalent of a jar a day, I'm sure. I've tried all the "tricks" milk before solids, milk after solids, cutting down milk, a spoon for him, a spoon for me, letting him eat what i'm eating - he just doesn't care. He's also tiny.

I'd say ingnore anyone whose tells you to "up the solids". It's not that easy is it? If someone says that to you they haven't dealt with the situation you're dealing with. You just cannot force a baby to eat something he doesn't want to eat. And personally, I think that trying to force it will just case problems for down teh road.

Anyway, good luck, and hopefully this shall pass for you (that's what I'm hoping for too!)

cazee Fri 21-Sep-07 10:39:10

Thanks snoozer, the irony is she doesn't look tiny at all, she has lovely chubby thighs!

snoozer Fri 21-Sep-07 10:40:56

funny. mine's on the 2% but everyone always tells me that he looks big for his age! it's the big personality, i think.

snoozer Fri 21-Sep-07 10:49:12

cazee -- just checked my red book. Mine was 7.44 at 37 weeks. They're almost the exact same size. Bet they'd make a cute couple.

kiskidee Fri 21-Sep-07 11:00:20

fwiw, my dd first chewed solid food at 13 months when she snaggled a piece of german salami off my plate. (true story) before taht she gagged on any thing else and refused all solids. - she was and is still bfing.

at dd's nursery there was a 15 mo old ff child who was still refusing all solids.

their facial muscles and speech are just fine.



i wonder how many grown ups there are out there who missed this so called weaning window at nine months (or whenever and why haven't we heard more of them yet?

kiskidee Fri 21-Sep-07 11:03:01

oh, but my dd has chewed toys, shoes, and anything else she can find on the floor as soon as she could reach and put them in her mouth. wink

PrettyCandles Fri 21-Sep-07 11:07:28

Surely by 9m most babies are babbling and making all of the speech sounds - including many that aren't in their parents' languages? Ds2 certainly was, and he only began to be interested in solids at 8-8.5m. Before then he'd take a bit of puree on a spoon, but that's all. They're chewing away on toys, too, at that age.

I'm very sceptical about it, tbh.

I'm sure there must be cultures where babies aren't weaned until later than in the Western world, yet they develop speech normally.

3andnomore Fri 21-Sep-07 11:16:57

OH, I remember with ms my HV's had those notions about must get them to chew, and not introducing solids at 4 month will be detrimental to speech developement....because, even thouhg back then they were meant to advice 5 month for weaning ( this was only 5 years ago...) they didn't even know that bit...so, am not surprised they were spouting such shite...

moondog Fri 21-Sep-07 13:30:42

Yes PC.
Babies start by making literally every sound that exists in every language and then as they grow older,their range narrows to that approximating the sounds in the language(s) they hear around them.

I wouldn't assume any HV can talk with any authority on speech and lang. development (beyond very basic stuff of the sort any literate person can discover for themselves).

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