At this stage, you need to know about your baby's oral motor growth, her sucking reflexes start around 36 weeks, prior to her birth. From birth till 3 months, she responds to stimulation in and around the mouth, has milk or formula using a nipple and is able to take in 2 to 3 sucks of liquid before swallowing and breathing. From 3 to 6 months, she can take in pureed fruits, vegetables. From 6 to 9 months, she can hold her feeding bottle on her own and consume pureed baby foods. From 9 to 12 months, she tries to self- feeds by grabbing small foods like Cheerios. She will drink from a sippy cup and closes her lips while swallowing liquids and soft foods.
Your baby's oral motor development: What you need to know
Oral motor development is all about the right functioning of the lips, jaw, teeth, tongue and the hard and soft palates so that your baby learns to swallow, chew and speak. These skills develop prior to birth and continue until your child is 3. Baby oral motor care begins at an early age. You can carry out oral motor exercises to help your child develop it better. After 4 years, most children can safely take solids and liquids without choking. Observations like delay in speech, messy eating, excessive drooling and grinding of teeth call for checking with the pediatrician who can give you more insights on how to develop oral motor skills.