We’ve been working for the last 2 months to teach Levi how to eat solid food. Yesterday while I watched him mash some avocado in his mouth, spit most of it out and swallow the rest I had a realization. Maybe spitting his food out is actually a good thing. For the first time I started to think of it as an essential skill he needed to develop and was happy to see him practicing it again with his avocado.
Babies need to learn how to use their tongues to maneuver food around and how to moderate the quantity in their mouth at one time. They need to have this skill developed so they don’t choke. All of the sudden I started to think differently about the process of teaching a child to eat.
What if a baby spitting food out of his/her mouth is normal and natural?
What if we started viewing it as learning instead of rejection of the food itself?
How would that impact our stress levels? How would that impact our response to their behavior?
I realize babies don’t have an understanding of our cultural norms to chow down when it’s chow time, but maybe at the start more spit up is actually better than the food all being swallowed.