Switching to stage 2 baby food: How to stay healthy and teach your baby to chew

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Is my baby ready for stage 2?

Stage 2 baby food is your baby’s first steps into thicker food that they will eventually need to start chewing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics you should expect your baby to be ready for stage 2 around 6-8 months. Some general signs that your baby is ready are minimal drooling, little to no food coming out of your baby’s mouth, and the absence of the “tongue thrust reflex.” 

How should I feed my baby differently?

Once you have started giving your baby stage 2 foods, it is very important to develop and maintain good eating habits with your baby.  The AAP recommends that you serve foods together like pureed meat and veggies, as well as some mashed fruits like bananas. As always it is still also important to feed your children organic fruits and veggies that are proven to contain more nutrients that your baby uses to develop. Lastly it is important to listen to and react to your baby’s behavior when eating. If your baby turns away or cries when given thicker food, he or she might not be ready to make the next step just quite yet.

How do I get my baby to start chewing?

While some babies are able to learn how to chew with ease, many parents struggle to teach the skill. A commonly used trick to help your baby learn how to chew is to use a Nuk Brush or a small tooth brush with a puree on it and encourage the baby to bite down on it.  It is important to encourage this behavior as you move towards more solid foods and prepare your baby for stage 3 foods that typically start around 9-10 months. To learn more about stage 3 foods and if your baby is ready, please check out our article here