The Doctors: The Squish Test, Baby Bottle Tooth Decay & Baby Talk

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The Doctors: The Squish Test, Baby Bottle Tooth Decay & Baby Talk

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears answered parenting questions on baby talk, baby bottle tooth decay and “the squish test” on The Doctors April 29 2013.

The Doctors: When Can Babies Eat Adult Food?

The Doctors fielded some questions related to babies with the help of pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears. Often, new parents wonder when their babies can eat the same food as them. When is it safe for babies to eat adult food?

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For the first six months of life, milk is a baby’s entire diet. From 6-8 months, Dr. Sears recommends “mushed” fruits and vegetables, but anytime after that, babies can eat “almost anything” from mom or dad’s plate.

The Squish Test

The key for babies eating adult food is “the squish test,” which means if you can squish it, your baby can eat it. For example, bananas and avocados are perfectly safe, while a hard nut is a choking hazard. As for meat, chicken is nice and soft, but a steak is not squishy. When in doubt, you can puree food for your baby.

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Can Babies Drink Milk In Bed?

Another common question involves babies and their favorite beverage: is it safe for them to drink milk in their crib? It’s actually not, because of something called baby bottle tooth decay. Dr. Lisa Masterson went through this exact problem with her son when he was a baby.

The Doctors: Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

When a baby is propped up with a bottle before bed, sugar and bacteria hang on the teeth at night, causing painful and unsightly decay. Dr. Lisa’s son, Daniel, acquired baby bottle tooth decay at daycare and had to wear prosthesis until his adult teeth grew in.

In order to prevent baby bottle tooth decay, gently wipe your baby’s teeth at night. This problem is also applicable to adults. If you like to drink a glass of milk before bed, be sure to get up and brush your teeth before falling asleep.

Should You Speak To Kids In Baby Talk?

Finally, Dr. Sears addressed using baby talk to speak to kids. It’s okay for parents to mimic their children’s voices, but you should always use real words. Otherwise, babies will learn to mispronounce words. You can start speaking to babies like you would an adult around a year, a year-and-a-half.

In order to help facilitate language development, narrate what you’re doing (i.e. “let’s change your diaper,” “let’s go to bed”) so your baby picks up on language. Baby sign language is another great way to help babies communicate earlier.

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