Birth to 2years of age is a critical learning period for mouth skills including feeding and speech. These are the most significant to baby and kid that one leads to the healthy body development, another leads to the future development of many other skills by speech.
Now, to know the mouth structure is the first step to better take care baby’s mouth development. As people thought, human being’s mouth structure will be the almost same with each other. In fact, baby’s mouth at birth is very different from adult. This is one reason why most babies can drink from the bottle or breast but the adult have difficulties on it.
Why is that a mature human being can not easily drinking from a bottle? Because the structures and functions are quite different with the babies at birth.
Let’s see the pictures and find out what are they like and what are the differences?
1/The open space in baby’s mouth is very small. Baby seals and compresses the bottle nipple or breast by using the lips,tongue,and gums in the front of the mouth. Baby creates a vacuum within the mouth by moving the back of the tongue and jaw downward.
2/Baby’s bottom jaw is small and pulled slightly back. The top and bottom jaws have a “flat” appearance.
3/The roof of baby’s mouth may be more than 20 mm wide from edge to edge across the middle of the palate. And the ideal shape of the hard palate is a wide ”u”.
4/Baby’s hard palate is composed of several bones that touch one another is the center and toward the back.
5/Baby’s tongue fills the mouth and helps maintain the shape of the mouth’s roof when baby’s mouth is resting.
6/Baby’s deeply cupped tongue moves from front to back evenly in a wavelike motion, sealing and unsealing the back third, so that baby can extracts liquid from the breast or bottle.
7/Baby’s gums contain some special tissue that swells to help seal the mouth when nursing or bottle-feeding.
8/If a baby was born full-term, he/she should have sucking pads in the cheek area.
9/Baby breaths through the nose,even when the nose appears to be very close to the breast.We may hear baby produce nasal-sounding vowels when he/she is making vocal sounds
10/The structure in baby’s throat are close together to protect him from choking on formula or breast milk.
*Refer and quote from Diane Bahr,"Noboday Ever Told Me(or My Mother)That!",2010