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Reluctance with lumps

Some babies can be more reluctant than others about moving onto lumpy foods, simply because they aren’t used to it. Learning to chew is a new stage in baby’s development and some may be quicker than others. It is an important stage as it helps with muscle development needed for speech (as they learn to use their tongue), and means they can start the transition of moving onto family-style meals.

Introducing lumps should be a gradual process. Recommend that parents start by mashing the usual foods they give to their baby, before moving onto foods with soft lumps e.g. cooked pasta chunks, cooked fish, soft fruits & veg.

For some, it may take a while but simply requires perseverance on the parent’s part as the more their baby is exposed to a particular taste or texture, the more likely they are to accept it regularly and as they get older.

Sometimes a baby may cough up a lump they have swallowed using their gag reflex, so they can re-chew it. This is their way of learning to chew and making sure pieces are small enough to swallow. Parents can often get worried their baby is choking so it is important to reassure them, whilst making sure that they are aware of the signs of choking.

The critical stage

Research has shown that babies that are not exposed to more textured, lumpy solids by 9 months of age show an increased reluctance to accept these textures and new foods. It is important that parents are introducing lumpy solids before this age to ensure a smoother transition to these foods.

To help with the transition to lumpy foods, parents should offer finger foods that babies are able to pick up and feed themselves. This is a great way for them to get used to chewing and encourages self-feeding. Ideal finger foods include slices of soft fruit & vegetables, cooked pasta shapes, toast fingers or baby snacks.

See our articles on Baby Led Weaning:

Baby-led weaning - an introduction
Baby-led weaning versus conventional weaning