Weaning: What your baby’s facial expressions mean

A new survey by leading baby food brand Organix, reveals more than half (55%) of mums say a baby’s facial expression puts them off trying to encourage their baby to like a new taste.

In response to the research, Organix commissioned Vivien Sabel, Clinical Psychotherapist and body language expert, to help parents interpret and understand their little one’s facial expressions.

What is the meaning of that face your baby pulls as they try a new food for the first time?  Vivien Sabel offers some explanation about what your baby is really trying to tell you …

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Happy – Yum, yum, yummy!
“Your baby loves the flavour, texture and everything about this food. Their happiness can be seen in every part of their body – their eyes, smile and posture.  Mirror their happiness back to them, it’s encouraging and a useful form of communication between you and your baby.”

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Surprised – Mmm this is interesting 
“Your baby is curious and surprised by this new  taste sensation. They may devour it in an instant or it may take a little while to adjust to this new flavour.”

weaningDisinterested – I’m not sure mum? What do you think?
“Your baby may appear disinterested but it doesn’t mean they don’t like what they’re eating. Your baby is seeking your encourageme nt and affirmation. They want to know that you are interested in their experience. You can give them positive affirmations through non-verbal mirroring, it will help encourage them to develop an interest.”

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Shocked – Whoa!   This is something different
“You may see this expression when your baby tries a new flavour which has a spicy or sour element. It doesn’t mean they don’t like it, it simply means this is a new experience and it’s creating a mind-boggling taste sensation in their sensitive mouths.”

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Curious – Mmm this is new to me! I think I like this
“Your baby is born with an innate curiosity and a need to explore. Use encouraging verbal expressions to enhance their interest.”

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The snub! – Not now mummy
“Your baby maybe tired, teething or feeling unwell. Don’t give up on trying new foods simply because you experience the snub! Give your little one a cuddle and try again later.”

Weaning and new foods: understanding your baby’s expression – top tips from Vivien Sabel, Clinical Psychotherapist and body language expert:

  • Your baby has an active curious mind and understanding their non-verbal cues and clues can support your baby and you through weaning and trying new foods.
  • Look out for all of your baby’s non-verbal expressions – observe their expression and mirror it back to your baby as a way of saying you understand their communication.
  • Remember babies do what babies see! They are like sponges and soak up everything you do. So when it comes to encouraging your baby to try new foods, your expression needs to be seen and needs to be encouraging – if you look like you’re enjoying the food, your baby is likely to copy you.
  • The more time you spend observing your baby the more you’ll understand what they are communicating.
  • For more on the faces your baby pulls follow #realfoodface

Weaning is an exciting time for everyone so for lots more weaning advice, weaning foods from Organix, weaning recipes – from purées to finger foods – and to download your free copy of the Organix Little Book of Weaning please visit www.organix.com

To help inspire parents Organix’ children’s food expert Lucy Thomas has lots of simple, fun activities to help introduce new taste sensations to babies.  Here you can see how vlogger Charlie O’Brien put some of them to the test with her son Noah https://www.youtube.com/user/Organixfood

From Dr Vivien Sabel, Clinical Psychotherapist and body language expert, working with Organix

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