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to pouch or not to pouch

Many have asked us at Harvest to Highchair why we don't use pouches. There are many reasons but the two most significant are 1.) pouches can be introduced too early in a baby's development and 2.) pouches don't promote the crucial motor development, dexterity and socialization skills associated with spoon feeding.

Babies are born with two inherent reflexes...sucking and extrusion. Sucking is pretty obvious for a baby to feed by breast or bottle. The extrusion reflex allows babies to protect themselves from choking before they are developmentally ready to eat solids. This reflex usually dissipates at around 4-6 months to allow for the introduction of solids. If you've ever held a spoon up to an infant's mouth before they're ready, they will push the spoon out with their tongue. This is the extrusion reflex. With all that in mind, pouches can actually be introduced before your little one is really ready because it bypasses the inherent extrusion reflex and utilizes the other reflex of sucking.

Babies learn by doing and watching. Pouches don't teach them anything beyond what they already suck. By introducing solids with spoon feeding, your little one begins to learn how to eat. From opening their mouth when the spoon approaches and moving thicker purees in their mouth to eventually holding the spoon and feeding themselves, it's a time that a baby improves muscle control; learns hand-eye coordination; and becomes more aware of what really happens at mealtime. And, we feel the most important part is the interaction and bonding that happens during feeding time. Think about the goofy faces and fun noises we've all made at mealtime. Babies love and crave this interaction and it helps to build their ability to socialize with the world around them. It also allows a parent the opportunity to learn cues on hunger and preferences. Harvest to Highchair isn't totally anti-pouch. They are great for convenience or on the go, but as the saying goes "please use responsibly."


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