Let’s be honest, weaning baby onto solids can be a battlefield. What is loved one day, is loathed the next and what does that wrinkled, cross-looking face EVEN MEAN? Good news folks, we have ALL the answers.
Actually, the baby food brand Piccolo has all the answers and we couldn’t be more grateful for this very interesting insight into what our babies can’t possibly say to us at six-months-old (though trust me, as they age they don’t hold back).
A study of all the little chubby cheeked faces
Piccolo co-founder Alice Fotheringham (and infant nutritional specialist extraordinaire) recently joined forces with baby psychologist Caspar Addyman to study different facial expressions to make life easier for new parents.
Alice reports “At Piccolo we try to encourage parents to take a more relaxed approach to weaning by throwing the rulebook out of the window and listening to your baby – because believe it or not, they’re actually much more intuitive when it comes to eating than the average adult – which is why learning to read their expressions is such a valuable part of the process.”
Knowledge is power guys, here are the nine faces of weaning parents should look out for:
The three faces of dislike
1. Wrinkled nose
Don’t be easily fooled, the wrinkled nose is only mild rejection! Not to be mistaken with our own wrinkled expression when adults dislike things, babies still have room to judge with theirs. Try the food again and see if the wrinkled expression is as severe!
The tell-tale expression of NUP NOT EATING IT. Again, babies are still figuring it out, so don’t take it to heart instantly. Try offering the food again a few times before admitting defeat.
3. Lowered brow
The furrowed brow is a sure-fire indicator for uncertainty. This is the “I’m just going to push it around my mouth for a bit to see if I like it” face.
The three faces of flavour
4. Sweet / Savoury
Predictably, sweet and savoury food options are often lapped up off the spoon with happy gusto and zero fuss. Piccolo mentions that this could be because breast milk has both of these flavours, so it’s not too dissimilar to what bub is used to.
When it comes to tasting sour, adults and babies share the same expression – mouth pursed shut and a substantial squint to accompany it. Don’t force the issue, simply offer the food again another time.
Your baby’s mouth falling open normally implies something tastes bitter. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean they don’t like it. BABIES ARE HARD WORK.
Yes, no, maybe baby
7. It’s a yes
We all know what GIMME MORE looks like! Think mouth wide open and hands reaching for the bowl. You’re definitely onto a winning dinner with this reaction.
8. Most definitely not
An arched back and turning their head away from you and the spoon you wield is a definite sign for NO. Perhaps baby doesn’t like what you’re offering or maybe they’re just not hungry – either way, no amount of aeroplane noises will convince them to eat. Try again a bit later!
They’re messing with you. Babies are curious creatures and if there are no definite signs of no, there’s still hope. Keep persevering. Let baby taste and touch new foods while they figure out whether they like them (or not).