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An infant goes through numerous developmental milestones that parents anticipate and celebrate. Some of them are well known, like rolling over, crawling or even talking. A lesser known one, perhaps, is blowing raspberries. Here, we discuss the meaning of this relatively underrated milestone, also known as ‘razzies’ or spit bubbles.
What is Meant by a Baby Blowing Raspberries?
The giggle-inducing bubbling sound that infants make with their lips and tongue is known as blowing raspberries or ‘razzies’. It creates a funny noise akin to a motor humming. It happens when a baby is blowing bubbles from the mouth. This is hilarious to watch and produces an overload of oxytocin for mother and child as they bond, but it is also a significant development and antecedent to the language capabilities of the baby.
When Do Babies Start Blowing Raspberries?
The bubble blowing starts as early as when the baby is two months of age. When a 2-month-old baby is blowing bubbles, it means that he is experimenting with his mouth and that it is a precursor to speech development. Research mentions that not all infants will blow bubbles or raspberries. Those that do spit and blow bubbles also display complex mouth movements like licking their lips often. Although babies begin blowing bubbles around two months of age, the true razzies begin at around five months. By the sixth month, an infant is constantly blowing bubbles, making raspberry sounds, and drooling.
Why Do Babies Blow Bubbles?
Blowing spit bubbles helps prepare the baby for future developmental milestones that are essential for survival like chewing, drinking, and talking. An increase in the production of saliva from 3 to 6 months also helps the baby prepare for the arrival of his first tooth. The raspberries are concurrent to babbling sounds, imitation of other sounds, and cognitive smiling.
What is the Role of Baby Blowing Raspberries in Digestion?
Blowing raspberries also has an important connection to the digestive ability of the baby. The saliva released helps in neutralising stomach acids while converting starch to sugar during the digestive process. A baby blowing bubbles helps reflux control, softens food, and prevents decaying of teeth.
Blowing Raspberries – Developmental Milestones in Babies
Babies begin making funny noises and may strain facial muscles as if in concentration when they are blowing raspberries. This is, in fact, the baby trying to develop control of his tongue, lip, and cheeks simultaneously.
1. Facial Muscle Workout
Blowing bubbles and raspberries helps the baby exercise the muscles needed for independent lip movement, separate from the jaw and tongue. It improves the lip tension required later to seal a cup while drinking water and other liquids.
Blowing bubbles improves the baby’s future speaking abilities. The babbling begins to sound like distinct letters of the alphabet like m, d, a.
3. Precursor to Teething
When a baby blows bubbles, it helps in teething. The excess saliva produced when a baby blows bubbles prepares to soften the gums for the arrival of the first tooth.
How Parents Can Encourage It?
Blowing raspberries is just a small yet crucial milestone. You should pay attention to it and encourage this behaviour to aid your baby’s speech and language acquisition skills.
- Imitate every little sound that your child makes. Be conversational with your child. Try adding new sounds to the conversation and pause to see if the baby is mimicking you.
- Sing to your infant and bring in variation to the pitch and tone of words. Sing fast and then go slow. Try a few words loudly and then go into a soft whisper.
- Help your baby in making a rolling sound by rubbing your finger on his tiny lips.
- Gently blow raspberries on the baby’s arm or belly to help them understand how it is done.
- Sing along to familiar songs and let baby watch your lips as they move.
- Pretend-play with the baby and make him talk into play phones or other toys.
- Engage the baby’s sound and sight skills for better understanding. Recite rhymes that involve hand movements while singing.
- Most importantly, let your child hear your voice all the time. Talk to him as often as possible to help him develop facial muscle strength as he smiles more when you converse with him.
A baby will most likely learn to laugh, coo, and turn towards sounds before he attempts to blow bubbles and babble. Most infants are blowing raspberries by the age of 5 months. If your baby doesn’t show any such signs or isn’t able to blow bubbles by eight months of age, consult a paediatrician. A doctor will be able to evaluate the baby for signs indicating speech delay or underlying neurological problems. Most importantly, just enjoy the raspberry-blowing phase by blowing back at your child, giggling with him, smiling at his smile, and have a wonderful time together.