Extrusion reflex, what is it and what is its function?
We know that when a baby is born it is full of different reflexes, these are sent by the nervous system and are triggered by external stimuli that lead to having a specific reaction in the child.
It can be said that reflexes are involuntary behaviors manifested in the body that are intended to help the baby acquire the ability to adapt to his environment and thus achieve greater control over his body.
Some reflexes remain intact for life and others disappear according to the age of the children, an example of this is the extrusion reflex.
This characteristic reflex causes or motivates the baby to return from his mouth all solid foods or any liquid other than breast milk, making continuous movements with the tongue to expel the food introduced into his mouth.
The extrusion reflex usually disappears at 6 months of age, allowing the baby to start complementary feeding. This is a natural process that allows the baby to consume foods other than breast milk, acquiring the ability to carry the food to the back of the oral cavity to be able to swallow it.
It is very common for mothers to start complementary feeding, show concern to see that the child pushes food with his tongue, believing that this reaction is because they do not like the food they were prepared, without understanding that the safest thing is that keep the extrusion reflex active and that the baby is not yet neurologically ready to start the complementary feeding.
It is important to understand that this reflex should disappear naturally and not necessarily, in case it lasts more than six months, there is no reason to worry, since the level of development in children is different, so it should not be forced , the child is only indicating that he is not yet ready for this process, therefore he must respect and go at his own pace.
Similarly, it should be borne in mind that complementary feeding is not recommended before six months since the body is not yet ready to assimilate foods other than breast milk.
To know when to start complementary feeding, the manifestation of some previous behavioral characteristics such as the ones we will show below must be identified:
-Able to sit with or without support.
- Hold objects with your hands and have the ability to take them to your mouth.
-Show interest and curiosity about food different from breast milk.
- The extrusion reflex has disappeared.
These processes should be carried out calmly and with a lot of patience, bearing in mind that there are changes that are not suitable even for implementing them in children, nor implemented only when parents consider, but that the pace of development that each child has should be taken into account understanding and understanding each stage according to their age.