If you are wondering why your baby is blowing raspberries, the reason behind it is lang uage development, though a baby blowing a raspberry sound has various reasons. “Babies blow raspberries as they begin to understand that their lips can come together to make sounds,” according to Jocelyn M. Wood, a speech-language pathologist and the owner of Jocelyn M. Wood Speech Language Pathology. They have just started experimenting with their mouths, volume and voice and blowing raspberries helps them to understand intonation. It’s a kind of vocal play which helps them refine their abilities just like other activities and games.
They also start doing things which get them a reaction and attention from adults. So if the mother laughs at her baby blowing raspberries, they will want to do it again. Or they might think that blowing a raspberry sound is fun and entertaining as it tickles them when their lips vibrate. It also strengthens their facial muscles which is vital for speech and is the foundation for babbling and first sounds. They usually start blowing raspberries between 4 to 6 months, though not all babies do it. They respond to people talking to them by making their own sounds to get the attention of adults around them.
Blowing raspberries is very common and if they don’t it could be a sign that your baby is struggling with language development. However, many babies skip the raspberry blowing stage altogether and move directly to speaking words, just like some babies skip crawling and move straight to walking.
What You Should Do When Your Baby Starts Blowing Raspberries
- The best thing to do is blow a raspberry right back at them. This encourages interaction and communication which are the building blocks for language development and conversation.It also helps to make eye contact and engage with your baby. Babies also find blowing raspberries fun and learn that they can use that sound to manipulate their environment.
- Many studies show that when parents respond to the sounds made by their baby, it gives a great boost to social and cognitive development. In fact, as a parent, you should respond to any sound your baby makes as it stimulates language development.
- Set aside a unique sound that you always use to respond to your baby blowing raspberries. Till they learn to speak, it can help them to blow raspberries in the context of communication.
- The more you engage in conversation with your child, the better their language learning. So speak to them each time they blow raspberries. Talk to them about anything, like your day, what you are doing and ask them questions. Always respond if they answer with blowing raspberries or making cooing sounds.
- Keep a dedicated nursery rhyme or song that you can sing when your baby begins blowing raspberries. Encourage them to join in the singing, even if it is through blowing raspberries sounds and making cooing sounds.
- You can make new sounds and encourage your baby to imitate you. New sounds help your baby try out different mouth movements, using their oral muscles and thus strengthening them.
- Blowing raspberries together is also a great way for parent and baby bonding. Ensure that you maintain eye contact so that your baby is completely engaged with you.
How Blowing Raspberries Benefits A Baby
- Blowing raspberries is more often than not, a sign of your baby’s early language development and could play an important role in it. It has shown to have several benefits for babies.
- It is good exercise for their facial muscles as to blow a raspberry, the baby has to stick out their tongue, pucker their lips around it and then push the air out. Several actions take place as your baby exercises control over their facial muscles, which later plays an integral role in speech development. It also helps them to purse their lips around a sipper or a spoon.
- Your baby learns voice control when they start cooing, babbling and blowing raspberries. It helps them to understand that they can manipulate the pitch of their voice which is vital when they learn to speak words. In fact, it doesn’t just teach babies how to regulate their voice, but also how to change the volume, turn it on and off, and how to manipulate the mouth, lips, diaphragm and tongue.
- Some babies may start blowing raspberries only because they want to check the reaction it gets from parents and other family members. If you respond positively by laughing when they blow raspberries, your baby may giggle or act amused and will probably repeat the action. This is the foundation of learning cause and effect and understanding their environment through experimentation.
- It is a great way to enhance parent and baby bonding as your baby will often blow raspberries just to interact with you. Blowing raspberries is also a great way to start a conversation for the parent and encourages activities that parents and babies can do together.
- You may see an increase in your baby blowing raspberries when they are teething as it soothes their sore gums. The gurgling sound and the vibration caused by blowing raspberries can ease the irritation and itching caused by inflamed gums.
- Sometimes, blowing raspberries is a way of self-soothing for your baby. It also often leads to laughter by other people which reduces your baby’s stress and promotes a sense of well-being and joy in your baby.
- If you blow a raspberry on your baby’s tummy, that is beneficial too. It’s a fun activity for both parent and child and your baby learns to communicate their feelings through making noises and gurgling or cooing.
Blowing raspberries is a great developmental milestone in language and speech development, but do remember that it’s not necessary for language development. But children who don’t blow raspberries will also babble and then speak. However, if your baby does start blowing raspberries, encourage and interact with them as much as possible. Your baby will try to communicate with you by cooing, gurgling and giggling and blowing raspberries is just another way of doing that. If you are looking for more information on why babies make raspberry sounds and its advantages, do visit the EuroKids website.