Recently, one of my fellow mammas brought to my attention a wonderful piece of kit and that is the NUK brush.
The NUK brush is a toothbrush-like teether – an oral stimulator with the initial purpose of alleviating negative teething symptoms in babies through the use of its nubby, textured silicone brush.
But it has other uses that have been discovered.
Uses such as: helping with oral desensitization of babies with overly sensitive oral cavities, serving as oral motor stimulation of the jaw muscles to wake the baby’s jawline up and encourage them to chew their food rather than swallowing it whole, and other similar purposes.
Some have even found it to be a great spoon replacement for a young child when first introducing solids like purees and anything else that’s slightly sticky so it doesn’t fall out.
It’s also a lot softer on the baby’s mouth than an actual spoon.
It’s a rather wonderful tool to help with sensory and feeding therapy.
But what makes it so much better than any of the other items on the market? Well, there are a handful of factors that help push it to the top of the list, let’s see what they are.
Why The NUK Brush Is A Fantastic Addition To Your Baby Gear Arsenal
1. Great for dealing with sensory issues
Some kids have a hard time adjusting to solid foods after moving away from breast milk.
Some even end up gagging on their first few tries with solid foods, if not outright throwing them up.
The NUK massage brush can be a great help in this situation.
2. Helps out with kids who didn’t train their jaw
Following from the first benefit, if your child was never one to put things in his mouth and chew on them while teething as a baby, the NUK massager can serve as a sort of catch-up.
Teething infants who’ve done so have a much easier time swapping to solid foods over those who didn’t because they’ve managed to train their jaws for uses other than ‘talking’ and making onomatopoeias.
So, if your 1- year old child has missed out on that part of growing up, this oral motor tool is going to help him fix that problem real quick.
3. It helps the baby get used to different tastes
The craton and polypropylene surface on the oral brush, as well as the chewy tubes, help keep the taste of food on the brush.
That, plus the softness of the material, helps the baby get used to something other than the taste of breast milk without having to eat the actual food if they have problems accepting solids.
The child will get used to the taste of the food and will have an easier time taking to it the next time you have to feed him.
The son of the mom who had brought this product to my attention was always a picky eater.
He had problems with adapting to his first baby food, always declining it or spitting it up.
But, after she spread some of it on the chewy, nubby surface of the tip of the brush and gave it to him to nibble on, his oral defensiveness about the food dropped and he was eager to eat anything that she’d apply on the brush first as a sort of sampler platter.
4. The brush helps develop the baby’s oral motor skills
Gross motor skills aren’t just limited to the baby’s limbs, they’re also present in the child’s mouth and it’s imperative that they develop these skills.
These usually boil down to jaw strength and endurance, coordination of the jaw, the tongue, the lips, and even the inside of the cheeks to properly chew food as well as have sensory awareness.
Some kids have trouble with sensory integration of the oral cavity or simply experience some delays in the development of their oral motor skills.
That’s why some kids tend to have problems dealing with certain food textures and they automatically gag and spit the food up.
It’s called a sensory processing disorder and, usually, in order to fix it, you’d need to arrange occupational therapy.
While I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do that just because you can get a NUK brush, it’s most certainly a sensory tool that helps facilitate the process.
But, don’t disregard the help that an occupational therapist can provide to your child. They’re there to provide valuable sensory input to your little one and help him get back on the right track to prevent potential problems caused by rejecting food.
5. It’s used as a tool in speech therapy
The benefit of improving your little one’s oral motor skills isn’t just for the sake of their appetite. It also helps them adjust to forming more complex mouth sounds and words by training the oral muscles.
And, seeing as this tool helps relax the entire oral cavity and wake up your baby’s jaw, you might just see him start forming words quicker than you were expecting.
6. It’s affordable and made out of baby-safe material
The main building blocks of this wonderful tool are craton and polypropylene, both rather soft materials that will feel wonderful to the child’s touch.
Because of this, your little one will be more likely to fidget with it, keeping him occupied.
It’ll attract the attention of even the pickiest child.
Plus, the product itself is completely latex-free, so any of you moms out there with babies that have allergies to latex can breathe easy.
That said, adult supervision is required when you give your child the NUK brush to play with as the product does contain small parts that may present a choking hazard.
And, finally, the NUK brush is a very affordable purchase, so you won’t have to feel too much regret if you try it out and don’t like it.
Please note that, because of its affordability, in most cases it will be non-returnable.
That’s what helps set it apart from its only other competition, the Z-vibe which is a much pricier alternative!
The NUK brush can be an invaluable tool if you have a child who is struggling with processing the textures of solid foods or just having trouble transitioning from breast milk to solids.
It caters to the very special needs of a toddler’s mouth as it can help in soothing his jaw and desensitizing his gag reflex so your little one can finally enjoy solid foods without much trouble.
It’s a wonderful tool that you won’t regret getting for your little one and his mouth will be thankful to you for it too!
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