The primary concern with premastication of food is that it has been well documented that maternal (or any adult for that matter) saliva is one of the primary mechanisms for children to acquire the bacterium Streptococcus Mutans in their mouths. This bacterium plays a major role in tooth decay.
As a result, the habit of premastication or cleaning your child's pacifier or baby bottle nipple in your mouth to clean it is a bad idea.
I am hoping that Alicia will research this and then write an article for her blog that discourages this practice.
Stephen H. Carson M.D., Pediatrician, San Diego, CA
I recently posted this as my comment, along with the image of Alicia's book on Pinterest:
I love Alicia. I know she chews her kid's food, but what's the difference if Mommy does it or a machine that might be made with Hi-VOC parts does it? I'll help you with that. Mommy's non-toxic and completely, naturally organic. In fact, "Baby Food" wasn't introduced until the mid-1900s which was waaaaay before blenders, people!
Of course, someone was compelled to respond:
"...you may want to consider that liquefied blenders as we know them were under development as early as 1919, and patented in 1922. Commercial baby foods were in Europe as early as 1901, but not in the US until about 1928."
to which I replied:
If you really want to split hairs, I'm referring to the "Baby Food Industry" in the U.S. as well as appliances that were in use in households. Did you know that most working-class children were left home alone as infants until recent history as well? My 87yo WW2 veteran father was telling me recently that "People had to go to work, so if they didn't have family or a neighbor to look in on the babies, they just had to leave them alone. There weren't any 'daycares' or things like you have now." Fascinatingly logical, isn't it? Especially if a woman found herself widowed following the war. It must have been such a difficult time.
@Dr. Carson - C'mon Doc. Even you have to admit that this is a pretty loose series of dots to connect. I'd like to know what degree of tooth decay you're referring to and have these studies been conducted with reliable test subjects who regularly brush their teeth, let alone their children's primary teeth? Was the pre-natal care documented as well? What about the nutritional content of their diets?
I, too, flinch when I see a parent rinse a pacifier in their mouth, especially when there's an alternate cleaning source like water or wipes available, but still I believe mom's saliva to be a better alternative to nothing. In fact, a friend of mine who is not only an M.D., but an endocrinologist who worked with C. Everett Koop (studying the effect of saliva on HIV) tells me that saliva is one of nature's most thorough antibacterial agents, but that the reason animals heal faster and better after licking their wounds is not so much the disinfecting quality of saliva as much as the cleansing nature thereof.
I'd hope that a parent with poor oral care, or one who smokes cigarettes, or any number of ways in which human beings pollute their oral cavities would think hard and long before moving anything from their mouth to that of their child, but I doubt that those sort of parents (unlike Alicia) think hard and long about health issues to begin with.
With all due respect you and your friend who claims to have worked with C. Everett Koop are simply misinformed. I have know C. Everett Koop personally for the last 32 years (he is also a pediatrician).
Unfortunately, this kind of blog is not well suited to for a detailed response to all of your statements but the dots are very easy to connect. All you need to do is go onto the Internet, ask your dentist, pediatrician or a microbiologist if they think that "saliva is one of nature's most thorough antibacterial agents." I challenge you to provide any evidence that this statement is true. I also challenge you to find anyone respected individual who will calim that animals heal faster and better because of the disinfecting quality of saliva.
I have no doubt that you and Alicia have nothing but the best interests of your children. I only ask that you and Alicia do your own research before responding to this blog so that parents make their decision based upon science and not hearsay.
I cannot believe this discussion is still going on - this is the way SHE chooses to raise HER son. My god! You would think that she held his arm out and injected him with a lethal dose of heroin.
People love to attack others - especially when it comes to how to raise a child. I have been attacked for a multitude of things, heaven forbid I feed my child forumla when I was unable to breastfeed her, I should have just left her in the backyard with the dogs to fend for herself. How could I possibly use cloth nappies when there are perfectly good plastic nappies on the supermarket shelves?
It's time people got off their soap boxes and looked at the big picture, she is feeding her child. She isn't starving him or beating him, he doesn't look neglected in any way, shape or form, yet some of you are carrying on as if he is.
Parents do what they think is right for their children, clearly she has read information about this way of feeding and this suits her. Maybe with her next child she will not feed this way, who knows, who cares? If you want to protect children, then find the ones that need protecting, there are MILLIONS of them around the world.
My friend actually showed me this story before I found it on the blog. She was talking about how "disgusting" and "unhealthy" it is. She also happens to be a breastfeeding mother who eats nothing but fast food and junk. There ya go. (Not that this is really relevant -- I just found it funny.)
Anyway. If we want to get technical, Streptococcus mutans, the transmissable bacteria in question, is also spread by sharing cups or utensils, blowing on food to cool it down, and kissing your baby on the mouth.
So why don't we all stop giving our sweet babies kisses on the lips?
Constantly sucking on a sippy cup full of milk or juice is a bigger culprit of decay than this bacteria. Also, generally, the bacteria is only transmissible if there is ACTIVE tooth decay in the caregiver's mouth.
I pre-chewed my son's food. He is four, and the dentist says his teeth are perfect. I have never had a cavity, and neither has his father. Obviously, genetics play a role (or the fact that I was a stickler for keeping his gums wiped off after every meal before his teeth erupted and brushing them afterward).
It's not our place to judge how Alicia raises her adorable son. It obviously works for them, and other cultures have been doing it for thousands of years.
I think that this should be the least of our concerns, she is doing nothing wrong, and it's HER son. After personally seeing how trashy people raise their children, yeah this would be least bit offensive or "sickening" to you.