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Your baby is born with a sweet tooth, preferring the sweet taste of breast milk or formula to other foods. The other three basic tastes—bitter, sour, and salty—develop later. A baby's dislike of bitter tastes may protect your little one from ingesting harmful substances. A taste for salty things usually comes after four months of age.

Babies can (and will) taste almost anything you give them, and their little hands can't wait to finger whatever comes their way. In fact, a baby's sense of taste and texture work together to help baby make discoveries about the objects in the world. Hand your baby something new and watch what baby does: baby will look at it, touch it, then mouth it. By mouthing objects, baby discovers how they feel, which provides vital clues about their shape and size. You can encourage this way of learning by giving baby appropriate toys for mouthing. But be sure to wash baby's toys often!
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education