Do I have to Wait for the First Tooth to Come Through?
Babies do not get a full set of teeth until some where between 2 1/2 and 3 years so it's clear that we don't need to wait until then to start eating solid finger food but what about if your baby has no teeth? At all?
Well you'll be pleased to know that of all the signs of readiness to begin Baby Led Weaning, having teeth or a tooth is not one of them. That's right you can begin Baby Led Weaning without teeth.
But what about chewing and breaking down food before they swallow it? How can they do that with no teeth? This is how it works. A child with no teeth who is offered real, solid food will spend their time sucking the juices out of the food and gumming it. They will use their considerable powerful gums to 'chew' and break the food down before their teeth come in.
Anyone who has put their finger in a teething baby's mouth will have a good idea as to how strong their toothless, gummy bite is- think a sweet potato or banana is going to survive that? It's not.
What Foods are Best for Babies Without Teeth?
There are certain foods that are probably best avoided to begin with until your child has teeth but these are the same foods I would recommend all babies to avoid when starting out. In other words good foods to start with for babies with no teeth are the same as good foods for babies with teeth to start with.
Food to avoid initially would be very hard food like raw apple and carrot- though these would be OK if they were steamed or roasted first.
- Strips of beef- cooked medium/ rare so it's nice and juicy and easy to gum
- Shredded Meat
- Brown meat from Chicken- it's easier than breast meat
- Sweet potato wedges
- White boneless fish