So many moms feel unsure how and what textures to introduce when their baby does not have any teeth. We understand why, but here is some information to set your mind at ease.
Those little bodies are so amazing that the chewing action starts before they actuality have teeth, and if you are or were a breastfeeding mom, you would know, those little gums can bite…ouch!
After suckling, sucking develops which is the up and down movement of the tongue, necessary for drinking other liquids and pureed foods. Chewing is the next milestone which requires a side-to-side movement of the tongue to move food to the teeth. The oral muscles also become stronger and movement becomes more refined, as your child is introduced to more solid food over time.
Even if your baby does not have any teeth, you can still start serving textured foods and even finger foods. Just look at moms exclusively following BLW, they won’t start off with big bites of food, but will play and explorer with these new textures.
Here are a few things to remember if your baby does not have teeth yet:
- Serve food that is easy “squishable” like papaya, avocado steamed fruits and vegetables.
- Your baby will use their tongue to push the food against their pallet, following a chewing movement before swallowing.
- Textured food should gradually be introduced into your babies’ meals, even without teeth. Since this introduction to textures are an important milestone that should not be delayed because of teeth.
- Your baby will not be able to bite off pieces of food, and will most likely
- Don’t serve any “hard” foods like raw fruits or veggies. (Apples and carrots) since these can be a choking hazard
- Any “small” food items like raisins, popcorn and nuts is only suitable to offer after 2 years of age.
The long and the short…YES your baby can eat textured foods and finger foods without having teeth. Do not delay texture introduction because of teeth, this can create a delay in other feeding milestones baby’s needs to accomplish by the time they become depended on solids alone.