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Phoebe Talks Weaning

Episode 8

Does my baby need teeth to eat?

Episode 8 of "Phoebe talks weaning" podcast, we take a look at teeth and their role in the weaning journey.

Can your baby eat without teeth? This episode looks at teeth and their role in the weaning journey. Have you heard that in rare cases babies are actually born with teeth? On the other hand, it is also not uncommon for babies to grow their first tooth when they turn one. Teeth, no teeth, strong gums, you’ll know what’s needed to start eating solids after listening to this episode.


At around six months, your baby is likely to show the following cues, that show readiness for solid food:

  • Your baby can stay in a sitting position - this can be with or without support - the important thing to look out for is if the baby is holding their head upright and steady.
  • Nex on the list is hand to mouth coordination - can your baby pick up an object and put it in their mouth?
  • And then look out for the chewing motion. Is your baby chewing on objects they put into their mouth? and swallow food, rather than pushing it right back out. Though this might happen in the very beginning, do check the nappy, you’ll be surprised by your findings.

You see, teeth aren’t on the list.

Do babies need teeth to chew?

All babies develop differently. Some babies are born with teeth, but this is extremely rare, they are called neonatal teeth and should be monitored by a pediatrician. Most babies get their first teeth around the six months mark, but it is also not uncommon to have the first tooth emerging at 12 months.

If you have a toothless baby, don’t worry!

Your baby’s gums are incredibly strong, as you might have experienced trying to remove something from the grip of their jaws.

What can my baby with no teeth eat?

With their toothless mouth they are able to break down steamed veg and soft fruits, so that they are able to swallow it. Meat and chicken is usually gummed for a while before it is spat out again. Make sure you offer it in large strips, your index finger is a good guide.

Chewing is important for speech development.

As with any other part of our body, muscles only develop if they get the chance to exercise. Allowing your little one to explore finger food early on, even if you started out with pureed food, contributes to muscle development and general development of the jaw, which in turn helps speech development too.

Is your baby ready for complementary food?

If you want to get more information on readiness signs for weaning and common mistaken signs for readiness listen to episode one in this series where this topic is covered in more detail.

In the next episode I’ll be sharing some tips on how to replace refined sugar.

*Disclaimer: Please be advised that any information is given as general guidance only. Should you have any concerns over the wellbeing of your child such as intolerances, allergies and weight, or your baby was born prematurely or you are unsure if your baby is ready for solids, it is always best to consult with your Health Visitor or GP.*

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