In our infant course, we talk about offering babies soft finger foods. Many families wonder, “How can babies eat whole – and not pureed – food without teeth?”
Even though six-month-olds lack a full set of teeth (and definitely don’t have any molars, or chewing teeth), they have the ability to chew and swallow real food. Babies learn how to bring food to the side of their mouth, chew and swallow with lots of practice eating. We teach all about this in our Infant Course if you need help!
One tool that really helps our clients with learning to chew – besides eating, of course – is practicing using stick-shaped teething toys. These tools allow babies to practice biting with their back gums and strengthening their jaw, skills that will help when they have real food.
When do we recommend these teethers?
1. Start once your baby can put safe toys in their mouths, as early as 3-4 months. Offer them regularly leading up to solid food introduction (around 6 months).
2. Continue to offer them alongside real food so your baby continues to practice and build strength.
3. If your child is struggling to chew once you’ve introduced food (they’re spitting everything out, gagging is not getting better, they’re not swallowing food), make sure you’re letting your baby work with these teethers regularly.
The video below explains how your baby’s mouth works and how you can help them learn to chew, especially if they’re struggling.
Need more help? Our online infant feeding course will teach you all you need to know to raise a skilled, adventurous eater!
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Note: these teethers (and more) can also be found at our Amazon Shop.
Additional teethers not mentioned in the video
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