A big worry many parents have with baby led weaning is the fact that their child has no teeth. They might wonder how their child will chew the food and break it apart and break it down. Well that is a great question and there are many answers and further explanations of what baby led weaning entails to cover this topic.
Let me begin by saying that we have been doing BLW for two and half months now and Pri still does not have teeth so it is something we have very much dealt with. One of the very important things to know before you begin BLW is that it is very different from purees because it is more of an experiment for the child than just a meal. They are learning to chew and taste food in its natural form instead of just having some liquid pushed into their mouth via a spoon. With that being said it is not necessary for them to actually swallow a certain amount of the foods they are experimenting with because their main source of nutrition still needs to be coming from either breast-milk or formula.
If your child does not have teeth you can soften the food before giving it to your child to eat (steaming your veggies, or cooking potato wedges). A rule that I was given when starting was if you can mush it between your fingers than they can mush it between their gums. You will begin to notice as your child progresses with their meals that they actual begin to chew what they are given. Pri can bite off pieces of apple and pear and chew them up in her mouth just with her gums (their gums are very hard, just ask a nursing mother with a biter).
Another worry with the zero teeth child is feeding them meat. Capri’s first experience with meat was turkey at Christmas dinner and she loved it (and the gravy). She has now eaten turkey, chicken, steak, roast beef and pork. She loves meat, if you try and take it away from her she looks at you like an angry bear. Since she has only gums to work with she really cannot bite off the meat just yet but she does manage to suck all the juices out of the strip she is given which gives her a lot of the nutrients.
So have fun and see what those little chompers can do.