Cutting teeth is positively traumatic, and obviously the first tooth is the worst. I can definitely relate to why the first tooth is celebrated, we worked really hard to get there you know? And by that I mean that mom and dad suffered many a sleepless night.  As you could have guessed Daniel cut his very first tooth this weekend. We slept very little, and celebrated with pancakes.

first toothMy family and I are quite keen on celebrations and traditions, and this event was one I looked forward to. I was extremely excited to feel the nub of a sharp little tooth pierce through my boys swollen gums on Sunday morning, partly because he was one week shy of 10months and oh so confident in crawling and standing. We had settled on the idea that he might be walking before the appearance of his first tooth.


It made me wonder about the origins of why we make pancakes on this occasion, and when I looked it up there wasn’t any substantial information as to the why. Just that many people celebrate it in different ways. Some of the interesting ones I found were:

  • In Armenia once the first tooth makes a show, friends and family are invited to celebrate together. The baby is placed on the floor surrounded by items which represent a future career for example a brush to represent a hairdresser, or a book to represent a scholar, a stethoscope for a Dr etc. They then pour “hatk” over the baby which is beans, peas and barley with sweets, once completed, the baby may select an item. The item selected is said to be the direction in which the baby will go when older.
  • In Lebanon, a dessert is prepared in celebration of the first tooth, by the mother. She then sends this to family and friends and the empty dish is returned with a gift for the baby.
  • Another one which is Italian/Irish, is for the person who first spotted the first tooth, to buy the baby their first pair of shoes – in our case this would be me, and I bought him several pairs of shoes including his first!

I love that there are beliefs behind the traditions and that families still do them today. Even though I am not quite sure what the reasoning is behind why we make pancakes on arrival of the first tooth, I am glad for a reason to have family and friends around.

In the meantime – do you have other interesting traditions in your family for the appearance for the first tooth? Let me know in the comments below.
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6 Comments on First tooth traditions

  1. This is so interesting, thank you for sharing! I am anticipating my baby’s first tooth for a few weeks now. It started when he had a runny tummy and now flu… somehow I blame any illness on teething and we are still waiting!

    • We were exactly the same, we waited.. and blamed everything that he possibly did on his teeth. How old is your little one? Don’t be in hurry I feel like it hasn’t stopped since he really did start. 🙁 and its so sad because there is so little we can do to help our little ones. xx

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