Teething is a big milestone for you and your baby. Your baby’s first tooth will appear at around 4-9 months old. Once the process begins your baby’s teeth will periodically appear until they have a full set. It’s all a normal part of baby’s development.
Unfortunately teething can cause a lot of disruption for you and baby. The pain and irritation of teething can affect your baby’s mood, sleep patterns, feeding and health. We’ve developed this guide to help you tackle teething with ease. Just keep in mind it’s a temporary phase that will eventually pass. In this article we’ll discuss:
- 8 Baby Teething Remedies
- Caring for a teething baby
- 10 Essentials to cope with teething
First let’s start with what the signs baby your baby is starting to teethe.
Signs and symptoms of Teething
Teething will make your baby uncomfortable. Some will find the symptoms more distressing than others. Not all babies experience the worst teething symptoms but you’ll probably pick up on a few tell-tale signs. This is what to look out for:
- Excessive dribbling
- Sniffly nose
- Mild Fever
- Chin Rash
- Trouble sleeping
- Rubbing cheeks or mouth
- Pulling at ears
- Gnawing everything
- Nappy Rash
Your baby’s teeth start developing in the womb when you are around 12 weeks pregnant. Some babies are even born with teeth. The most common time for teeth to appear is around 6 months. The two front, bottom teeth usually appear first. Your baby will eventually have 20 milk teeth by the time they are 2-3 year old. Here a quick guide to the order you babies teeth will appear with an age guide.
8 Baby Teething Remedies
There is nothing you can do to stop the effect of your babies teething, however there are ways you can ease it for them. You may want to try more than one method. What work for a smaller front tooth may not work with a larger back tooth. Let’s look at the 8 different techniques you can use for coping with teething spells.
Using heat and cold is a well know method for reducing pain. Knowing which one is most appropriate for your baby will help you to decide which will work best.
Using cold relief for teething is best when the tooth has yet to erupt. Gums are usually irritated, painful, red and swollen. Ice is a natural way to temporarily numb the sore area. The ice works by restricting the blood vessels and reducing the swelling to the gums.
The best way to get you baby to apply the ice to the gums is by letting them chew on something frozen. A cooled or ice filled teether works well, as do frozen lollipops.
Heat is best used on gum once the tooth breaks through the skin. It helps to promote blood flow to the area, aiding the healing of the broken gum. The warmth will also soothe your baby and make them feel more relaxed. A facecloth soaked with warm (not hot) water is great for baby to suck on and target the gums.
The sensation caused by moving this over the gums will provide a lot of relief for baby. There are a few ways that you can help baby do this.
You’ll probably see your baby rubbing their mouth a lot more when a tooth is coming through. You can use a toothbrush to stimulate the gums and get baby used to the motion of the brushing. If this seems to irritate baby try the same notion with a soft cloth or wet gauze.
Your baby will gnaw of anything and everything when teething. You’ll notice there toys become a bit set and slobbery as they grab anything close to hand. A selection of teething toys give them an item safe enough to place in their mouth and easy to clean. Teethers with textured areas provide different types of pressure for the gums.
If you feel brave enough to can gently massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger. Be prepared for a tight chop or two. This is best done before baby has any erupted teeth, or it can be painful for you. Massaging the cheeks is another great way to provide relief for baby. Use a safe massage oil with relaxing oils such as lavender or chamomile to soothe baby.
If baby is going through a prolonged period of teething you may need a little help from the medicine cupboard. These are the items we recommend you have on hand.
6. Pain Killers
For teeth that are causing you baby to be unsettled with pain you can try an infant dose of liquid paracetamol. This will help relieve any other cold like symptoms that teething can cause. If baby has a mild temperature it can help reduce that too. If the problem is swollen gums then baby ibuprofen works best to relieve this type of pain.
Teething granules are quite an old fashioned natural remedy. They are available in small packs of powder with you pour into your babies mouth. It’s a herbal remedy known to relax baby and soothe the symptoms of teething. The active ingredient is usually a chamomile extract. Parents rate them highly, they even state it work for adult toothache too. If your baby is lactose intolerant check the ingredients before using as some brands contain lactose.
Teething gels are just like a baby version of bonjela. They contain a mild anaesthetic which numbs the sore area. Use a pea-sized piece of gel and rub it into your baby’s gum line. This can be quite tricky once your baby has sprouted a few gnashes. If your baby is under 4 months old you should check with your GP or pharmacist if it is safe to use.
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Caring for a Teething Baby
Once you’ve taken care of the physical discomforts your onto a winner. However there are other areas of your baby’s care that can be disrupted by teething. These tips will help you ease the side affects your baby may experience.
Your baby will be confused by all these weird sensation they are experiencing. Giving baby lots of extra kisses and cuddles will make them feel better. If you are breastfeeding then you can try offering your baby a feed more often than usual. Skin to skin is another great way to release those feel good hormones for baby.
Helping your baby to focus on something else is a great way to manage teething symptoms. If baby isn’t too upset try playing a game, singing songs or reading. Going for a walk is another great way to instantly soothe baby. The fresh air and scenery will distract baby, and give parents time to clear their heads.
Prepare for Drool
One of the main side effects of teething is lots of extra saliva. This means your baby’s chin, neck and clothes will always be wet. This can lead to you baby developing a rash over the area. Bibs are the best way to tackle this rather as they can be changed and save you washing lots of clothing. The best types of bibs to use are soft cotton ones rather than plastic or ones with a waterproof backing.
Using weaning foods is a great way to provide relief for baby. If you are baby led weaning, chilled finger food such as cucumber sticks are a good choice. For spoon weaning chilled foods such as yoghurt are soothing for baby’s sore gums.
You need to start caring for your baby’s teeth as soon as they break through the gums. Brushing the teeth will protect your baby’s teeth against decay. Although they will eventually fall out, milk teeth stay in place for up to 10 years. Use a specially designed baby toothbrush which is small and soft. A finger brush is another option which baby can also chew on. Make sure to use a special baby toothpaste as it contains lower levels of fluoride, safe for babies. You should also register your baby with your dental surgery.
The excess saliva produced from teething can really upset your baby’s tummy. You may notice your baby’s stools are runnier when teething. The extra saliva passing though the stool can lead to a mild nappy rash too. Try using only water to clean them as baby wipes can make the rash worse. A barrier cream may prevent it or a medicated cream can treat the symptoms of nappy rah.
10 Baby Teething Essentials
If you’re a new parent it’s always best to be prepared by having things on hand. It will save a lot of late night trips to the supermarket to save your sanity and settle baby. These are the 10 items we think you need for when your baby start to teethe.
If you want a natural remedy for teething which works try some teething granules. These are an old homeopathic powder made from camomile flowers. The ingredients helps to calm and relive the symptoms of teething for baby. A relaxed baby mean relaxed parents. They are fairly inexpensive and highly rated by other parents, so it won’t break the bank to give them a try.
Teething can be painful for your baby, then try some teething gel. It works by numbing the gums to relieve the pain. These gels are quite pleasant tasting for baby. You’ll need to brave putting a clean finger into your baby’s mouth and rub it onto the gums. A teething gels contain a mild form of anaesthetic they should be supervised closely for any type of allergic reaction.
Teething toys are the saviours of many parents. They are specifically designed to be gnawed as much as possible. That means they are safe for baby to put in their mouth and very easy to wash and sterilise. You may need some trial and error to find a style your baby prefers. You can get ones which are textured, smooth, hard, soft or with extra features such as light or rattles.
A gum cooler is a teething device which provides cold relief to aid the irritation. They look like teething toys which are filled with fluid. The idea is to cool them in the fridge or half freeze to make them cool enough for baby. They are a great way to provide natural relief for your teething baby.
For older babies who need resistance when biting try teething biscuits. They are similar to really hard digestives which you baby holds and chews on. For safety reasons you baby should always be supervised when using these as like any weaning foods there is a risk they can choke. A great alternative to teething rings.
A really fun way to distract your baby is to make them yummy ice lollies. You can buy ice lolly moulds which are designed for little baby hands. The coolness of the lolly will ease the pain and the taste will encourage baby to put it in their mouths. Simple weaning fruit purees are great as lolly recipes, or even some expressed breastmilk.
Once those little pearly white appear they need cared for. A good baby toothbrush should be soft and small enough for baby’s mouth. Let baby play around with it as they will happy chomp. Handling the toothbrush will also help your baby’s dexterity and coordination.
If you’re a busy mum or a baby wearer then try a teething necklace. You’ll be able to comfort tour baby whilst the necklace distracts them and gives them something to chew on. Chunky jewellery is fashionable and no one will even know it’s actually for your baby.
Teething will turn your little angel into a drool monster overnight. Tackle it by using soft cotton bibs. These can easily mop up wet chins and necks and save clothing. Try to avoid the plastic bibs as they can be hot and uncomfortable for you baby to wear for long periods.
A good oil for baby massage works wonders when teething. The right oil will sooth baby and provide relief for swollen gums. A lovely cheek massage oil will calm and soothe your baby and help you to bond. Cheek massage will promote blood flow to baby’s mouth which aids healing and keeps infection at bay.