Teething - hints & tips
Some handy hints and useful tips on Teething
All babies have to go through the process of acquiring those very useful, but often painful, chewing and smiling machines – TEETH.
Spot the signs of teething
You can often tell if your baby is teething by the following tell-tale signs:
• Lots of dribble
• Flushed cheeks
• Wanting to bite anything and everything in sight
• A red bottom because of looser bowels (use an organic nappy cream to help soothe this discomfort)
• Tugging on their ears as the discomfort can spread
The pain of teething is caused by the tooth pushing through the gum which can make the gums sore and inflamed. Teething may make a baby less tempted to feed as well as more irritable and less easy to settle for sleep.
How long does it last?
Teething can last days, weeks or months and affects little ones differently - from an upset tummy, to disturbed sleep or just general grouchiness.
How can you make it better?
When it comes to teething, no one knows better than mums. Babease have spent a lot of time with mums to bring you some top tips of making teething a little easier for you and your baby. Find our top tips below:
Tip 1- Cuddles and distraction – A cuddle with mummy is probably the best solution to anything. Letting the baby know that you are there for them, and reassuring him or her is an essential first step. If that only works momentarily try singing, bright toys, a walk in the park or a warm bath. Distraction works as well for babies as it does for us!
Tip 2 - A cold stick of cucumber/carrot/celery from the fridge– delicious, refreshing, and nutritious, a cold vegetable stick can help soothe sore gums and give your little one something to bite on.
Tip 3 – Τeething ring- If your baby isn’t keen on eating or too young to try solids, try popping a teething ring in the fridge to cool it. We recommend solid silicone rings rather than liquid-filled ones.
Tip 4 – a cool flannel – If you don’t have a teething ring, try soaking a clean flannel in chamomile tea and then cooling it in the fridge before letting your baby bite on it. The coolness of the object presses against their inflamed, sore gums and helps them to feel better.
Tip 5 – At your fingertips – If you’re out and about and have nothing cooled try rubbing a clean finger over the gums to help soothe and numb the pain.
Tip 6 - The amber necklace or anklet – you may have spotted little ones around town sporting these. They are’nt just for fashion! Amber is the fossilized resin of trees and has something called succinate in it which acts as an anti inflammatory and analgesic. Look particularly for Baltic amber, as it contains a higher percentage of succinite. The warmth of the baby’s skin releases the amber’s healing properties. If it’s a cold day you could warm the necklace in some warm water before putting it on. Many mums swear by these and have seen a difference quickly. It is advised to keep the amber close to the skin at all times and not take it on and off. We prefer putting it around your baby’s ankle with a sock or all in one as it is definitely safer than leaving it on baby’s neck.
Tip 7 - Sucking something – chewing and sucking on the teat of a dummy or bottle may help your baby to settle. Your baby may also prefer softer objects like teddy bears and bunny ears or an old muslin.
Tip 8 - Sophie the Giraffe – Sophie deserves a category of her own (she even has an entry on wikipedia!) Over 50 years old Sophie was designed to be an ideal first toy, stimulating all of the baby’s senses. She is made from natural rubber from the sap of the Heve a tree in France which creates an attractive smell and taste, but also means that she is (supposedly) as soft as mother’s skin. Her dark spots contrasted against her light body are appealing to a baby’s eye and means the baby can easily identify her. She also squeaks when pressed which helps baby to be distracted and also doubles as a learning aid as the baby starts to learn about the cause and effect of pressing on her tummy to create a squeaky sound. For teething specifically, her size is easy for little hands to grip and her long neck and legs can help a baby to reach their molars. Many mums who found nothing else worked, claim that Sophie was their saviour!
Tip 9 - Homeopathic remedies – when it comes to natural herbal options, Ashton & Parsons is a popular choice, probably used my many of our grandparents. It’s a herbal remedy “intended to soothe the child, check stomach disorders, correct the motions, relieve restlessness, fretfulness, and similar troubles incidental to the teething period”. At Babease, we also find that Camilia teething droplets are a good option. They contain homeopathic preperations of German chamomile which relieves teething pain and also helps improve mood/irritability.
Tip 10 - Teething gels – we prefer the natural option at Babease. Try Nelsons Teetha teething gel or Orajel Naturals. If you find you need something stronger and your baby is over 4 months you could try Bonjela which contains a mild local anesthetic that helps to numb the pain. Always read the dosage instructions carefully before using any medications on babies.
Tip 11 – Medicine – when all else fails infant Paracetamol or infant Ibuprofen given at the right dosage should do the trick. Again, please make sure you read the dosage instructions carefully.
We hope these tips help you. Remember that teething is just a stage and it will pass. The best thing you can do for your baby is stay calm, soothe and comfort.
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