Teething is a natural process that occurs when a baby's teeth begin to emerge through their gums. The process usually starts between 4 and 7 months of age and can continue until the child is about 2 or 3 years old. During this time, the baby's gums can become swollen and painful, which can cause babies and toddlers to be fussy and irritable.
How To Tell If Your Baby Is Teething
Chewing or biting: Teething babies often want to chew on anything they can get their hands on to relieve the pressure on their gums. This can include toys, teething rings, or even their own fingers.
- Increased drooling: Teething babies tend to drool more than usual, as their mouth produces more saliva in response to the discomfort.
- Irritability: Teething can be uncomfortable for babies, and they may become fussier or more irritable than usual.
- Difficulty sleeping: If your baby is teething, they may have trouble sleeping through the night due to the discomfort.
- Red, swollen gums: The gums around the emerging teeth may become red, swollen, and tender.
- Changes in appetite: Some babies may lose their appetite during teething, while others may want to eat more to relieve the discomfort.
It's important to note that not all babies experience teething in the same way, and some may show no signs of discomfort at all. If you're unsure whether your baby is teething or if they seem to be in a lot of pain, it's always best to consult with your pediatrician for guidance.
Teething and Sore Gums: How To Help Your Baby
Teething can be uncomfortable and painful for babies. Here are some tips to help your baby with teething and sore gums:
- Offer a cool object to chew on: Cold objects can help soothe sore gums, so you can offer your baby a chilled teething ring, a cold washcloth, or even a frozen piece of banana or cucumber wrapped in a cloth.
- Massage the gums: Using a clean finger, gently massage your baby's gums to provide some relief from the discomfort.
- Over-the-counter Medications: If the baby is in severe pain, you can speak to your pediatrician about using over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, it's important to follow the dosage instructions carefully and only use them as directed. Consider this as a last resort, if possible.
- Offer soft foods: If your baby has started eating solid foods, you can offer them soft, cold foods such as yogurt, applesauce, or mashed sweet potato to help soothe their gums.
- Teething Toys: Teething toys come in different shapes and sizes and are designed to help soothe a teething baby's gums. Look for soft rubber or silicone toys that are gentle on the baby's gums. You can also refrigerate some of these toys to make them more effective.
- Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding: If the baby is still breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you can offer them more feeds during the teething phase. Sucking can help relieve the pressure on their gums, and the milk can also have a soothing effect on them.
Provide extra comfort: Sometimes all your baby needs is some extra comfort from you. Holding and cuddling your baby, singing to them, or distracting them with toys can all help provide some relief from the discomfort of teething.
Teething and Sleep: What to Expect
One common issue that many parents face when their babies start teething is disrupted sleep. Teething can cause pain and discomfort, making it difficult for babies to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. Teething and sleep disturbances can be challenging for both babies and parents, but with patience and understanding, this phase will pass. Here are some things to expect when it comes to teething and sleep:
- Increased irritability and fussiness: Teething can cause babies to feel more irritable and fussier than usual. This can make it harder for them to settle down and fall asleep.
- Disrupted sleep patterns: Teething can disrupt a baby's normal sleep patterns. They may wake up more frequently during the night, have trouble falling asleep, or wake up earlier in the morning.
- Increased drooling: Teething can cause babies to drool more than usual, which can lead to skin irritation around the mouth and chin. This can also make it harder for babies to sleep comfortably.
- Chewing and biting: Babies may feel relief from teething pain by chewing or biting on objects. This can include their hands, toys, or even their crib rails. This behavior may disrupt their sleep, as they wake up to find something to chew on.
- Ear pulling: Some babies may pull on their ears when they are teething. This is because the nerves in the ears and gums are connected, and teething pain can be felt in both areas. Ear pulling can also disrupt sleep, as babies wake up to tug on their ears.
Teething and Diet: What Food Help Soothee Teething Babies?
When a baby is teething, their gums can be sore and tender, making eating and drinking uncomfortable for them. Here are some foods that can help soothe a teething baby's gums:
- Cold foods: Cold foods can help numb the gums and provide some relief. You can offer your baby chilled or frozen fruits like bananas, berries, or mangoes. You can also try freezing yogurt or applesauce in small portions and serving it to your baby as a cold treat.
- Soft foods: soft foods are easier for teething babies to chew and swallow without causing additional discomfort. You can try soft, cooked vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, or peas, as well as mashed or pureed fruits like pears or apples.
- Teething biscuits: There are teething biscuits specifically designed for babies that can provide some relief. These biscuits are usually made from whole grain flour, which is healthier than regular biscuits, and can be used as a teething aid.
- Smoothies: Smoothies made with yogurt, fruits, and vegetables can be a great way to provide nutrition and hydration to a teething baby. They are also easy to swallow and gentle on sore gums.
- Breast milk or formula: Breast milk or formula provides complete nutrition for your baby and can also help soothe their gums. You can try offering smaller and more frequent feedings to avoid any additional discomfort.
It's important to note that some foods can worsen teething pain, such as acidic foods, as well as hard or crunchy foods that may be difficult to chew. It's always best to consult with your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby's diet.
Natural Home Remedies for Soothing a Teething Baby
- Give your baby something to chew on, such as a teething ring or a cold washcloth, to help alleviate the discomfort. Make sure to clean the object regularly to avoid bacterial growth.
- Massaging your baby's gums with a clean finger can also provide relief. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before doing so.
- Try giving your baby cool liquids or purees, such as applesauce or yogurt, to help soothe the pain. Avoid giving your baby anything too hot or too cold, as this can cause further discomfort.
- Use a natural remedy like chamomile tea. Simply steep the tea and let it cool down. Then, soak a clean washcloth in the tea and place it in the freezer. Once it's frozen, give it to the baby to chew on.
- Clove oil can also be effective in relieving teething pain. Dilute the clove oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply it to the gums using a cotton swab.
- Keep your baby distracted with toys, books, or music to take their mind off the discomfort.
- Make sure your baby gets plenty of rest and cuddles during this time. The added comfort can help them feel better and sleep more soundly.
- Avoid using teething gels or tablets, as they can be dangerous for babies and may cause adverse side effects. Stick to natural remedies to ensure your baby's safety.
Choosing Safe BabyToys
Teething toys can help ease the discomfort that babies experience during this time and is a great way for babies to soothe themselves. However, it's important to choose teething toys carefully to ensure they are safe and effective. Here are some things to look for and avoid when choosing teething toys:
What to Look for:
- Safety: Choose teething toys that are made from non-toxic materials and are free from harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalates, and PVC. Check the label to make sure that the toy has been safety tested and meets safety standards.
- Texture: Teething toys with different textures can provide relief for sore gums. Look for toys with bumps, ridges, or raised surfaces that can help massage the gums and provide tactile stimulation.
- Size and Shape: Teething toys should be easy for babies to hold and manipulate. Choose toys that are the right size and shape for your baby's age and development stage.
- Durability: Babies like to put things in their mouths, so teething toys should be durable enough to withstand chewing and biting.
What to Avoid:
- Small Parts: Avoid teething toys that have small parts that could break off and become a choking hazard. Make sure that any attached parts, such as rings or loops, are securely attached and cannot be pulled off.
- Hard Materials: Teething toys made from hard materials, such as wood or metal, can be dangerous if they break or splinter. Stick to soft materials that are safe for babies to chew on.
- Strings or Ribbons: Avoid teething toys that have strings or ribbons attached, as these can pose a choking hazard.
- Anything that can be swallowed: Avoid teething toys that are too small or have parts that could break off and be swallowed.
When choosing teething toys, safety should always be the top priority. Look for toys that are made from non-toxic materials, have different textures and are the right size and shape for your baby's age and development stage. Always supervise your baby when they are using teething toys to ensure their safety.
In conclusion, although the teething can be an especially challenging time for both worried and tired parents and babies, It’s a natural process. Remember, it will pass so hang in there. Knowing how to soothe your teething baby can help make the experience less stressful and more comfortable for everyone involved. We've researched and provided helpful tips on the best ways to calm your teething baby and we hope that you will find relief soon.