Teething is a fact of life with babies but there is no need to fear it. Armed with a little bit of knowledge and some well known and natural health remedies, you’ll be able to make your baby’s teething as comfortable as possible.
When do Babies Start Teething?
The process of your baby getting teeth starts during pregnancy. During this time, the baby developed tooth buds which are the foundation for baby teeth. These buds begin to break through the gums any time between three months and twelve months. Most commonly the first tooth appears around the age of six or seven months. It can take three years for your baby to get their full set of 20 baby teeth.
Teething symptoms, which can include drooling and pain, can often precede the arrival of the first tooth by a month or two. Your baby may start to bite, not in a negative way but in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. The gums may also become swollen.
Some people claim that their baby becomes feverish or get diarrhea when they’re about to get a tooth but most experts that teething does not cause illness. More than likely, the baby is coming down with a cold, flu, or tummy problems.
Well Known Teething Remedies
There are some well known teething remedies that have been shown to be helpful during the time that teeth are coming through. These include:
- Cold foods – such as apple puree or yoghurt can help.
- Teething rings – teething rings that contain a gel that can maintain a low temperature can be particularly helpful as babies like to chew on hard things when teeth are coming through.
- Teething gels – these can give temporary relief but try not to rely on them as they contain a mild analgesic that acts like a painkiller.
- Teething biscuits – the hardness of a teething biscuit can be very helpful for babies. Choose biscuits that do not contain too much added sugars or salts. You can choose to make your own biscuits if you prefer. Keep an eye on your baby when they have these in case a small piece breaks off and causes choking.
- Distraction – distracting your baby can often take their mind off the discomfort they are feeling. Play plenty of games, take them for walks, read books, give lots of cuddles, etc.
- Rubbing the gums – with your finger or a cold washcloth can help to relieve pain and discomfort.
- Infant paracetamol – this should only be given if your child is in real distress.
Natural Teething Remedies
There are also some natural teething remedies that can help with your baby’s discomfort. These include:
- Teething tablets – dissolve quickly to provide pain relief. The active ingredients are usually chamomilla, which helps reduce irritability, and belladonna, which helps reduce inflammation. Check with a professional before using these.
- Pure vanilla extract – rubbing this on the gums can work in a couple of ways. It eases the pain by creating opposite pressure, and vanilla is calming, reducing anxiety and promoting wellbeing.
- Homoeopathy – can safely and effectively manage teething pain and there are a range of forms – pills, liquids, gels, and even ice pops. Homoeopathic remedies are safe to use.
- Clove oil – cloves contain oils that have warming, numbing properties. A tiny amount of clove oil rubbed onto the gums can be helpful to relieve pain but be careful to only use a small amount so you don’t upset your baby’s stomach.
- Natural licorice – found in health food stores, natural licorice sticks feels cool and numbs the gums when the baby chews on it.
What Not To Do
Never use lemon juice on your baby’s gums as it is very acidic and can harm the new tooth by dissolving the tooth enamel.
Never dip pacifiers or bottle teats in a sweetener such as honey as this can promote tooth decay.
Do not wean the baby if it is not ready. Teething does not pose a problem with breastfeeding.
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