The teething truth!

No matter the age growing teeth sucks.

For babies the work of growing teeth involves them going through the gum line which can be very painful for many. Usually teething starts around 4-7 months but it’s very normal to start later and definitely not unheard of starting earlier.

Some signs took look for when baby starts teething:

  • Tender gums, can look swollen or slightly reder
  • Fussiness and easily starts crying
  • Slightly raised temperature by just a few degrees
  • Lots of chew on hard things
  • Drooling
  • Coughing
  • Rubbing their cheek or pulling their ear
  • Bringing their hands to their mouth
  • Changes in appetite or wanting to nurse more
  • Sleeping patterns are off

The first teeth to appear are usually the front bottom followed by the front top. Some babies will get other teeth in different orders but usually there is a family history of that.

If anything ever feels off always consult your family doctor.

What can you do to help?

Personally when it comes to teething I always try to help relieve pain with natural or too braised things before grabbing medicine. Things like teething soothers, rings and toys are great. There are so many choices and a variety of materials. You can also use face cloths or different textured material. You can also help with distraction. Giving baby massage, warm baths, extra nursing sessions and more. Even just going for a walk in fresh air can help distract baby from their teething.

Here are a few ideas on what you can give:

Sample of silicone and wooden teething clips.
Photo from Chipmunk Chewelry
  • Silicone teething beads, they come in necklaces, soother holders and rings. These are great because they can fit into baby’s mouth and help rub the area that bugging them. For these toys I highly recommend supervision at all times and buy from a good source. Simple to clean.
  • Silicone teething toys, these are fantastic and come in so many different shapes, animals, and more. You can have them attached to silicone beads or on their own. Very easy to clean.
Sophie giraffe is a very popular teething toy
  • Wooden teethers, these are specialty coated wood . Usually found as a ring but can also be in different shapes. Easy to clean and eco friendly.
  • Teething bibs, these serve two purposes. First is to help catch drool and the second is as a cheew toy. At the end of these bibs are a silicone end that usually has a texture on it like bumps or lines.
  • Teething/chewing/play toys, so many to choose from. You can get small toys or large toys. Many come in different shapes, textures and other toys attached. Many different materials are used to make these, silicone, plastics, cotton, ribbon, wood and more.
  • Texture blankets, so many different variations for this and it’s one of my favorite baby toys. The use of many different textiles and ribbons usually found on these small blankets are perfect for teething babies who like texture.
  • Frozen face cloth, easiest teething helper that anyone can do. Doesn’t matter what type of face cloth you use as all different ones will help. Soak in fresh water and squeeze out all the water. I like to then twist the face cloth and turn it into a ring. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

What you can do physically to help:

  • Infant massage, using baby safe lotions and gently massaging baby can help distract from pain and also sooth them by helping to relece hormones like oxytocin.
  • Warm or cool baths, this depends on time of year and if your baby is experiencing a fever due to teething. In general I find water has healing properties. It can also be a great distraction and playtime for babies.
  • Outdoors, going for a walk can definitely help in many ways. First fresh air can help calm a frustrated baby as well as the parents. Having new sights and sounds around is a great distraction. Being walked around in a stroller or carrier can help sooth.
  • Baby wraps and carriers, just being close to a parent can help. You can also do this skin to skin which will help release more oxytocin to help baby calm.

When all else fails check out your local pharmacy or naturopath, always consultant a doctor before using.Teething oil, these oils are made from natural ingredients like Roman chamomile. It helps numb the gums and offer relief. I used one from Bug & Pickle. Medicine like Infant Tylenol or Advil are very commonly used.

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