Some children sprout teeth in three months. Yes! That’s true! However, the rest may get their first tooth anywhere between the third month and the first year. Some children end up getting their first tooth even later than that. But no matter when the tooth makes its grand entry, you cannot wait as a parent for your child to get teeth, chew and get on with all the exciting treats you are dying to give him or her. When they enter the teething phase, the need to bite everything your child lays his or her hands on is unmistakable. If you are breastfeeding during the time your little one begins the teething process, you can expect a few bites that experienced mothers will compare to labour pains.
The main reason your baby seems to want to bite is because his or her gums are uncomfortable. There are many ways in which you can assuage the discomfort or pain your baby experiences while teething. If you provide them with things to nibble on, you can ensure they are not biting objects that may not be suitable for them.
Massage of gums
When teething, your baby’s gums in all probability will feel sore. A gentle but firm massage with light pressure will really help your baby get some temporary relief. Your baby will guide you by facial expression where exactly the soreness is. So if you pay attention, you can concentrate on the spot that is sore and massage the gums from time to time.
Chilled fruit or vegetable
If your baby likes to nibble on pieces of food, chill pieces of cooked carrot or bread and give it to your baby to nibble at. The cold will provide some much-needed relief from the soreness and might also aid in temporarily numb the area. Your baby’s instinct will guide him or her to place it exactly where the tooth is surfacing and get some much-needed relief.
A clean soft napkin capable of absorbing liquid can be placed in the freezer for ten minutes is also a great option to soothe your teething little one. Gently press the end of the napkin on your baby’s gums and keep changing the area you are placing the napkin every few seconds. It will calm down your baby in no time.
A clean spoon that has been refrigerated but not frozen is something you can give your baby. A frozen one is not safe but a chilled spoon might be a good thing for your baby to gnaw on from time to time. Use this remedy if your child is in a high chair or playing by themselves as it doesn’t need you to hold the spoon.
There are many teething toys available that are of varying textures depending on the age and preference of your child. Some toys are soft while others are firm and yield some resistance to their bite. Each kind provides relief depending on kind of teething stage your baby is going through.
One of the main things you will worry about when you hand a teether to your baby is the number of times he or she will drop it and then pick it up only to put it right back into the mouth. A good solution is to sling a light teether at the right length to their neck. Please make sure you don’t make it too long as it may be dangerous. Also give it for short periods and take it off as it might be prone to get caught somewhere when your baby is being carried or moved around.
Cold food is known to provide mild relief to babies who are cranky due to teething. Cold soft food that is yielding when spread around the mouth is a great remedy to soothe an irate baby, who is teething. However, do ensure that you do not give food that is too cold as it may hurt their already sensitive gums and may not be very good for your baby especially if they are prone to cough.
There are teethers available with a vibration to them which will help save your baby the bother of gnawing at the teether to get the relief they are looking for. However, some children do not take to the vibrating teether very well and regard it with suspicion. In such cases, leave it lying around your baby them, instead of actually offering it. Your child will be more curious about an object that is lying around than when given directly. If your baby gets over the fear of the vibration, the teether will very soon end up in the mouth like everything else your baby lays his or her hands on.
Sipper with a soft snout
If your baby has the habit of drinking water or milk or juice from a sipper, place it in the fridge and then offer it to your toddler. The chilled liquid will keep the snout cool and ease their aching gums.
The market is flooded with options as far as biscuits are concerned for children. But look for teething biscuits which are usually appropriate for children who are really small. Keep them handy when you are travelling as you may not be close to your fridge to use the other options like chilled fruit or a cold napkin.
If none of the above remedies works, please go ahead and check with your paediatrician to take a look at what is bothering your baby. He or she may prescribe pain relief in the form of a medicine or ointment if the situation demands it after assessing the level of discomfort your little one is in. Pacifying a baby who is going through gnawing discomfort can be quite a task for you as a parent.
In addition to everything suggested here, we also urge you to exercise lots of patience in handling your baby as their irritability is their only self-expression. Like all the milestones and the tribulations that come with it, remember that this too shall pass! Before you know it, you will be celebrating your baby’s first tooth with ecstasy!