If there’s one thing that can put a healthy eating and weight loss plan to the test, it’s a teething baby. There’s the sleepless nights, the whinging and the intermittent tears. And that’s just mum and dad.
While newborns are born with tiny tooth buds under the gum, they don’t usually make their presence felt till around the six month mark, though many babies may start earlier (my son cut his first tooth at four months old).
The jury is still out on whether or not teething actually causes the symptoms that are commonly reported, with a number of medical professionals casting doubt on whether teeth sprouting through the gums actually causes babies and toddlers pain.
If you’re a parent with a teething child at home, this pronouncement is likely to induce a blinding rage and angry tirade which may include the words ‘those doctor’s don’t know anything.’
Regardless of whether teething is at the root of all the stuff we blame it for, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that it causes some degree of discomfort for our little ones. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to soothe sore gums, even if they can’t be healed completely.
My son is currently cutting his seventh tooth (at nine months), so teething has been a hot topic of conversation over the past week. Through much trial and error, we’ve worked out the strategies that seem to help ease his aches and (momentarily) lessen his crankyness.
What works for one may not work for another, but in the name of sharing, here’s the top strategies we’ve found effective.
Soothe teething trauma
- ‘Cold’ and ‘chewable’ seems to be the name of the game when it comes to sore gums. Teething rings kept in the fridge are good, but a soft plastic spoon, popped in the chiller section of the fridge or the freezer for 30 minutes or so seems to be the biggest hit. It seems the shape of the spoon makes it easier for bubs to target the really tender bits.
- Keeping with the ‘cold’ theme, firm fruits, like grapes and apple slices, chilled in the fridge and placed into a baby feeding net (or given directly to your child if they are old enough) go down a treat.
- Cubes of frozen fruit puree can be used as a soothing teething ‘ice-block’. Place in a baby feeding net for a teething treat with some longeveity.
- A wet washer or facecloth is also a favourite chewable toy at the moment. My son loves gumming down or rubbing the cold cloth against his teeth. He also seems to enjoy sucking the water out which provides a great distraction!
- Sippy cups with a hard spout. If you’re offering cool, boiled water with your little one’s meals, switching to a sippy cup with a rigid plastic spout is an easy way to provide something to chew on. Rubber teats don’t offer much resistance against sharp baby teeth, so something with a bit more structure is preferable. If you have a spare lid or empty cup, add it to the toybox for daytime chewing and gumming.
- Herbal remedies – While there is no definitive proof that these kinds of things work, Weleda Baby Teething Powder has come up trumps every time we’ve used it. Containing a mixture of homeopathic ingredients to soothe and calm, the powder can be administered regularly throughout the day as a great, natural alternative to paracetamol. If you’re concerned about your babies symtoms, always contact your local GP or medical professional.
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