Nature in itself is truly miraculous as it has a unique way of causing amnesia. Take for example babies and teething. No one remembers teething because if we did we would all probably still be traumatised today.
As a parent you feel so helpless sometimes. I remember patting myself on the back because for maybe three or four days I felt in control that I had this baby thing figured out and then, just as I got some kind of order into my life, big red rosy cheeks appeared along with drooling, a very sad little face and a quivering bottom lip. This my friends was the start of teething.
If you are lucky enough to have a good routine when your baby starts teething, their sleep and routine can be disrupted. You might also notice a difference in appetite, so don’t panic if this happens.
I remember James looking up at me and if babies could talk he would have said, “Seriously lady I barely know you but do something! I’m in severe pain and this is your job.”
I felt like someone had given me a really important job and never even asked for a CV or references. That’s the wonderful thing about parenting, we’re all winging it and making it up as we go along.
The man aim is to keep the baby as comfortable as possible during this time. You can help relieve the pain by cleaning the gums with wet gauze two to three times a day and giving them something cold to bite. A cold teething ring or a cold clean cloth is recommended as it numbs the gums.
Rubbing the gums and applying gentle pressure will also help your baby feel more comfortable as the pressure relieves the aching of those new tiny little teeth pushing through. Give frozen fruits like bananas and plums in a baby feeder mesh bag (so large chunks of gummed-off food can’t pose a choking risk), but only under adult supervision and with baby sitting or propped upright. The Clevamama clevafeed is great for this.
Bumpy rubber teething rings, rattles, and other teething toys work well and are handy to have for the car or when you’re out and about.
There is a great new product called The Neckerchew, which is the latest innovation in baby and toddler teething. It combines the popular dribble bib concept with an attached chewy teether and it’s perfect for travelling if you plan to go away this summer.
All dribble bibs like Skibz are great as they prevent rashes caused by drool.
Even the experts can’t agree!
Many parents say that their babies have diarrhea, runny noses, or a fever just before a new tooth arrives but most experts, including child development expert Penelope Leach, maintain that teething cannot cause any of these symptoms which are signs of illness that should be checked out by your doctor.
However, one expert who does believe there is a link with teething is pediatrician and author of The Baby Book, William Sears. He believes that teething can cause diarrhea and a mild diaper rash because your baby’s excessive saliva ends up in his gut and loosens his stools. He also thinks that inflammation in the gums may cause a low fever (under 101 degrees Fahrenheit/ 38Celsius). With so many differing opinions my advice and conclusion is to consult your doctor if you’re worried and trust your instinct.
All babies start teething at different times but on average the first tooth generally appears during the first 6-8 months (James was three months!) and by the age of three, 20 teeth should appear in the child’s mouth. Both the earlier and the delayed appearance of teeth are usually hereditary and are not necessarily related to any problems. If your baby however, does not have any teeth by the 12th month of its life, you should consult your paediatric dentist.
- To relieve your baby from discomfort clean its mouth 2-3 times a day with a wet gauze.
- Cold objects –Mam and Nuby have great products made especially for this or a cold clean cloth to bite
- Teetha both the sachets and gel. They’re homeopathic and help calm the baby, which in turn calms you!
- Calpol or Nurofen, never a product that contains aspirin
- Dry the drool to prevent skin irritation
Alison will be hosting the experts stage at Ireland’s Baby Show.
If you have a question for her please email firstname.lastname@example.org