Teething and Remedies
Teething occurs any time between 3- 6 months or even during your baby’s first year. Each baby shows symptoms differently, while some show them weeks before the first tooth emerges, others may show no signs at all. But, one thing that is true for them all is the fact that teething is a very painful process. Sharp teeth are poking through the tender tissue of their gum, which can understandably be a little uncomfortable.
What are the signs that your baby is teething?
- Before a tooth emerges, the gums swell up and become sore, so puffy gums may be a sign of teething.
- The swelling and soreness of the gums can cause your baby to become fussy and crankier than usual.
- Since there is pressure exerted from the insides of the gum, the counter-pressure may help in relieving it. Hence, babies tend to have a strong urge to gnaw or chomp on things.
- Excessive and increased spittle or drool can herald a new tooth, but it is also a normal stage of development. Sometimes excessive drooling may also cause rashes (known as teething rashes0 due to chafing, rubbing and dryness.
- Though it may also be a sign of ear infection, your baby may start pulling his/her ear due to pain that has travelled from the jaw to the ear canal.
- While some babies who are eating solids may go back to wanting to nurse or bottle-feed as spoon may irritate the gums, others may find the counter-pressure relieving and eat more than usual. For babies that are still being bottle-fed or nursed, the sucking motion may put an uncomfortable pressure on the gums and ear canals. Hence, they may start feeding eagerly but pull back due to discomfort.
Symptoms that are mild and get better are usually nothing to worry about. However, if they persist, seek a doctor’s opinion.
How can you help?
While you can’t do a lot in the way of taking away your babies crankiness and discomfort, you can help in making the process a little smoother. Their fussiness may drive you up the wall sometimes, but patience and lots of love mostly what a cranky teething baby needs.Here are a few remedies that you try out to help relieve your baby’s teething pain:
- FINGER MASSAGE: Gently massage your baby’s gum for 2 minutes at a time with a clean finger. Though they may protest at first, babies find this motion quite soothing.
- COLD TEETHING TOYS: Massaging your baby’s gum with a cold teething ring not only helps in soothing sore gums but also relieves inflammation.
- CHEWING TOYS: Counter-pressure helps reliev the soreness. You can use teething rings, rattles and other soft (and baby-safe) chewing toy for them to gnaw on.
- NATURAL WOODEN TOYS: The roughness of the wooden toy is very soothing to the baby (hence why they sometimes gnaw on their wooden crib rails). Opt for brands that use food grade dyes or water based sealants.
COLD FOOD/WATER: Cold food items or teething toys help relieve the inflammation and soreness to an extent, if your baby prefers bottles or feeding cups or bottles simply supply them with a little cold water or, if they are at the solid food stage, give them yoghurt or pureed items.