Your baby and teething
Most babies will try to put things into their mouth at an early age. They find it comforting to do so. Babies love to chew on things, especially when they are teething. It is the main cause of fussiness in babies and it’s quite common nowadays.
Teething can cause a number of symptoms including irritability, drooling, low-grade fever and crying. The new teeth cutting through and swollen gums around the teeth, which are often tender, can cause your baby pain. It affects infants who are between 4 months and 2 years of ages. It causes soreness in their mouth and pain. It is difficult for them to understand what is happening to them and frustrating for you to watch.
You can help relieve your baby’s discomfort by gently massaging the gums. Children’s dentists and midwives are in agreement and recommend that baby’s mouth be cleaned regularly from day one after he’s born in order to remove bacteria and get baby accustomed to a regular teeth-cleaning routine. This is why MAM designers have developed the innovative Oral Care Rabbit. It cleans baby’s mouth and his first teeth, massages sensitive gums as it is made from special, extra-soft materials.
Your teething child may also lose some of his appetite for nursing (or bottle-feeding)-and maybe for solid foods, too. If he does drink from the breast or bottle, your baby may stop short and then start again many times. Try not to worry. Once the tooth has cut through the surface, his appetite will return.
Do not offer food as a teether until your baby has begun eating solid foods. Even after he’s started on solids, stay with him and stay alert if you offer him a hard food to use as a teether. Take special care that your baby doesn’t choke on any piece that breaks off in his mouth. Be ready to fish out any small piece of food with your finger.
Because sucking doesn’t do the trick, you have to try something else to relieve the pressure on your baby’s gums. Researchers found a solution for their chewing habits at this stage, teethers. Teethers are designed and developed to make it softer and easier for babies to grip and put them in their mouth. Teethers, especially cold ones, are likely to offer your baby some much-needed comfort. By biting down on a teether, your baby can balance the pressure from under the gums. Cold teethers have the added benefit of numbing the gums to extend the relief.
When choosing a teether, go for a teether which baby will find easy to put into their mouth. You don’t want something which is too big or too small. Textures work well. Some toy brands have teethers in the shape of toy animals which are very popular as well. An important thing to keep in mind when choosing a teether is to verify that it is safe for baby to put into the mouth. Choose only phthalate and BPA free teethers for your child.
If you choose to offer your baby a soother, keep these tips in mind:
- Wait until you have established breast-feeding with your baby. It may take a few weeks or more to settle into a regular breast feeding routine
- If your baby’s not interested in the soother try again later, or try and alternative type of soothing product. If the soother falls out of your baby’s mouth while he or she is sleeping, don’t pop it back in automatically
- Keep it clean. Before you offer your baby a soother, wash it with soap and water and allow it to dry thoroughly. Resist the temptation to clean the soother in your own mouth. You’ll only spread more germs to your baby. A soother with a clip or a clip that can be attached is a good way to prevent the soother getting dirty when it falls out of your baby’s mouth. However, use caution with soother clips. Never use a string or strap long enough to get caught around your baby’s neck
- Keep it safe. Replace soothers often, and watch for signs of deterioration. A worn or cracked nipple can tear off and pose a choking hazard
Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.