When babies start teething, some parent will just have to grin and bear the toddler’s general irritability.
TEETHING can be a tiring process for babies and parents alike. As your baby begins to cut teeth, his/her gums and mouth are sensitive. This leads to pain, fussiness, and general irritability.
Some babies cut teeth without a whimper, while others are truly unpleasant to be around as they cry, fuss, and gnaw on everything in sight.
Teething can begin as early as four months, or as late as a year. It really is an individual process, so don’t stress if your baby is “early” or “late” to teeth.
Keep an eye on your baby’s front lower jaw – these are usually the first teeth to come in. The upper front teeth are soon to follow.
Soon that gummy grin you love will be replaced by a mouthful of pearly white teeth – but, oh, the struggle to get there!
To aid the teething process, and help save your sanity, try the following tips:
>> Cool Chew
A popsicle, frozen damp washcloth, or chilled teething ring can all be helpful for soothing sore teeth and gums. If your baby is eating solid foods, you can also try such treats as frozen bagels, chicken nuggets, or frozen fruit. Babies love to gum the frozen goodies, and the chilled food helps to ease the pain associated with teething.
>> Hard Toys
Your baby will also love to chew on hard toys such as wooden blocks. Offer him/her several alternatives, and allow the child to pick his/her favourite.
>> Apply Pressure
If your baby will allow it, try massaging his/her gums gently with your finger or a damp cloth. The pressure will help ease the pain of teething. If your baby is extremely fussy, this technique may not be possible!
>> Cloth Bib
Most teething babies are drool machines! Constantly having a damp chin and neck can lead to “drool rash”. Use a cloth bib to absorb the dampness and help keep baby dry and comfortable.
If these don’t appear to offer some relief, consult your doctor about using an over-the-counter pain medication or anesthetic. These can help aid the discomfort of teething, if used according to directions.
Homoeopathic teething tablets are also available, which soothe and calm baby while providing pain relief.
Any or all of these options can be useful to include in your teething kit.
Most importantly, remember that this is a phase, and will soon be over. This will help you to keep your perspective on those difficult days.
(the art of parenting, theSun, Tuesday, 2 October 2007)