Can you imagine if we went through teething as adults!!??
There would be a million teething remedies on the market and people would be calling in sick for work left, right and centre!! Man Flu would pale in comparison!! No wonder it makes our little ones so miserable!
WHAT AGE DOES TEETHING START?
Unfortunately for us as parents, there are no hard and fast rules with teething. Exactly how and when it is going to go down is one big, terrifying mystery!!
Babies start teething at all different ages. Some handle it like a boss and cut a new tooth after just a couple of mildly uncomfortable days, others suffer terribly for months with still nothing to show for it at the end!!
As a general rule, you can expect your baby’s first tooth at around 6 months old, but of course it may indeed be earlier than that or much later. Interestingly….there are even known cases of babies being born with teeth already!!
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR BABY IS TEETHING
There are a few tell tale signs that your baby is teething, but believe you me…you will know!!
- Dribble & Drool One of the very first signs of teething. You know when you dress your baby in a “purchased especially for the occasion, super cute outfit”, only to arrive at said destination to find the outfit completely soaked in drool!!! Welcome to the wonderful world of teething!!
- Hot and bright red rosy cheek/s
- Batting and tugging at ears
- Chewing and gnawing on absolutely everything!! (My little man used to put his whole fist in his mouth and chew on it. Then there was my shoulder… my nose…his cot!! Nothing was off limits of he could get his mouth to it!!)
- Interrupted sleep Babies can go from sleeping blissfully all through the night, to all of a sudden waking hourly needing to be cuddled and consoled.
- Irritable and grizzly Probably made worse by the fact they have had an interrupted sleep!
Rashes on the face and neck folds.
This can happen due to the increase in saliva that comes with teething. Saliva when teething is more acidic than usual, so may irritate the skin.
- Loose bowels and a red raw little bottom Again, this comes down to the increase in saliva during this time. More saliva passing through their tummies and it is more acidic than usual. (This one was especially apparent with all three of my little ones! They would have a couple of days of loose, acidic stools with really red and sore bottoms….and then ta da!!!! New tooth!!)
- Red and inflamed gums
- Poor appetite (That’s ok if they are a little off their food…just remember to make sure to keep their fluids up!)
Sounds ghastly doesn’t it?!!
So what can we do to help ease the pain for our little ones without having to resort to over the counter drugs like Panadol? Lets face it, teething continues right up until around two and a half when they cut their two year old molars, and we don’t really want to be giving them drugs if there are other natural alternatives we could try first.
NATURAL TEETHING REMEDIES
- Natural rubber teethers – free from PVC, artificial colours and softners.
- Mesh teethers with frozen fruit or an iceblock inside
- Frozen teething rings
- Frozen fruit and veggies (age dependent and under supervision) – we would give our little ones frozen peas and frozen watermelon skins to gnaw on.
- A gentle massage with a clean finger
- Wooden teething toys
- Amber Teething Necklaces or anklets– (ie Baltic Babies) used for centuries throughout Europe, teething necklaces have been designed to be worn, not chewed. Worn close to the skin, body heat warms the necklace and releases an oil called succinic acid that is said to be anti -inflammatory and of assistance during teething. I have used these with all of my babies, and am obviously a massive fan!
- Homeopathic powders and pillules (ie -Weleda teething powder) an extremely effective and popular natural remedy. The main ingredient homeopathic Chamomilla helping to relieve teething symptoms.
- A clean wet flannel straight out of the freezer
- Teething rusks. Those things are as hard as nails, but we have seen all three of our babies gnaw on them with serious intent until they have been reduced down to the size of a thimble!!
- Teething necklaces for mum (These necklaces are made out of food grade silicone and are designed for baby to happily chew on!!)
I can’t tell you how many of my favourite necklaces I have had snapped over the years by one of my teething toddlers desperately trying to pull it into their mouths!! These are a fantastic idea!
So, there you have it! Hopefully some, or all of these tips come in handy when you are at your wits end with your teething little one!
Below is a teething chart for your reference – keeping in mind that this is only a guide. Sometimes those teeth have a mind of their own!!