Can you believe that some babies are born with their first teeth! Others start teething before they are 4 months old, and some (like my first) not until their 1st birthday! Whenever your baby starts teething, it is usually the bottom front teeth (bottom incisors) that are the first ones to come through at around 5-7 months old.
With two little ones running around, I am well accustomed to this painful process. Teething can be a distressing time for all concerned. Thankfully there are some great natural ways to help make teething easier for you and your baby.
So before you reach for the gels and medicines, here are the top 5 natural ways you can sooth your teething baby, to turn this stressful time around and maybe even have some fun in the process.
1. Play: It sounds simple but it works! Playing with your baby or taking them for a walk can distract them from the pain they are experiencing and just as importantly, get you out of the house. I always found mine were immediately happier once we were out and about. Sing, dance and toy rotation to keep those little minds occupied and distracted . Have fun! There are so many great toys out there including some fab play gyms and interactive play mats. My two always loved stacking toys. They’re a great distraction, excellent at helping to develop fine motor skills and counting as they get older, and as an added bonus, there are some gorgeous designs that look so sweet in the nursery!
2. Rubbing Gums: By simply rubbing a clean finger over your baby’s gums for a few minutes, it can ease the pain by temporarily numbing the pain. Give it a go you’ll be surprised. Just watch out for those teeth that have already cut!
3. Finger Foods: If your baby has started weening you could let them chew/suck on cold, soft foods. Cucumber and bananas are good to start with. For the older baby’s other raw fruits and vegetables such as apple or carrots are great.
4. Cold Cloth: Try it out! This is still an absolute winner in my house and they aren’t even teething! At 3 and 18 months, my two still like nothing better than chewing on cold, damp muslins or flannels. An easy, safe and effective teething toy. Just pop a clean, wet flannel or the corner of a muslin in the freezer for 10 minutes and let your baby chew it.
5. Teething Necklaces: A fantastic option, especially for when you are out and about. Worn by the mum, these are also a fashion statement. Over the last couple of years, this idea has really taken off with an infinite number of stylish designs now available, you can have any number of colours and designs for any outfit. Teething Necklaces will always be to hand so no rummaging around for a teething ring or toy and I guarantee you’ll keep wearing them long after the teething has finished! We work with the fantastic Mama & Belle - the UK's original brand of teething jewellery.
The best advice I can give having been through it twice is to give yourself a break. Try to have a grandparent, friend or your other half give you a few minutes or even a couple of hours off if your baby is having a tough time with teething. It can be extremely exhausting and emotionally draining dealing with an irritable baby, and it’s ok to need a little time out to collect yourself. Sometimes just a trip to the loo alone whilst someone entertains your little one is all it takes to gather yourself. Just remember, it won’t last forever…even though it may feel like it at the time!
It is advised that you start brushing your baby's teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as their first milk tooth breaks through.