A teething baby is a challenging time and process for many parents, as the first set of teeth (baby teeth) start to push their way through the gums causing discomfort and an upset baby. Teething can begin anytime from 4 months and lasts until the last set of molars erupts around 2 years. There are 20 teeth and while some babies may have no problems at all, others little ones will be hard to settle, clingy, and look like they are ‘under the weather’.
For some parents, teething can be the first experience of having trouble settling their baby. Teething can cause a slight elevation to temperature in some babies, and often baby can have a runny nose and waxy ears. When you look in the mouth it might look a little red where the tooth is coming through and as the tooth gets closer to the surface, the white tip of the tooth becomes noticeable.
There are many easy tricks to help soothe the gums.
- Gently rubbing the gums with a clean finger can help as the pressure can feel good
- Wet a clean flannel or piece of muslin and place it in the freezer. Once frozen, the baby can suck and chew on the fabric. The cool can help to numb the gum area.
- Teething toys – these come in a range of options and some can have different textures or are able to be cooled
If these options just aren’t relieving the discomfort, there are many natural choices that can support baby.
- Homoeopathic remedies that can calm and soothe
- Herbal medicines that include ingredients like Chamomile. Chamomile has been used traditionally to support a calm and happy outlook and settled digestive system.
As soon as the first tooth comes through, it’s important to start a brushing ritual. Environmentally-friendly toothbrushes can start baby off well and there are gentle naturally-flavoured toothpastes available that taste great and can help start good habits for life-long oral health.