The words every parent loves to hear, the dreaded teething period. This is a journey every little one experiences in those first few months and years that can be testing at times. Baby teething signs can be confusing, especially with so many other ailments to contend with along the way, such as the common cold. We will explore what teething is, the signs you will see and ways in which to ease the symptoms.
What exactly is teething?
Teething is what happens when your baby’s teeth start to emerge through their gums. The first teeth, known as milk teeth, are already under the gums when your baby is born and start to surface between six and nine months. The complete set of baby teeth are usually visible by the time the child is three years old.
What are the symptoms of teething?
Baby teeth can emerge with little to no pain or discomfort at all, whilst at other times you may notice the following:
- Your baby’s gums are sore and red
- One cheek appears flushed
- They are rubbing or pulling on their ear
- They are drilling more than usual
- They are chewing on things a lot
What can you do to help ease the pain?
Every baby is different so you may have to try a few options to see what works best to soothe their gums and mouth.
A Teething Toy
Offer your baby a teething toy on which they can safely bite down, any of the teethers in the Matchstick Monkey teething range are suitable, without being a choking risk. Teethers can help soothe a crying baby who is struggling with teething, both safely and hygienically. The sensation of biting down can give immediate relief, which is why babies are desperate to bite down on everything at this stage!
Food to chew on
If your baby is six months or older, you can give them some healthy fruit or vegetable fingers to chew on. Pieces of carrot or a crunchy apple that have been kept in the fridge would be nice and cool on their gums. Always stay with your baby while they eat to avoid any cases of choking.
Use a numbing gel
There are plenty of over-the-counter remedies that help to numb the gums as teething gels contain a mild local anesthetic. Available from pharmacists, these can be applied directly to your baby’s mouth and are especially useful at bedtime.
Offer them something cold
You can rub their gum with a clean, cold finger for some immediate relief or try a cold flannel – tie a knot in one end, wet it, and then pop it in the fridge. Try cold foods such as a puree or yogurt straight from the fridge to aid the soothing of those fiery gums.
See our Matchstick Monkey teething starter kit which includes a finger toothbrush perfect for rubbing on the gums.
Good old-fashioned cuddles
Teething can make your baby grumpy and miserable. It can also be upsetting for you as a parent to see your child in pain. As well as the solutions suggested above, your comfort can help, otherwise known as ‘cuddle therapy’.
Distract them with extra cuddles, sing and talk to them soothingly. This will make them feel assured that you are right by their side to help them through this tough time in their little lives.
If you are concerned that your baby’s teething discomfort and the methods above just cannot soothe them, talk to your doctor for advice on using medication to help with your baby’s teething symptoms.