When your baby starts teething it can be a difficult time for everyone in the family. In many homes parents find themselves surprised by the sudden changes that can occur in their child's mood and behaviour. This is because the teething process often causes a lot of grumpiness and disruption to your daily routine. If you were lucky enough to have got your child into the routine of sleeping through the night at just a few months old, you may well be frustrated to find all your good work undone just as soon those milk teeth start to make their journey through the gum!
Disturbed sleep patterns are a major complaint of parents of teething children. However, it's not their only one! Teething is an uncomfortable experience and because your baby can't express what he or she is feeling in words, there may well be a lot of crying in your household, throughout the day and night. Despite your best efforts and lots of cuddles, your child might still appear red-cheeked, upset and even, at times, downright inconsolable.
Teething is a natural process. It's not necessarily every parent's favourite phase, but it doesn't last forever and more importantly, there are lots of different things that you can do to help soothe your child's discomfort. We understand that it's difficult to see your child upset and it's even harder to cope with a grumpy child on reduced sleep, but once you have the knowledge and equipment to ease the teething pain, you'll be amazed at how quickly you can make a real difference to your child's mood. It is possible to placate your child, restore peaceful normality and get some sleep in your household before the
tooth emerges. Your child will be happy once again and you'll be prepared for the next tooth, when it arrives.
These tips are to help familiarise you with the various methods which can be used to bring teething under control.
We’re going to take a look at forty five top teething tips. Use them individually, or use them in combination with others. Every baby will respond differently to each of the individual tips. You simply need to find the ones that work for you. All the products featured in this book can be bought from the Amber Pumpkin online shop.
Teething is a drawn out process that involves a lot of saliva and crying, which begins a couple of months before anything begins to show through the gums. Just in case you’re in any doubt, as to whether the reason why your baby is upset is indeed teething, let’s have a look at the symptoms.
For a start your baby might be grumpy, restless and have trouble sleeping. Disturbed sleep is not only a night time occurrence. You might find that your baby is having trouble settling down for naps too. Mouth discomfort can be obvious or not. You might find that your baby has a flushed cheek and that his or her gums are red and sore. Or, you might just find that your baby is trying to chew everything from his or her hand and your shoulder, to absolutely anything else he or she can get their hands on. There will be a lot of dribbling and you’ll probably find that your baby is more clingy than usual. When the tooth is about to break through the skin, you may see whiteness under the gum and or feel a hard, sharp lump.
Many parents complain of loose stools and nappy rash. Contrary to popular belief, any fever or diarrhoea your baby might have, will not be due directly to the process of teething. However, given that your baby may be searching around the floor looking for things to chew, there’s perhaps a higher chance of picking up bugs at this time.
So when can you expect the teething process to rear its angry little head? Some babies develop teeth in the womb but for most the first tooth appears at 6 months, with a 2 month build-up to the action. Generally speaking the bottom front teeth appear first, followed by the top front teeth a month or two later. Between the ages of 9 and 12 months old your baby will probably develop the teeth to either side of their existing ones, followed by molars and canines between 16 and 20 months. The latest arrivals are the second molars at 20-30 months. By age 2 and a half the milk teething process should be over.
The first 10 teething tips are below, click to download all 45 in the free ebook 45 Practical Teething Tips
1. Although you may be feeling tired and grumpy yourself, don’t forget that it’s your baby who will be most put out by this unusual chain of events. As far as he or she is concerned, life had been just great up until this new and unpleasant mouth sensation began. Your baby doesn’t understand why you’re not doing anything about it, especially given that you’ve managed to fix every other problem up until now. i.e. hunger, cold and tiredness.
The pain makes eating hard work and the resulting hunger from avoiding feeding, makes it even worse. The first thing you should do when your baby's feeling out of sorts is of course to give him or her a cuddle and plenty of attention. Everyone feels better after a cuddle.
2. Probably the best known and best loved product to start with is the humble teething ring. It looks like a toy and causes a distraction as well as providing baby with something safe to chew on.
3. You could try putting the teething ring in the fridge for a while before giving it to your baby. That will cool and soothe those sore gums. Natural, chemical free, rubber teethers such as Sophie the Giraffe toy are very popular.
4. Never tie a teething ring or toy around baby's neck. This may seem obvious, but you'd be amazed at the availability of toys that come with a tie and the implication that this is how the toy can be attached.
5. Instead of a teething ring how about a teething toy? It's important to choose a toy that's machine washable as well as looks appealing, because it's going to get a lot of drool on it!
6. Make sure the teething toy you choose is appropriate for the age of your child. Some toys are better for babies who are cutting their very first teeth, while others are designed to soothe the back of the gums when the molars are coming in.
7. Why not have a variety of teething toys cooling in the fridge, ready for when they're needed.
8. If your baby is too young to hold the toy in his or her own hand, you’ll have to hold the toy for your child. Never leave very young children unattended with toys, including when they're teething. This is because everything seems to find its way into baby's mouth and will be excessively chewed. Obviously very small toys or bits that break off any toys can pose a choking hazard.
9. To provide a short, sharp relief you could try wetting a flannel and putting it in the freezer for a few minutes. This works in the same way as a cooled teether, but with a different texture. You can also tie a knot it in before freezing to allow for more vigorous chewing. Some claim soaking it in chamomile tea beforehand helps too.
10. Your baby probably loves to play with Mummy's necklace. Tiny babies tend to play with them while feeding but older children are also fascinated. Amber Pumpkin stocks childsafe baby bead necklaces, which will help distract a teething child.
To read more useful teething tips download the FREE ebook now 45 Practical Teething Tips