It seems like just yesterday my baby was trying to figure out how to crawl and now he has tiny teeth popping through his gums! Not to sound too cliche, but where does the time go?! Oh, and by the way, you don't truly understand bravery until you've tried nursing a teething baby - that is some scary stuff! You never know when your little one is going to chomp down and it does happen! Poor little babe doesn't know any better.
The first time I was bit by my little guy, I yelped so loud that I scared the baby and the dog. My husband said, "you can't scream like that, you're scaring him!" Ha! You try nursing a teething, chompy baby and let me know how it goes. I know, I know - I could always ween him off nursing but I don't want to give up that bond! Fortunately, I was able to do some research and find that many women happily continue to breastfeed even beyond the teething stage. I always envisioned breastfeeding at least one year. Check out this great article on tips for breastfeeding a teething baby if you want to brave it with me.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
My little guy is a very happy and smiley boy. It is unusual for him to be fussy or irritable so when he was becoming more whiny, I knew something was up. When teeth cut through gums, it can be a painful process. Here are some of the signs you may notice from your little one. This can be over the span of a few weeks or even months.
- Cranky and fussy
- Excessive Drooling
- Swollen Gums
- May refuse food
- May want to nurse more often
- Wanting to be held for comfort
HOW CAN I HELP!?
No parent enjoys watching their child suffer through pain. It's the worst! When my baby cries hard from pain or feeling sick it just breaks my heart and all I want to do is bring him comfort. Fortunately, there are several natural ways you can help your baby through the teething stages.
When baby has sore gums they just want to put anything in their mouth and chomp. Let your tiny beaver chew on some teethers. I recommend Natural Nibblers brand. They are made from organic, soft wood and designed by an environmental scientist. I have two of their beaded teething rings and the teething necklace. My baby loves the texture and they are soothing his sore gums as his two little front teeth are popping through!
There are other teethers that are filled with liquid or gel that you can put in the freezer. I haven't personally tried those but have heard of them. You can also put a wet washcloth in the freezer and let baby nibble on that for some relief. You can also try washing your hands really well and gently massaging baby's gums. They will let you know if they like it or not. It's worth a try! I've tried this and got chomped so I stick with the other methods.
Your baby might be used to warm milk and warmed up purees but some cold food will actually help soothe the gums. Try putting a jar of baby food in the fridge and feeding it to them cold. They might be surprised at first by the temperature if they aren't used to it but it will feel good on their sore gums. There are also little teething feeders that you can put cold or frozen fruits in (pictured below). We have one of these and it works great.
You could also try making some homemade milksicles! It's exactly what it sounds like - a baby popsicle made from breast milk (or formula/puree). There are several different popsicle molds you can buy on Amazon.
If you are having a hard time calming your fussy baby down just remember that they are probably in a lot of pain and it can be a scary thing for them. Simply holding and snuggling them will help calm them down. Whenever I find it impossible to sooth my fussy baby, I put him in a warm bath with lavender essential oil and he calms down instantly. Extra snuggles from mom and dad are always a good remedy!
- Freeze a wash cloth
- Gently massage gums
- Cold foods
- Teething Gel
- Good old fashioned snuggles and comfort
I was going to talk you through all the different stages you can expect to go through and about which age ranges they will occur at but instead I found this info-graphic that pretty much sums it up! We could all use a little humor as we struggle through figuring out this whole parenting thing. My favorite (and most terrifying) is the "rabid chipmunk" stage which I am currently experiencing with my little guy.
WHEN WILL BABY'S TEETH COME IN?
Many new parents wonder when the first tooth will arrive. Especially breastfeeding mothers who may be getting nervous as the time gets closer. The first tooth can erupt (that's literally what dentists call it) anywhere between 5-12 months. This is quite the range but every baby is so different. My son had his first two teeth pop through at 8 months. His gums were swollen for well over a month prior to that so the process is lengthy. For more details on when you can expect teeth, check out this baby tooth arrival chart.
Are there any teething remedies or hacks that aren't on this list that have worked well for you? Please share! Teething is a rough time but you and your little one will get through it. It just takes lots of love, patience and some helpful tips. Thanks so much for reading!
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