A teething tale

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

How to care for a teething baby

There are those moments on every parenting journey when you feel helpless and utterly at sea. For some these moments happen more often than for others, but in the very early days of being a mama or a papa this feeling of “what do I do now?” can happen a lot. And teething is one of those moments. You may feel like you are getting into the swing of things with your beautiful new baby. You are just starting to settle into a routine and are learning to understand your baby’s rhythms and personality, when suddenly everything changes. Your sweet, gurgling baby suddenly turns into a red faced, screaming bundle of misery and there seems to be nothing you can do to help.

Teething can be a difficult time for parents and babies, but if you are aware of the signs and do what you can to alleviate the discomfort then you may well sail through. Just remember that every baby is different and every teething experience is different, but here are a few telltale signs…

Signs of teething
Symptoms can last for just a few days, around the time that the tooth is making its way through the gum, or as long as several months, as a group of teeth make their way through.
The following are just a guideline, but signs that your baby is teething may include:
• Biting or chewing everything he can get his hands on
• Swollen gums
• Difficulty sleeping
• Drooling more than usual
Nappy rash or a rash on his cheeks
• Irritability
• Grabbing at his ears

Not signs of teething
It is easy to put down every sign of an ailment to teething, but it’s best to be aware that there may be something else happening. If your baby has a fever, runny nose or runny tummy then don’t just dismiss it, especially if it lasts longer than 24 hours. Take a visit to your doctor just to be sure.

What can you do?
It’s horrible to watch your baby struggling with discomfort and there are things that you can do to help alleviate the pain.

Stock up on teething rings that baby can chew on. Pop some in the freezer so the added cold can soothe the gums. If he doesn’t like the cold then room temperature teethers can work. If he’s not interested in one then try something else.

Rub-on remedies like Teegel are great to help numb the gums. These are available over the counter at your local pharmacy. Just watch your fingers because those tiny little pearly whites are sharp!

Rub baby’s gums with a clean finger until the friction makes a squeaky sound. Not only will the pressure feel good, but baby will probably love the squeaking sound your finger makes.

Painkillers like pediatric Panado or Calpol will help when the pain is acute, or baby needs to calm down before bed. Just chat to your pharmacist or doctor before trying anything new.

Other articles you may be interested in:
How to spend more time with your kids
Pregnancy and sun tanning
What causes nappy rash?
Pregnant celebs
Does your beauty routine change when you become a mom?

Written by

Emily Pettit-Coetzee is a freelance writer and a blogger of lovely things. She spends her days writing about everything from corporate finance to teen fashion and has a weakness for vintage fashion and red lipstick.

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  1. thokozilemohohole

    My baby girl just turned 7 months old today. She keeps drooling and gnawing a lot and she hardly eats but she loves
    food. She cries most of the time. Where can I buy an amber teething necklace, it’s painful to watch your baby restless
    and you can’t do much about it. Can this phase pass already!

    5 years ago •

  1. Manyela

    My son has been teething for the past two months, but I let him chew on a cold slice of apple.

    5 years ago •

  1. Fatima Bibi Hoosen

    My baby girl is now 5 months and teething for the past month.
    I give her sister Lilians Chamomilla and it works wonderfully. I love the fact that its homeopathic so no side effects.
    I also got the amber teething necklace for her and she seems more calm now. I don’t find the need to give her panado as often (chamomilla got finished and didn’t get a chance to re-purchase)

    5 years ago •

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