Teething can be painful for your baby and they can react to it in different ways. It can be a really tough time for parents, too – no one wants to see their precious little one in pain.
There are many signs of teething – irritability, drooling, sleeplessness, chewing and sucking on everything and swollen gums – and you may feel helpless at times.
If your baby is on solid food, you may well find they have a lack of interest in eating normal portions or the things they usually love. With little pointy teeth erupting through their gums, they’ll probably have a sore mouth, so try and avoid foods that may irritate this, such as acidic, salty, citric or spicy things. There are foods you can give them that may help to give some relief such as chilled watermelon, carrot or cucumber sticks. Ice pops with diluted juice can also be good for them to suck on, as can small bite-size pieces of frozen yoghurt.
Cold compresses can alleviate teething pain and discomfort. Things that have been chilled in the freezer (for a short time only) can help to numb and ease aching. You can use pretty much anything – from knotted teething blankets to filling a dummy with water and freezing it. Chamomile tea bags wrapped in muslins are another idea, as chamomile has anti-inflammatory and calming properties.
There are lots of teethers designed for various stages of teething. These often have textured surfaces that massage gums and teeth – some are even shaped so that they reach certain areas of your baby’s mouth.
Distraction is also a good tactic. If your baby is crying and unhappy try a change of scenery. Take them to a park or soft play, meet some friends or just go for a walk – anything you can think of that’s fun may help to take your little one’s mind off their sore mouth.
Of course, there are medications available too, and your doctor or pharmacist will be able to advise you on the best solution for your baby.