If your little one has been fussier than usual, drooling non-stop, and trying to chew on anything within an arm's reach, it's likely that he or she is teething. You can help ease some of your baby's discomfort by using teethers and throwing a little creativity in the mix. Here are 10 teething tips and tricks we here at HE OR SHE think all parents should know!
From water-soaked washcloths to fun-shaped teething toys, there are an array of items to let your baby chew on to soothe aching gums! It's important to have a selection of teething products to keep your baby from getting bored with just one, so here's a list of a few possible teething tools:
ㆍA damp washcloth
ㆍCold water or diluted juice in a sippy cup
ㆍYogurt or applesauce (talk to your pediatrician about when your baby is ready to move on to these foods)
ㆍA chilled HE OR SHE pacifier
To help soothe your baby, you're going to want to look out for all the signs of teething to know early on when teething has begun. Ten common signs include...
ㆍFussiness or Irritability
ㆍTrying to Bite and Chew Everything
ㆍIncreased Rubbing of the Face
ㆍPulling of the Ears
ㆍSwollen and Red Gums
ㆍA Tooth Visible Below the Gums
ㆍSlight Fever (no higher than 101 degrees)
There is always the chance your baby will become bored with all his or her current teething toys and need something new thrown into the mix! One simple option is coating your baby's teething toys in treats like yogurt or puree to keep him or her engaged. You can take one of HE OR SHE's teethers, chill it, and add a yogurt coating to mix things up for your baby. (Make sure to opt for whole-milk yogurt formulated with babies in mind.) To keep things interesting for yourself, consider making your own puree for your baby!
With so many teething options for your baby, it can be overwhelming to determine what isn't suitable for your teething baby! To make things a little easier for you, here are a few major rules to follow when providing your baby with teething toys and snacks:
ㆍStay away from small toys and treats. We know this may seem obvious, but it's always good to keep in the back of your mind! Look for items that your baby can only fit part of in his or her mouth.
ㆍStay away from teething aids that can break easily as they can pose a choking hazard. Also, make sure to avoid products with dangling or attached small pieces that don't seem secure.
ㆍDon't give out anything that is too hard. Although many babies find chewing on hard teething toys soothing, anything too hard can harm them rather than help.
Make sure any toys are free of BPAs, PVCs, phthalates, lead and cadmium.
ㆍMake sure your baby is ready for food based teething options by talking to your pediatrician first.
Teething toys can easily get dirty, so for your baby's health and safety it's important to keep the germs away. For most hard teething toys, use hot water and dish detergent to hand wash the toy, and use a toothbrush or toothpick to keep any grooves clean. For fabric based teething toys, the washing machine is a fine option but make sure to check labels beforehand. Also, remember that teething can also cause your baby to drool quite a bit, so make a habit of wiping your baby's face to avoid unnecessary skin irritation.
When even teething toys and snacks don't seem to offer relief, consider doing something with your baby to help take his or her mind off the pain. Playing a game with your baby, talking to them, or giving them a bath can help shift his or her focus from any discomfort.
You never know when your little one might need something to chew on, so finding unique ways to carry teethers is a must! Items like our wristband teether can help keep your baby occupied even while on the go, and can keep him or her from trying to chew on your real jewelry.
Although there are many teething products and aids that can help reduce your baby's discomfort, sometimes even these reliefs won't soothe your baby. If you're looking for other options, know that you can rub a clean finger over your baby's gums (only do this if no teeth have broken through) to help ease some of the pain. Some mamas have also said that nursing your baby can help calm him or her down.
Before your little one has any teeth, practice using a damp washcloth to wipe your baby's gums. When your baby's first tooth begins to peek through, usually starting between the ages of 4 to 6 months, it's essential that if you haven't already started practicing oral care with your little one that you do so now. Using a fluoride toothpaste in an amount no bigger than a grain of rice, gently brush your baby's teeth and gums using a small-headed, soft bristled toothbrush.
Although teething does cause discomfort and potential small fevers in babies, it does not cause symptoms like very high fevers or major distress in children. If your baby is displaying these signs, don't assume the cause is teething; instead, make a trip to the pediatrician to ensure your baby is healthy. Also, remember to talk to you pediatrician before introducing your baby to new foods like yogurts or purees.
Teething is just one of many important milestones all babies reach, and all parents must navigate. While the challenge of keeping your baby happy may seem impossible at times, we here at HE OR SHE hope to give you a reliable source to help tackle any challenges that come your way! For first time moms and dads especially, we hope this article makes keeping your little bundle of joy smiling a little bit easier.