Teething Woes: Why, How, & What to Do About It Teething can be a difficult time for babies and parents alike. Babies are more likely to be irritable, experience sleep disturbances, and lose appetite. If you are a parent looking to ease the process for your little one, here’s what you can do about it: Understand Why This Happens: Teeth develop while we’re in the womb, although they don’t appear until the child is between 4 to 7 months old. They push through the gums, causing the gums to become sensitive and swollen. This usually happens within an eight-day window – four days before the tooth erupts, three days after it cuts through, and the day that it erupts. Children will be cranky and have trouble sleeping. Some children rub their ears – this is because our gums, cheeks, and ears share the same nerve pathways. The lower central incisor is usually the first to erupt, followed by the upper central incisor. This pattern continues (one tooth a month) until children have acquired all twenty. Understand the Signs & Symptoms: Teething can vary from one child to another. But generally, the symptoms are more pronounced in babies with lower birth weight. Some of the common teething signs include: ●Drooling, running nose ●Disturbance in the sleep pattern ●Gum-rubbing, sucking, biting, etc. ●Swollen or reddened gums Sometimes children experience diarrhea, fever, rashes, and other related symptoms. The fever, especially on the day of the eruption, is low grade. Knowing What to Do: You can help your baby during their teething process by addressing the symptoms. For example, pain caused by gum inflammation can be reduced by feeding your child a low inflammation diet. Avoid white foods like potatoes and refined sugar to cut down on inflammation. Look for fresh baby food that’s made from healthy fats such as avocados and coconut milk –they’re anti-inflammatory. Symptoms like fever, diarrhea, etc. can be reduced by boosting the baby’s immune system. Feed your child organic baby food that includes ingredients fresh fruits and veggies like carrots, mangos, strawberries, etc. to support immunity. Finally, to help the baby’s aching gums, give them something to chew on – the pressure on the teeth helps to relieve pain. Here’s a recipe for a baby popsicle made using your child’s favorite baby food flavors. You could also massage their gums or give them an organic toy to gnaw on. Teething necklaces are also fun.
There are plenty of ways to help your child cope with the pain. What are things that you’ve tried and would like to recommend? Share your thoughts! Resource Box: The Author is a mother of three and loves to help fellow moms cope with the challenges of motherhood. She writes about kids’ health and wellbeing, including picking the best fresh and organic baby food.