Some babies don’t display any teething symptoms at all – one day they open their mouth and you see a new tooth. For other babies (and mums) teething can be a stressful time. The baby becomes irritable, cries, doesn’t sleep well and mum is in constant demand, day and night. Here are a few things you can try to soothe a teething baby.
1. Something to bite
Give your baby something cool to chew on – a teething ring, a spoon, a wet washcloth, cold fruit in a mesh or even your finger, if your baby doesn’t have too many teeth yet. Don’t put teething rings or spoons in the freezer! Frozen rings can stick to your baby’s gums and tongue, and make it even worse.
2. Chilled foods
If your baby is already eating solids, offer chilled yoghurt or fruit puree. Often the baby will lose her appetite when teething, so she may refuse the food, but it’s worth a try.
3. Extra breastfeeds
Most babies find breastfeeding comforting and it’s also an opportunity for you to sit down and relax. If your baby starts biting, don’t let it turn into a habit, but gently end the feeding and try again later.
I’ve found that one of the best ways to soothe a crying baby, including one that’s teething, is to take them outside. Babies quickly shift their attention from the pain to the scenery around them. Take them to the playground, the library or simply for a walk in the pram.
5. Homeopathic remedies
Some homeopathic remedies that I’ve used and I’ve found effective to help soothe teething pain are Belladona and Chamomilla.
Just a word about fever – baby books will tell you that teething doesn’t cause fever and I used to believe it, until my baby started getting low-grade fever before every tooth and then go back to normal as soon as the tooth is out. Coincidence? I don’t think so. But to be on the safe side, get your child checked by a doctor if you’re unsure that the fever or any of the other symptoms are caused by teething.
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