Teething is a great deal for babies. When their first tooth cuts, their gums experience discomfort and for some, the pain makes them cranky and fussy, which leads to zombiefied parents who barely catch some winks at night.
Think your bubba might be teething? Look out for these symptoms to help play detective better:
– excessive drooling
– decreased in appetite
– chews fingers more often and is satisfied after doing so
– put toys or other objects in mouth and tries to chew them
– disrupted sleep with frequent wakings
– swollen or red gums
– low-grade fever
While teething can start as early as 3 months until 3 years of age, each emergent of tooth may not spell the same symptoms. Arming yourself with some know-hows gives you, your partner and the caregivers better preparedness and confidence in managing your little one during those achy times.
#1: Provide a safe and clean teether
Babies chew to seek comfort and relief from the gum aches so it’s wise to invest in a safe and clean teether. Material should ideally be soft to provide a cushioning bite. Always ensure that the teether is washed/cleaned each time before offering baby. Read care instructions; most teether are not recommended to be sterilised and may have suggested cleaning tips too. Wear and tear is a natural process, especially in contact with saliva. Do regular checks on teether before offering baby.
Baby V used to love her Sophie the Giraffe, but after we realised that some lint gets stuck easily at its grooves, we decided not to give it to her. She was cool with it and we offered her the Kidsme Icy Moo Moo Soother instead. According to my mum who cares for her on weekdays, baby V chews it occasionally given that she’s never really had a habit of putting random things into her mouth *cross fingers* However, at 14mo now, she’s been stuffing her little fingers into her mouth more frequently. Their patterns change too – as if you didn’t already know. LOL.
#2: Cold relief
Ice pops can bring great relief to pain, simply pop juices or yogurts into an ice pop mould which double up as a treat for a hot day to – food ideas for bubs over 6months of age! For younger ones, freeze breastmilk or place suitable teether in freezer/fridge to provide the same cooling effect. Daiso and Ikea offer affordable ice pop containers. The Kidsme Icy Moo Moo Soother doubles up as an ice pop too, or simply use a pacifier.
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I've not had much luck with pacifiers for both babies. We have a mini collection of those for Vera, but none became the chosen one. I'd like to think they know the good stuff, and by that I mean the REAL thing 😂 . Glad one of those pacifiers came in handy for the teething boy – breastmilk pops devoured in 60 seconds! Well, at least that collection can now be put to good use for a teething baby, or to beat the heat! 😁
#3: Bibs and hankies on standby
Drools can flow to the chin and neck area, getting trapped in folds of the neck. That can lead to bacteria breeding on those grounds and cause rashes/eczema. Spot a drooly season? Let baby don a bib to “catch” those saliva. Better yet, they serve as a stylish accessory too!
#4: Numb those gums!
Teething gel to the rescue! When night falls, teething pain tends to peak and no better time to whip out that tube. They are made of edible ingredients, usually have a pleasant or sweet taste but works to numb the applied area. We use Dentinox to provide baby Vera with instant relief.
#5: Hot, hot, baby
Sometimes, teething period causes body temperatures to rise. Baby-friendly paracetomol syrup can bring those temperatures down – 37.5degrees. Fever relief patches or sponging baby with cold tap water (not icy water!) can help to bring instant relief too – 38degrees.
#6: Mummy’s little koala
Your grouchy little one may cling onto you significantly more than usual. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s normal to nurse more frequently as well, especially throughout the nights which accompanies increased wakings. Comfort latching heightens and you’d probably think that your nips might fall off. Tough on us mothers who can only
grin squirm and bare it – literally! Do take care of your back when nursing on your sides. Bolsters and pillows can be propped at the back for support. Hugs and kisses for your baby provide assurance and distraction from the pain too. Skin contact is known to make each other feel good, so go ahead and be mama/papa koalas too!
#7: Bye-bye favourite food!
Once fave foods may now be rejected and your little one starts crying or fussing or show poor appetite during meal times. During this period, avoid offering hard food as they add further pressure on the sore areas. Go easy on your child and yourself, as she is undergoing an uncomfortable phase which she can’t do anything about. For baby V, her favourite apples cause much misery during those teething peaks – a mouthful of it causes her to burst into tears. Hence, we swopped to softer food during these times, skipping those that require more effort of chewing and gumming.
Healthy & Nutritious Recipes
Porridge with Tri-coloured Capsicums and Fish.
Method is similar to our previous recipe – Hearty & Healthy Porridge.
Mee Sua Soup with Spinach and Egg
Method: Prepare ikan bilis soup base (approx. 30mins). Soak mee sua and rinse (due to salt content) till soft (roughly 15-20mins if possible). Put bee hoon into soup stock to cook for 15 minutes and check on doneness. Add spinach and egg, ensure they are fully cooked. Serve when ready. Allow to cool to suitable temperature before feeding baby.
Porridge with Celery and Fish
Method: Prepare ikan bilis and wolfberries soup stock (approx. 30mins). Add washed rice into soup stock and boil till soft porridge. Add celery and fish into porridge. Ensure celery is cooked and soft before serving. Allow to cool to suitable temperature before feeding baby.
We hope this has been helpful to parents in identifying teething symptoms and how to relief them. Should there be persistent fever, a trip to the doctor is useful in allaying fears of infection (not just related to gums) and put minds at ease.
What do you do to help your babies relieve teething pains? Do share some tips too!
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