Pretty much from birth your baby starts teething. They have a big job to do pushing through 20 teeth in about 24 months. That’s an average of 1 tooth a month but lucky for them, and us, the average tooth starts in around 6-10months and the last baby tooth makes its way in somewhere between 24-36 months. Teething can be an uncomfortable time for little ones and can lead to some long nights of consolation for the sympathetic, exhausted parent. Teething is often accompanied by swollen gums, low fevers, achy ears, irritability, an endless faucet of drool that can irritate and cause a rash around the mouth and, or course, the urge to gnaw everything within arms reach!
My son started drooling like Niagara falls at 4months, I was sure his teeth would be popping up all over his mouth like a set of fireworks!! ……But no…he pulled on his ears, fussed, reworked recently established sleeping habits went awry and he reached out to chew on anything he could get his hands on. He chewed on a LOT of teething toys. In fact I’m not sure who chewed more wood during those 24months our son or our Labrador puppy. At ten months, his first tooth finally pushed through.
Every baby goes through this process at their own pace and with their own symptoms. There are books and articles filled with ideas to ease the teething process. Try some of them and find what works for your baby. What works for one child may not work for another. It is helpful to have a few tools.
Teething symptoms your baby may experience:
- Gum rubbing
- Chewing on anything within reach
- Ear rubbing (“faux” ear infection.. the nerves in this area also travel up under their ears.. so ear tugging/rubbing can often be a sign of teething)
- Facial rash, usually from the drooling
- Decreased appetite
- Low grade fever
I spy with my little eye: The first tooth will usually appear at the bottom center. They push through like a tiny saw blade so they are ridged and sharp. You can gently use the tip of your finger to feel how sharp they actually are. Most likely your baby will grab your finger, with much delight, and chomp down on it. Chomping, chewing and pressure probably feel good on sore gums and achy jaws. If you don’t feel anything with your finger try to get a big grin out of your little one and look. If the gum area is swollen and red then that is where the next tooth is pushing through.
Natural Remedies ~ a few of our favorites
Chew toy: Our favorites are wooden rings and or organic cloth. We carry a variety of teething support options that are made from natural woods and/or organic fabrics. We maintain a high standard on all our teething products. We screen for dyes, paints, plastics and other materials that could potentially be toxic or unsafe for your baby to chew on.
Cold teething chew: We often have the food safety chew mesh teether by Sassy in which parents can put frozen pured foods such as banana, apple sauce or even an apple slice. The “Sassy Teething Feeder” can be cold to sooth and taste yummy for your baby. It is made with a safety mesh bag, which prevents small size chokeable pieces from escaping.
Baltic Amber Teething Necklace: The Amber necklaces are not actually for your baby to chew on but are to be worn by your baby as a necklace. When warmed by your baby’s skin the amber resin releases succinic acid. Succinic acid is a natural analgesic, which acts locally to help relieve discomfort. We have seen these work so well and received so many requests for them that we now carry them new in our shop.
Sophie the giraffe: Although I didn’t know about her when my little one was teething many parents find her helpful. She is made of natural rubber and food quality paint. Sophie is a popular chew toy and she seems to be a big hit. We often have a Sophie in our shop along with other natural wood and organic fabric chew toys.
Facial massage: Surprisingly simply rubbing your babies jaws, face and gums in a circular motion may be the treatment that really hits the spot. Your baby may resist at first but often they find this massage soothing.
If you are finding this an over whelming time in your household. Inquire with other mamas about what worked for them or talk with your baby’s health care provider. The first 2 years is a teething marathon and all babies go through it with varying degrees of their own symptoms! Have some tools, lots of drool bibs, plenty of safe chomping options, plans for pain mitigation and plenty of patience with yourself and your baby. Let the chewing begin!
These are just some of the remedies we recommend but is by no means an exhaustive or thorough list. Let us know what has worked for you? Please share with a comment.