Some babies get their first teeth with no more trouble than chewing on everything they can get hold of; others develop a temperature or become irritable and off their food. Sometimes chewing on things can cause diarrhoea due to the germs baby ingested. If your baby is chewing frantically on everything he can get his hands on, be on the lookout for those little pearly whites to show up soon.
Meanwhile, what can you do to give baby a bit of relief from the irritation of his gums? Many mothers swear by teething gel. This has only to be gently rubbed on the gums to give several hours of relief by numbing them. But if you would prefer not to use teething gel, there are a few other tricks you can try to give baby some relief.
Offering frequent sips of cold water is often all that is needed to soothe a teething child. Filling a teething ring with cold water and/or freezing it before giving it to baby will often help. The cold teething ring will cool his mouth and help to soothe the gum irritation.
Cold or frozen fruit or vegetables are great for a baby with no teeth to chomp on because he cannot bite a piece off. Once the tooth has come through, supervision will be necessary to ensure he doesn’t bite off a big piece and choke on it. Carrots and celery are both good choices. Or if he refuses food, try giving him a wooden spoon to gnaw on.
Some mothers find that mesh feeders provide a good teething ring for baby to chomp on. There is no fear of choking on these. If they are prepared with mashed fruit and then frozen, they can be given to baby to chew on and he will absorb nourishment while getting some relief for his gums.
You can also scrape the ice off a flavoured Popsicle and give it to baby on a teaspoon. An ice cube knotted into a clean handkerchief also becomes a good teething ring for baby to chew on.
Some mothers have used oil of cloves as a treatment for sore gums, but this is very strong and could cause blistering. If you do want to try it out, mix one drop with a drop or two of carrier oil, then try a portion on your own mouth first.
One of the simplest remedies is to place a wet, clean washcloth in the freezer and let them chew on that when it is frozen. It could also be dipped into a weak solution of chamomile tea before being frozen. If a frozen one seems too cold for your baby just dip it in cold water, wring it out and offer that.
Even though teething time seems to be filled with tears and sometimes temperatures, it won’t be long before baby has all his teeth and will then be able to eat many foods by himself without them having to be mashed, so something good will come from all those teething troubles.