We all know how unpleasant the whole teething process is, cranky little monkeys and sleepless nights all round. As a mum of two, I have been through this process twice now so thought it might be useful to share some information my experience and some suggestions and ideas to help.
Symptoms of teething can start a few months before the teeth actually appear and babies tooth buds develop before they are born. Although the order and age teeth appear varies from baby to baby with some born with a few teeth and some still not having any at a year old, they usually appear in the following sequence:
* Four central incisors (cutters- the teeth right in the middle of the jaw on the top and bottom ) start appearing at around 6-7 months
* Four more side incisors (the teeth next to the central incisors ) appear at around 8 months
* Four back molars (chewing teeth) appear at between 10-14 months
* Four canines (pointed teeth) appear at around 16-20 months.
* Four more back molars appear at between 24-30 months.
Babies levels of suffering during the teething process varies greatly too, some babies seem to deal with it without too many problems whilst others find it incredibly painful. Even with minor cases, most babies show some signs of teething. As a first time parent, the whole teething process is very worrying and daunting and it is difficult at times to tell if your babies unhappiness and irritability is due to teething or if there is another cause, especially if you cannot physically see any teeth coming through.
Key Signs of Teething:
- Biting and chewing - incessant biting and chewing on anything they can get their hands on; toys, spoons, you, siblings, anything.
- Excessive dribbling - most babies tend to dribble more when teething because the body creates extra saliva to lubricate the tender and bulging gums.
- More unsettled than usual, especially at night - babies who once slept through the night may now wake up several times for comfort. In the quiet hours of night, a baby often feels the teething pain more because there are fewer distractions.
- Decreased appetite -when babies are in pain, they generally don’t want to eat, especially if it triggers their sore spots.
- Pulling of ears and rubbing of chin and cheeks - teething babies may tug furiously at their ear or rub their cheek or chin to create counter pressure that eases some of the pain and throbbing. (Babies with ear infections will also pull on their ears, so make sure you have them checked by your doctor if you suspect more than just teething).
Both of my sons first teeth arrived at exactly 6 months of age rapidly followed by 3 more coming all at once which must have been so painful. I tried a wide selection of aids to try and help alleviate their suffering, the following being my favouirtes:
- Freeze a clean, wet flannel or washcloth – your baby will love chewing and sucking on this
- Give them a frozen carrot or celery stick to chew on, the chewing will relieve pressure whilst the cold will soothe their hot, angry gums. (Make sure the pieces are big enough for them to hold and just chew on rather than them putting the whole thing in their mouths to avoid choking.)
- Gently massage some Cheeky Monkey Cheek Rub for Teething on them - our Cheeky Monkey Cheek Rub Oil is a wonderfully natural and effective aid. As well as containing arnica oil, known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities that help with pain and swelling, the method of softly rubbing it onto their cheeks, soothes the area and eases the pain whilst the essentials oils of spearmint, (helping to uplift and reduce stress), lavender and roman chamomile will help to calm and relax your little one
- Wear a Gumigem necklace* – I have recently come across a fantastic company, whose founder, Jenny, has created a range of award winning jewellery, designed to look amazing, whilst helping your baby through the teething process. GUMIGEM is a UK based family run business who produce teething jewellery, aimed to provide mummy with a stylish accessory that baby can chomp on to his heart's content. The silicone used meets FDA standards and is BPA, PVC, Lead, Latex and Phthalate free.
*necklaces are intended for the adult wearer and must never be put on a baby.
To combat dribble rash try rubbing a small amount of nappy balm onto your babies chin will also help reduce dribble rash, (a dry skin rash or chapping around the mouth and
on the chin) by creating a barrier between your babies skin and the saliva. Our Bumfluff nappy balm is great for this as is made up of a gentle blend of organic oils which will protect and nourish the skin without causing irritation combined with organic lavender and roman chamomile essential oils which aid healing and will help calm your little ones too.
The result........ much happier little monkeys and mummies all around.