Teething can be tricky for babies and parents alike so here are my top 10 tips to see you through those difficult days and nightmare nights.
1. Teething pain
If you’ve ever had the misfortune to suffer from toothache then you know just how miserable it can be. Babies can find teething painful and, if you think they are in pain, there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies available to try from teething powder to teething gel. If you visit your pharmacy and explain your baby’s symptoms you can get some medicines including liquid paracetamol and ibuprofen free of charge via the Minor Ailments Scheme. Importantly, if you are at all worried about the health of your baby then please visit your GP or your health visitor.
2. Teething symptoms
Babies are all different and how teething presents in one child can vary to the next. In the Thrifty household, we have experienced the following symptoms around the time that tiny teeth have emerged:
- Inflamed gums
- Increased naps
- Interrupted sleep
- Reduced appetite
- Red cheeks
- Sore bottom
Does your baby suffer from any other symptoms?
3. Teething toys
You may find that your baby suddenly wants to chew on just about anything. Sometimes the counter-pressure of gnawing on something can help to relieve the pain intermittently. There are a wide range of teething toys available and most can be regularly sterilised. Our favourites, most of which were gifts, include:
- Sophie La Girafe
- Kito Baby UK teething banana
- Foxy Tots UK teething necklace
- Carly Dove Boutique teething necklace
- Cheeky Chomper bib complete with teething tip
- Bright Starts
What have you found useful?
4. Plenty of distraction
Teething symptoms can appear to ease during the day and this is usually because baby is more likely to be distracted. Distractions don’t have to incur a cost either. Going for a long walk in the pram, a Bounce and Rhyme class at the local library, soft play at a garden centre and a play date at home with a baby friend are all examples of free activities that can help.
5. Sore gums can mean sore bottoms
In some instances teething can make your baby uncomfortable and nappy rash may become a feature of changing time. Ensure that you are regularly changing your baby’s nappy, use a barrier cream at every change and stop using baby bath bubbles at bath time so as not to irritate the skin further. If it persists then please visit your GP.
6. Sleepless nights
You may find that your baby wakes more frequently than usual during the night when teething. We found that Thrifty Bubba’s milk feeds increased and she had less appetite than usual during the day which led to her waking more during the night time. If you have relatives or friends nearby ask if they are able to have baby for half an hour during the day so you can rest and catch up on that much needed sleep.
7. Work those gnashers
When teething we found that Thrifty Bubba was much more interested in harder finger foods that could be crunched up against her teeth such as carrot, crispy puffs and apple sticks. She seemed to be more interested in feeding herself too, practising her pincer grip and putting food into her own mouth with varying degrees of success!
8. Be patient with yourself as well as baby
When you are exhausted and your baby is in pain it can feel like you are fighting an uphill battle. Be kind to yourself, take 5 minutes to just breathe and step back in when you are feeling calmer. Try to remember that this is just a phase and it usually goes away just as quickly as it arrives. Once the first couple of teeth emerge you will have been through the initial stage and then you will know what to expect next time.
9. Brush, brush, brush your teeth
As soon as your baby’s teeth start to emerge it’s time to start brushing them. We make this fun by singing songs and brushing our teeth together. One thrifty tip is that Boots Parenting Club sends vouchers at each milestone and the ones sent to me most recently included vouchers for a 0-2 years toothbrush and sugar free children’s toothpaste. We also got a baby toothbrush which from Home Bargains which is brightly coloured and has a large handle. It is now a visual clue for Thrifty Bubba – she loves holding it and she understands that when she sees it it’s time to brush her teeth.
10. You are not alone
You aren’t the first parent to go through this and you won’t be the last. Teething comes in many waves too and I’m hoping that now Thrifty Bubba’s first two teeth are through we will be better equipped when the next ones make an appearance. Ask friends for their advice, read articles that might help and watch YouTube videos for handy hacks. The most important thing is to follow your heart and do what you feel is best for you and your baby.
Do you have any teething tips of your own? What has worked for you? Comment below and let me know.
Love, Thrifty Mumma X
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All items mentioned in this blog post have been purchased with my own money or given to us as gifts on the birth of Thrifty Bubba so you can rest assured that all opinions expressed are our own.