Have you ever gotten your finger bitten by a baby? They grab you by the finger and when you least expect it – chomp! If you’re a parent and have got the teeth marks to show for it, chances are that your baby is in his/her teething phase. While that bite isn’t all that painful and is usually dismissed as cute, it’s always good to know how to handle teething babies in order to make this first of many transitions as comfortable as possible.
Massage your baby’s gums
Gently rub your baby’s gum with a soft and damp washcloth. Not only does the texture help stimulate the gums, it also creates a soothing sensation (much like how your muscles feel when they get a massage). You may also place the washcloth in the refrigerator to chill it or use a clean, chilled spoon.
If your baby has already started on solids, you can offer them cold fruits or vegetables such as carrots or cucumbers. Just remember to make sure that the solids are diced into small enough pieces to prevent accidental choking and to watch them as they are gnawing away.
Get teething necklaces
More than just infant fashion accessories, such jewellery serves a functional purpose. Even when you’re out and on the go, your baby has something to chew on should the urge arise. The silicone shaped beads on the necklace were specifically designed and made to help sooth your baby during the teething phase. Here’s the plus point - they can’t drop it because it’s around your neck!
However, do look out for, and avoid, teething necklaces with beads that contain baltic amber. When the amber comes in contact with body heat, it releases succinic acid, a soothing substance with anti-inflammatory effects. However, the small amount that is released is not enough to produce any effect. If your baby chews on the amber beads and a chunk breaks off, there is a chance that it might get lodge in your baby’s oesophagus.
One of the more dependable and safer alternatives, teething rings allow the baby to self-massage as they chew on them. Make sure that the teething rings are made from materials that are baby-safe. Don’t get rings that are too small as they may become a choking hazard. If you wish, you can put the teething ring in the refrigerator for a while to give it a cooling effect. Once again, do check to see if the teething ring can be safely refrigerated.
For babies who are already used to solids, a teething biscuit may give them double the joy. Not only do they get a toy out of it, but they are also end up getting a nice snack at the same time. Again, just make sure to watch them as the small bits that break off as they chew may pose a choking hazard. Do keep an eye on the sugar content too and use these teething biscuits as an occasional snack only.
When babies go through their teething phase, they may feel uncomfortable and easily irritable. With their teeth emerging from the gums, issues like inflammation, pain, as well as swelling may occur. Always remember to check the products to make sure they are safe for infant usage, and ALWAYS keep an eye on them whenever you give them something to gnaw on.