If you’re a young mom or dad, your holiday wish list probably includes things such as a good night’s sleep, a happy baby and a peaceful teething process for your little snuggle bug. The children’s holiday song we keep hearing with the lyrics: “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” suddenly has new meaning to you as you watch your baby’s struggle to push those teeth painfully through her gums.
The hardest thing as a parent is watching your little one struggle. You feel helpless when trying to take away the pain. All parents would agree that if they could, they would be willing to absorb the pain that their child is feeling.
At Les Belles NYC, we’d like to help you as your little one going through the teething process, so it’s a more peaceful and pain-free time. We can help you become a Teething Whisperer as you learn ways to calm your baby as her teeth are popping their heads through the gums.
Most babies’ teeth erupt between 4 and 7 months of age, but variations of this are quite common. The bottom two teeth usually pop up first and the top two teeth usually follow. The first signs of teething usually can include drooling, swelling of the gums, refusing food, gnawing on items, unusual fussiness, mild fevers, diarrhea and disturbed sleeping patterns.
First of all, understanding why the teething process is so painful is helpful. Teething occurs when your baby’s tooth is close to completing its journey into the oral cavity (a journey that began early in fetal development). The tooth erupts through the gum and is often preceded by a small lump. The process can take roughly 8 days, with the emergence typically happening around day 5. The tooth literally must cut through the gums in order to erupt, and that process is long and painful.
5 natural tips for becoming a teething whisperer:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests massage is a great option for teething babies. If your baby prefers to chew on your nipple (ouch!), take a moment to gently massage your baby’s gums. Dipping your fingers in cool water prior to the massage will help prevent chewing and biting before breast-feeding.
- Offer your baby clean teething toys when you notice signs of teething. Ensure that there are no possible swallowing hazards attached to the toy. Let your baby chew as long as they’d like. There is no harm in chewing or gnawing safe chew toys. Some chew toys are designed to be frozen, and this helps with numbing the painful gums. Avoid chew toys that are made of plastics with the presence of phthalates/BPA.
- Cold wet washcloths work like magic. The soft fabric is safe and easy for your baby to hold. You can even freeze half of a wet washcloth, leave one end of the washcloth dry so it doesn’t freeze and is too cold for your baby to hold or touch.
- Try using diluted chamomile essential oil for your baby’s gums when teething. Its sedative effects and nontoxic nature makes it a safe choice for your baby. You can either diffuse the chamomile in the room or mix .5 percent essential oil to oil base and massage it along your baby’s jawline. Lavender essential oil is also soothing and nontoxic. You can apply the same mixture to your baby’s jawline for its sedative and calming effects.
- Amber teething necklaces are becoming an increasingly popular natural alternative to ease teething pain. These necklaces are worn, not chewed. Scientists debate the effects of these but many moms swear by their effectiveness. When your baby’s skin warms the amber it releases a small amount of oil that contains succinic acid. When the absorption happens, it has an analgesic effect on your baby’s swollen or sore gums. Make sure your baby does not sleep with the necklace on and allow her to wear it only when supervised.
Les Belles NYC would also like to remind you to book your baby’s first pediatric dental appointment when the first tooth 4 teeth have erupted or when at 8 months old. We will partner with you to develop an oral care program for your child that will last a lifetime.