Teething... Some babies sail through it, the rest of us are left wondering how we will possibly survive it! Today on the blog, Amy and Julie from award-winning baby brand Cheeky Chompers share their experiences and top tips on how to survive the teething journey.
What's the idea behind Cheeky Chompers?
We both lived through the challenges of teething with our own little ones and set up our business Cheeky Chompers on the back of this experience. All babies first explore the world through their mouths, from fingers and toes, to TV remotes, mobile phones, and the dreaded keys of course! Even some of the 'teething toys' available in the marketplace aren't up to the safety standards they should be, and we know as parents ourselves how important it is to have this peace of mind. We thought combining a high quality dribble bib with a teether attached, that wouldn't end up dropped and dirty would provide a unique teething solution for little ones and parents to help get them through their teething troubles!
When does teething actually start?
Although teething usually begins around 6 months of age, it is normal for teething to start any time between 3 months and 12 months, so it varies hugely from one child to the next. By the time your child is about 3 years old, he or she will have all 20 pearly whites!
It is so hard to know sometimes if your child is teething - what are the signs?
Yes, it can be confusing! The symptoms can overlap with other ailments like colds or tummy bugs for example. One of the main symptoms your little one is teething is swollen gums, so have a good look and feel as their gums can become inflamed, red and painful as the teeth start to push through. If your child is reluctant to let you have a look, try to sneak a peek during brush time or feeding time! Your baby's cheeks may appear flushed and they are likely to dribble as well as gnaw whatever they can. It is common for your baby to go off their food, perhaps sleep poorly and they may be out of sorts generally. They can also suffer with a low grade fever, in which case medicinal treatment may help, but you should seek advice from a pharmacist or doctor, especially if the fever persists.
What about runny noses? Isn't that a symptom?
There is a lot of debate over whether runny noses and diarrhoea (due to babies swallowing excess saliva during teething) are symptoms, but research shows they are unconnected and are more likely to be due to a cold or other bug being present at the same time as the teeth are cutting.
Are there any magic remedies we should know about?
The teething stage doesn't need to be quite so dreaded. Here are some simple top tips based on our own experiences:
1. Gum Massage
Your baby's gums are going through a tough time. They will be tender and sensitive, so try giving them a gentle massage with a clean finger. This helps reduce the pressure and provides a soothing feeling for them.
2. Natural Remedies
There are lots of natural ways to help your baby from simple boiled and cooled water to frozen breast milk lollies. If your baby is of weaning age or older, you can try offering other cooling anti-inflammatory foods like natural yoghurt, cucumber, a chilled mango pit or pineapple core (we recommend you supervise them with these though!). Chilled fruits or veg can also ease the discomfort on their gums.
3. Teething Aids
Chewing is all part of the deal, so a teething aid made from something pliable like food-grade silicone is a great way to help with getting your baby through the teething stage. Chilled teething rings can also ease the discomfort on their gums.
It might sound obvious, but sometimes we forget that giving your baby a distraction during teething can really help get them (and you!) through it. Getting out and about might give them something else to think about - even if it is just temporary. Extra cuddles can definitely help, as can keeping comfort blankets or favourite teddies close.
5. Keeping rashes at bay
A teething rash from constant dribble can almost be as uncomfortable as teething itself for some babies! Making sure you're always keeping their mouth, chin and even chest dry with the softest, thickest products will go a long way to helping this. Using a natural barrier such as coconut oil can also help. If you do think your baby has looser than usual nappies, you may also want to use a barrier cream for this.
Whatever your experience of teething, remember what an important milestone this is for your child... At least you can celebrate each tooth as it comes through!
To find out more about Cheeky Chompers products, teething tips and resources, click here.