Teething Tricks!

Teething is hard on kids and it’s just as hard on parents. I currently have two children who are teething and that makes it double hard right?! My 5 month old is working on her first two, so she’s new to the game and my son is working on his 2 year molars so he’s got this all under control. To deal with teething woes there are several ‘mom remedies’ that have been handed down to me over the years.

Signs of teething:
-Irritability: you’ll know when your kiddo seems off
-White caps: these will be little white spots on the gums where the teeth are trying to poke through
-Chewing: my daughter currently chews ON EVERYTHING
-Drool (or increased saliva in older toddlers)
-Lack of appetite: this is often caused by sensitive gums rather than lack of being hungry
-Diarrhea or Fever: Although these things can occur during teething, they might not be what the problem is, if these things persist make sure to consult with a doctor!
-lack of sleep: this is something that is often just associated with growing and changing, so not a direct indication of teething
-Tugging on ears: This is something my pediatrician actually brought to my attention. I kept brining in my son for “suspected” ear infections because he kept tugging on his ears and she told me that it could be teething pain as there is a nerve that runs along the jaw and often times baby can’t point to “this” spot when it’s painful.. so ears, because they stick out, are easy to tug on! However, because this is NOT a ‘symptom’ of teething make sure to consult with your doctor if you suspect your little one might be having ear issues.

All children will exhibit different signs or symptoms of teething and some will show none at all. My son is a complete basket case while he teeths where as my daughter just drools and chews and drools and chews! Doctors often times debate that teething doesn’t actually cause symptoms but these things can often just show up at coincidental times as teething. Make sure to always read YOUR child for how YOUR child is acting and take that into account. If you have a naturally drooly baby, drool might not automatically mean teething, so on and so forth! If you have general questions, consult your doctor or often times a local nurse help line can answer some basic kid related questions.

For teething pains, obviously the quick answer is medicine. Often times though parents don’t want to give their children night after night of medicine and kids can teeth off and on for months, so is it really teething? If you are going to administer medication for your teething child, make sure you always follow instructions on the bottle as far as listed dosages and if you have any questions consult a doctor. Sometimes basic medicine questions can be answered by a certified pharmacist. If you prefer to take the natural route I can offer some suggestions there also:

-Teething tabs are wonderful! They are all natural little self dissolving pills for youngsters to help with pain. I know many parents who swear by them and they work fabulously! These can be found at most local supermarkets or all natural grocery stores.

-Frozen fruit and veggies! My 5 month old LOVES this. I will take chunks of fruit or veggies and freeze it, then take the chunks and put them in a mesh food bag for babies. The bag prevents any chunks of large fruit getting through the mesh and baby choking. The promote hand coordination along with helping with teething pains. Older kiddos could probably handle frozen juice pops or other types of popsicles. A mom friend of mine swears by a frozen spoon that she lets kiddos play with. Frozen teething toys can be found at most local superstores. If you’re not comfortable giving fruit, or don’t want to clean up the mess, try a frozen washcloth for baby to gum on!

-Baby Orajel: these are gum numbing products that are meant to help with teething. They are like toothpaste and you rub them on the gums of your kiddos. I found this to be more difficult to use with younger kids as they will often fight you to get it on their gums. My two year old, I can tell him to open up and he’ll let me rub it on. I’ve heard mixed reviews on products like this as far as how well they work.

-Amber teething necklaces: These are an up and coming thing. More and more parents are turning to natural methods and away from tradition medications. These are simply necklaces that children wear and the natural stones in the necklace are said to help with bodily pains. You can find these using our trusty friend Google!

And as always,

-Toys!: these are often t he best teething fixes! The different textures feel good on sore gums and also help sensory motor skills. However, make sure that toys are large and do not contain small parts that could present a choking hazard. At this stage in teething and development everything often gets brought to the mouth so make sure your little one never gets their hands on something that could be dangerous! You can also find wooden teething toys that work just as well.