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  • Writer's pictureMarine Lienard

Navigating the teething journey

Teething is a natural and often challenging milestone in a baby's development. As those tiny teeth start to push through the gums, it can be a discomforting experience for both babies and parents. However, with the right knowledge and strategies, you can help your little one navigate this phase more comfortably. Here are some tips on how to handle teething:

A teething baby chewing on a toy

1. Recognise the signs:

  • Teething can begin as early as 3-4 months and continue until around age 2 or 3. Common signs include increased drooling, irritability, swollen gums, and a strong urge to chew on objects.

2. Provide teething toys:

  • Teething babies often seek relief by gnawing on something. Offer safe teething toys made of soft rubber or silicone that your baby can chew on. You can also refrigerate these toys for added soothing effect.

3. Gentle gum massage:

  • Using a clean finger or a soft, damp cloth, gently massage your baby's gums. This can help alleviate some of the discomfort and provide temporary relief.

4. Cool compressions:

  • Cold can numb sore gums. Consider offering a clean, chilled (not frozen) teething ring or a cold, damp washcloth for your baby to gnaw on.

5. Over-the-Counter solutions:

  • Consult your paediatrician about using over-the-counter teething gels or pain relievers designed for infants. Follow the recommended dosages and guidelines carefully.

6. Maintain proper oral hygiene:

  • Even before teeth emerge, it's essential to maintain oral hygiene. Gently wipe your baby's gums with a clean, damp cloth after feedings to remove milk residue and bacteria.

7. Avoid amber teething necklaces:

  • Despite popular belief, amber teething necklaces are not considered safe. They pose choking and strangulation hazards, and there is no scientific evidence to support their effectiveness.

8. Be patient and comforting:

  • Teething can be a trying time for both babies and parents. Be patient and offer extra cuddles and comfort to soothe your little one during this phase.

9. Distraction and entertainment:

  • Keep your baby distracted with age-appropriate toys and activities. Engaging your baby's attention can help take their mind off the discomfort.

10. Maintain a routine:

  • Stick to your regular feeding and sleeping routines as much as possible. Consistency can provide comfort and predictability during this potentially disruptive time.

11. Keep an eye on temperature:

  • While mild fussiness and a slight increase in temperature can be normal during teething, monitor your baby's condition. If a fever develops or if you're concerned about your baby's health, consult your paediatrician.

12. Consult a healthcare professional:

  • If your baby seems to be in extreme pain or if teething symptoms persist for an extended period, it's essential to consult your paediatrician. They can rule out any other potential issues and provide guidance on managing teething discomfort.

Remember, teething is a temporary phase, and each baby experiences it differently. Some may breeze through it with minimal discomfort, while others may find it more challenging. By offering comfort, safe teething aids, and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can help your baby transition through this milestone with as little discomfort as possible. Your paediatrician can also be a valuable resource for guidance and support during this time.

Marine, Parent and Founder of St Pancras Recruitment


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