When you have a baby you soon come to realise that life - and conversation - revolves around ‘phases’. The newborn/postnatal phase, the sleep regression phase, weaning, and then inevitably, the dribbling and chewing that comes with teething.
All babies start teething at different stages and while some may be chewing their fists and looking out of sorts, others may give you a smile one day and there, a little tooth will be!
How do I know if my baby’s teething?
There are lots of symptoms for teething to look out for:
- Sore, red gums
- A mild temperature of 38C or lower
- 1 flushed cheek
- A rash on their face
- They are rubbing their ear
- More dribble than usual
- Gnawing and chewing on things a lot
- More fretful than usual and not sleeping well
What should I do to prepare for a teething baby?
There are lots of things you can do to help your baby if they’re feeling sad and sore with a new tooth.
Teething rings and toys
These are great for both honing fine motor skills and soothing sore gums. Some can be cooled in the fridge first to provide relief from the discomfort.
We loved these Matchstick Monkey teethers which are cute and easy for tiny hands to grip and small mouths to chew.
But of course you can now get one of our Munchkin & Bear new food-grade silicone range - with lots of safe textures for little mouths to explore. The ball sets, hot air balloon and rocket are all thoughtfully designed for small hands and are totally gnawable. Just remember to keep them clean (you can even pop them in the top shelf of the dishwasher!).
Foods to chew and soothe
Weaning and teething often happen at similar times so if your baby is moving onto solids then you could try giving them some cool, soft fruit like melon to help soothe their gums.
And if they’re chewing everything within their reach then you can give them healthy foods such as fruit and steamed vegetables, alongside bread or breadsticks.
But it’s also worth pointing out that babies don’t need teeth for finger foods - their gums are super strong! The molars, which is what we all use for chewing, will be the last teeth to emerge!
If your baby is in pain the NHS says you can give them paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve the symptoms.
You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they pop out of their gums. Just use a tiny smear of toothpaste and try to make it part of your daily routine.
As you can imagine some babies aren’t too keen on having their teeth brushed but you can make it fun for them by singing fun songs or doing your own at the same time so they can mimic you.
These Brush Baby toothbrushes and chewable brushes are perfect for looking after those precious first teeth.
:: If we haven’t answered all of your teething questions here, check out Jemma @themummydentist who has loads of great advice for how to navigate this milestone in your little one’s life.