Teething is a milestone that can be described as one of the hardest milestones for babies and Moms as well. Though it’s beautiful to see those first baby teeth and your baby’s toothy smile, it’s usually a painful and uncomfortable phase for babies, and that makes it painful for Moms too.
As if sleepless nights weren’t enough, now that your baby is teething, you get to be the guinea-pig for his teething experiments, because Mommy is always there for babies to take a bite from, right? And if you are a breastfeeding Mom, welcome to the world of painful feedings full of baby bites, chaffed nipples, and even more sleepless nights.
The start of the Teething Phase
Here are a few signs that indicate that your baby has started teething:
Teething causes drooling, so when your baby starts drooling a lot, he may be teething as it’s one of the major signs of teething.
The irritability in gums makes your baby cranky and ready to bite anything. It leads to crying and fussiness in babies.
Biting and Gnawing
Your baby keeps biting and gnawing at anything he could find. Biting relieves the discomfort in the gums.
Mild fever ranging from 98-100 degrees is a common sign of teething. But if the fever is higher than that, it could be due to something else. So contact your pediatrician in such a case.
Loss of Appetite
Sometimes due to pain, babies can have a loss of appetite too. But you should check with your pediatrician to be sure of any underlying reason.
Waking up at Night
Your baby might be waking more than usual at night. The pain and discomfort wake him up frequently.
Your baby’s stool may become runnier than usual.
But do keep in mind that diarrhea and vomiting are NOT the signs of teething. People often misunderstand these as teething symptoms, always consult your doctor in such cases.
How to help your Baby through this painful Phase
Specially designed teething toys can help your baby with the pain. There are various types of teethers available in the market. You can find all about the best teethers available for babies here.
If your baby has started solids, then you can give him frozen foods to chew on, such as fingers of carrot or apple. A cold washcloth also helps with the pain and soaks up drool too.
Messaging the sore spots
Gently massaging your baby’s gums or running a cold cloth over it helps with the irritation and pain.
Breastfeeding is very soothing for babies who are in pain and discomfort. So continue breastfeeding as usual.
So these were the tips to help your baby during his teething period.
Now let’s get on to the tips for mothers which will help them survive this teething Phase.
Tips for Mothers for Surviving the Teething Period
Get used to it
I know it’s hard to see your baby in discomfort. But teething is a long process, which continues almost till your baby is 3. Though the first few teeth are more uncomfortable, babies go through at least some kind of pain or discomfort throughout the process. Just hang in there!
Breastfeeding during the teething phase is not easy. You have to go through a lot of painful moments with so much biting and gnawing from your little one. One such side effect is sore nipples. Keep applying a nipple cream or ointment for cracked or sore nipples, preferably prescribed by your doctor.
Watch the latch
An incorrect latch can increase the pain for both of you, so watch out for that. Unhappy or in pain baby can latch incorrectly sometimes.
Address the pain before feeding
Rub cold washcloth or massage your baby’s gums before feedings. It will soothe your baby’s pain, and reduce the biting incidences.
Go easy on yourself
Seeing your baby in pain would want to go into Super Mom mode, but don’t do it. It will only add stress to your already exhausted body.
I hope the above tips help you through the teething phase of your baby.
And if you know any more helpful tips to make teething easy, do let me know in the comments section.
Note- This post is written as part of the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge for the letter T.