The way your baby is currently working your finger is a clear indication they’re going through teething, which begins on average around 6 months old, but can begin anytime between 3 and 12 months. And it’s actually a great way to numb their gums. Just gently rub a clean finger along their gums and not only will you relieve some pain, your direct interaction helps calm baby. But baby teeth can be sharp and once a tooth or two comes through, you may want to consider switching to something not made of your flesh.
Swap Your Finger for a Textured Teether
A textured teether is a teether that features some sort of raised pattern. The reason texture is so important is because it applies small spots of focused pressure much like your finger. Look for a textured teether that can reach all the way to the back of baby’s mouth without choking or gagging. The raised textures are designed specifically to target sensitive areas.
Chill Teething Baby’s Teether
A chilled teether is perfect particularly for incoming front teeth, as it doesn’t reach very far into the back of baby’s mouth. They’re already familiar with it, so getting them to accept it won’t be an issue. All you need to do is dip the teether into cold water and place in the freezer to chill. Be sure to supervise baby.
Freeze Their Favourite Fruits
Choose fruit that’s age-appropriate and prepared according to their current chewing capabilities. A rough idea includes:
- Pureed apples, bananas and peaches for 4 – 6 months
- Strained peaches, avocado, bananas at 6 – 8 months
- Mashed fruits at 8 – 10 months
- Cubes or strips of fruit at 10 – 12 months
Frozen fruit prepared appropriately can be placed inside a mesh or silicone feeder to mitigate the mess and help baby feed more comfortably.
Distract Them from the Pain
If they aren’t dealing with a high-grade fever or other warning signs that something is going on other than teething, your silly faces, funny noises, and general interaction with them can do the trick. Taking their focus away from the pain and putting it on you also has the added benefit of bonding, telling baby that you are a serious source of entertainment.
All mums and dads who have been through the teething period will remind you of one saving grace: This will not last forever. Fill your toolbox with ways to ease their pain, and day by day you will get through it.