One thing every parent can relate to is a teething baby. We all go through it, usually 20 times before our kiddos turn three. We finally get settled on a routine and then those suckers start to pop through, disrupting any sense of normalcy we thought we had.
We experience periods of fussiness, inconsolableness and watching them grab at their ears and wanting to take anything and everything and put it in their mouth (watch out, mom). Never mind the soaking wet clothes and bed from all the drool produced during this time! What’s one more load of laundry on top of the hundreds of others and millions of things to do, right?
Teething usually starts around six months of age, although it can certainly happen sooner (I know a few moms whose babies were born with teeth – ouch if you’re breastfeeding!). My first daughter started teething right at that six-month mark, whereas my second got her first two teeth at four months and my third daughter got hers at eight months. Although those first teeth may pop at different times, symptoms are usually the same and it’s important to be prepared so you can ease not only their fussiness and discomfort but your own as well.
Here are my top five tips for teething tots that will help give some relief so you can soon reach that new normal (until the next tooth pops up, that is).
- Teething biscuits. Our homemade, teething biscuits recipe is super easy to make and contain truly nutritious ingredients. Unlike typical teething biscuits at the store, you won’t find any added sugar, preservatives or white rice flour in these. *Always make sure to watch your kiddo extra closely with ANY teething biscuit.
- Frozen coconut yogurt bites. This is a definite winner because it helps develop motor and oral skills (baby can pick up the bites themselves), it’s cold on their teeth, it melts right in their mouth and it’s full of good probiotics! It’s also a super simple recipe using Coyo coconut yogurt (it works best due to its high-fat content) and Magic Velvet Mango (or your favorite Once Upon a Farm blend).
- Frozen towels. Roll up a wet washcloth and freeze it. When you take it out of the freezer, fold another cloth around it so baby can easily hold it and gnaw on it (the cold will help ease swollen gums). If you want to go the simpler route, you can buy Munchkin teething bags but they can get a little messy.
- Teething gel. Use Hyland’s natural teething gel, which is benzocaine free. I used this with my first daughter and seemed to work temporarily. I’m not sure if it’s the actual homeopathic herbs or the sweetness of the vegetable glycerin that makes the difference (sugars can do wonders for pain) but it did seem to work if applied regularly. The other option is to make your own teething gel with cocoa butter, coconut oil, glycerin-based clove extract (do not use essential oils on babies), turmeric and Echinacea.
- Love. Give them lots of love. A mother’s embrace is usually the best medicine so give them lots of extra holding and breastfeeding (if you are doing that). Lightly rubbing their little jaws and head also helps and distraction is always mom’s best friend.
Teething is a part of life and something we all have to go through. Luckily, we can use nature’s medicine to help ease the entire process. Good luck, mama and remember, this too shall pass!