The first year of your precious baby’s life brings so many precious moments! Your little one is changing so fast! One minute, they are giving you that precious gummy grin for the first time, and the next minute they have a head full of teeth and are running around the house!
It seems like every time you turn around, your baby is reaching another milestone! While this is very exciting and fun to watch, some milestones can be a little less glamorous. Teething is one of the biggest milestones that will make anyone realize that their baby is starting to grow up, but it can also be pretty hard on your little one.
Every baby is unique and will handle teething differently. Whether they hardly show any signs of discomfort at all or they are completely rocked by this new life change, there are always ways that we can help! From how to tell your baby is teething to natural teething remedies and what to avoid, I’ve compiled the most recent information for you about all things teething!
When do babies start to teethe?
When it comes to any developmental milestone, every baby is different! Some babies’ first tooth will make an appearance as early as three months while other babies may not have a tooth break through until almost one. In general, a baby’s bottom front teeth will start cutting through around 4-6 months of age. After the initial tooth coming through, you can expect a baby to continue teething at various times throughout the next two-three years. Babies are expected to have all 20 of their baby teeth by the age of three.
How to Tell if Your Baby Has Started Teething…
Because babies start teething at such different times, it’s important to know what to look for! There are some tell-tale signs that will let you know that it’s teething time for your precious little one! Just know that the signs of teething vary from baby to baby, and even from tooth to tooth. Some teeth, like the first front ones, may not affect your baby at all, but as the number and size of each tooth increases, your little one may experience different symptoms and levels of discomfort.
No matter how your baby shows he/she is teething, it is a common misconception that rashes, diarrhea, and a fever are symptoms. If your baby has either of those symptoms, there is typically an underlying cause that should be discussed with your doctor.
With that being said, here are the most common signs of teething in babies:
Cutting teeth can be a painful new experience for your little one! Especially as babies start cutting molars and bigger teeth, you may notice that your baby is uncharacteristically fussy and clingy. They may want to be held a lot more often than normal, or they may just cry more easily for apparently no reason or warning. So, if you notice your baby acting a little more cranky than usual, he/she may be expecting his/her first tooth!
All babies drool, but when you see that your little one is constantly covering their precious outfits in drool, they may be cutting some new teeth! Some babies drool an enormous amount when teething while some babies will hardly drool at all! But, if you see your little one drenching bibs and outfits left and right, it may be a sign of new teeth ahead!
Changes in Eating
While some babies react to the soreness of teething by wanting to nurse more frequently for comfort, other babies may show a lack of interest in eating. It all depends on how much pain your little one is in and how he/she copes with this new and unfamiliar change! Just be on the lookout for a change in your baby’s typical eating and feeding habits. If it is not coupled with fever or other signs of sickness and discomfort, it may simply be from the beginning stages of cutting a new tooth!
Whether your baby copes with teething through wanting to eat more (by nursing or sucking on a bottle for relief) or by eating less, they are more than likely going to experience some changes in their typical sleep routine. Your baby may be waking more often from lack of nutrition throughout the day or simply to be soothed from the pain that is waking them up. Either way, prepare for your little one to sleep a little less during the teething process!
Sleep regression can be really hard for the whole family. By the time your little one starts teething, you may be at a place where you are finally getting adequate sleep, and it can oftentimes feel like you are starting all over with a schedule. Just remember that the teething stage is temporary, and your baby needs you during this uncertain and uncomfortable time!
One of the most obvious and visible signs that your baby is teething can be seen by either peering into their mouth or rubbing your fingers along their gums. Typically, a baby will cut the front bottom or top teeth first. So, if you are noticing some of the symptomes above, check in their mouth to see if their gums are swollen or if you feel tiny teeth trying to poke through!
Just because your baby doesn’t have swollen gums or a tooth cutting through doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not teething. Sometimes, it can take a day or two for the visible signs to show up.
15 Natural Teething Remedies for Your Baby
As I’ve stated above, every baby is so unique and handles teething differently! There are so many different products and remedies out there to help! While it’s great that there are so many remedies, it can also be a bit overwhelming. I’ve got 13 natural teething remedies that range from incredibly simple (like using your finger to massage your baby’s gums) to specific, medication-free oils and gels that can relieve pain.
Simple Teething Remedies
Never underestimate the power of a good cuddle from mom or dad to help soothe away discomfort! For some babies, they may only feel mildly uncomfortable from teething and this is their first experience with any kind of discomfort. Being there for your baby and offering extra snuggles could make all the difference!
Maybe your teething baby needs a little more than snuggles! Your baby could feel both comforted and a sense of relief by simply nursing or having a bottle. While this may seem almost too simple, for some babies, an extra feeding may be all they need to get through their discomfort.
3. Applying Pressure
When babies start to cut a tooth, they can generally be seen putting anything and everything in their mouth! This is because the pressure on the painful areas can actually bring comfort! One of the most simple things you can do as a parent is to rub your clean finger along your baby’s gum line.
4. Applying Coldness
Anything that is cold can bring comfort to your teething little one. There’s just something about the hardness combined with the cool temperature that really brings relief to a baby’s swollen gums. Whether it’s a popsicle or even a frozen washcloth as listed below, there are so many different ways to give your baby some cold relief as a natural teething remedy.
DIY Teething Remedies
5. Breast Milk Popsicle
If you are providing breast milk for your little one, a great way to offer relief is by making your baby a breast milk popsicle. If choking is a concern, there are so many awesome products, like a pacifier food teether, that will keep the frozen milk in a pacifier nipple. This will allow your baby to safely enjoy some milk while finding some much needed relief from their aching gums and teeth.
6. Frozen Fruit Popsicle
If you are not providing breast milk for your little one and he/she has begun experimenting with solids, you can also do a frozen fruit popsicle inside a pacifier food teether or any other product that protects the baby from chunks of food accidentally breaking off.
You can make a smoothie of your babies favorite fruits and veggies, freeze it, and watch them enjoy this soothingly delicious treat!
7. Frozen Washcloth
Giving your baby is such an easy DIY teething remedy that your baby will love! Simply take a newly cleaned washcloth, dip it in water or breast milk, and stick it in the freezer! When you notice that your baby is being especially fussy, take it out and watch him/her light up!
One underrated and easily implemented DIY teething remedy is to simply provide your baby with a new toothbrush. As a parent does when they give a baby any teething item, be sure to monitor your baby’s use of the toothbrush. There’s just something about those bristles that makes the baby’s gums feel so much better!
Food Teething Remedies
As mentioned above popsicles in a safe food feeder designed for infants are an easy way to provide cold pressure and proper nutrients for your baby. Whether it’s a smoothie, breastmilk, or frozen pureed vegetables, a popsicle is a great option!
10. Teething Cookies
There are lots of teething cookie products that are all natural and organic on the market, such as Happy Baby Teethers! Just know that most of these products are recommended for babies who are able to sit up on their own. So, if your baby is one of the littles who starts teething extremely early, these may not be the best option for you!
Organic Teething Gels
Mommy’s Bliss Massage Gel is all natural and organic. One great thing about this particular gel is that it is also allergy-friendly by being free of the top 8 allergens!
Wink Naturals includes very gentle ingredients that include chamomile and aloe leaf juice. If your baby doesn’t use it all while teething, it can also be used as training toothpaste for toddlers!
While Zarbee’s is not certified organic, this all-natural brand has a great line of products that are well loved by the mama community, which is why it has made the list!
Punkin Butt Teething Oil is organic, vegan, and cruelty free. You can simply rub the oil right where your baby’s gums are swollen and irritated or you can apply it to one of the all natural teething toys listed below.
Sweetbottoms Teething Oil is also 100% certified organic. It is rich in plant-based antioxidants and anti-inflammatories so it not only can help ease your teething baby’s discomfort, but also provide some health benefits as well!
Natural Teething Toys
One of the most common and easiest ways to help your baby find relief from teething is by giving them something to chew on. There are countless teething toy products on the market, but it is always important to find natural, BPA and toxin-free toys since they are designed to be put in your sweet baby’s mouth! Here are 5 of the top natural teething toys that are both functional and adorable!
Everybody loves Sophie the Giraffe! She is the go-to, ultimate baby soother for when your little one needs some extra comfort. Sophie the Giraffe is all-natural, 100% safe, and 100% adorable!
If your baby is one of the many babies whose main sign of teething is drooling, this organic bandana is perfect! It keeps your little one’s outfit cute and dry while also having a teething ring readily available to provide comfort when it is needed most!
Maybe your baby finds the cold to be soothing while teething? If so, these latex, BPA, and PVC free, non toxic fruit-themed teethers will be perfect. They can be used frozen or not and come in a variety 6-pack.
While the other products are completely natural and safe, you may be wanting something even more natural for your baby to use while teething. These wooden teether rings are made from organic wood and are absolutely adorable!
Taking it one more step up, these all natural wooden teether rings can also be customized with your child’s name and the color of your choice! Who knew soothing your baby could also be a fashion statement?
What to Avoid Using for Teething Babies…
There are countless products that can help ease some of the pain and discomfort for your baby during the teething process, but there are also some products to be weary of. It’s important to be aware of some potentially dangerous products out there that are targeted as teething products, remedies, and soothing aids.
Despite having the best of intentions and wanting to help ease your baby’s discomfort, you should never use pain medication to soothe your baby. One specific medication, benzocaine, is especially dangerous for your little one and should be never used by any child under the age of two.
Benzocaine is in many over the counter tooth soothing products, so it is incredibly important to always check the ingredients before buying any teething gels for your baby. Benzocaine is known to be associated with the risk of methemoglobinemia, also known as Blue-Baby Syndrome. While this condition is rare, it can be extremely dangerous, even fatal. Blue-Baby Syndrome is the result of a decreased amount of hemoglobin in a baby’s blood, which limits the amount of oxygen circulated throughout the baby’s body. There are many different causes for this syndrome, but ingesting and using benzocaine have been strongly linked.
Thankfully, due to warnings from the FDA, many products that are created specifically to help soothe gum and tooth discomfort during teething are no longer using benzocaine, but double checking the label never hurts!
Another product that the FDA warns parents about using for their teething babies is homeopathic teething tablets. Many of these tablets were found to have potentially toxic ingredients, such as belladonna, that can be harmful to your infant.
While there are some products on the market that are teething tablets that claim they do not have belladonna or other toxic ingredients, be sure to do your research before purchasing! Because the tablets are homeopathic, it states on their website that while they follow FDA guidelines, they are not evaluated by the FDA.
The final thing to avoid when finding a product that works best for your baby when teething is anything that is a potential choking hazard. I know it is very scary to think about, but when infants are teething and uncomfortable, they will put anything in their mouth in order to find comfort. It’s so important to make sure that your teething little one isn’t around anything that could potentially be a choking hazard, but it’s also important to be mindful of what products you are using for teething relief.
For example, while cold items are very soothing for babies when they are teething, avoid giving them larger chunks of frozen fruits to gnaw on. Instead, opt for a BPA-free, freezable toy or a fruit feeder that will keep your baby soothed while also keeping him/her safe!
When thinking about helping your baby navigate teething, their diet may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are certain foods that may actually irritate and inflame your baby’s gums in the area where they are trying to cut a tooth. While your baby is teething, it is best to avoid foods that are too sour, salty, or spicy.
While most babies will not be eating items with a lot of salt or spice at the time of their first few teeth coming in, many parents may not think about highly acidic foods such as lemons and oranges that can also serve as irritants!
Tips and Tricks to Get Through the Teething Process
Catch it Quickly
It can be really helpful to notice that your baby is teething quickly. The sooner you pick up on the signs that your baby is teething, the sooner you can implement some of the many natural teething remedies. Once you start providing some remedies, your baby will feel much more comforted and at ease throughout the teething process.
Find What Works Best
As I’ve said before, every baby is unique, has different needs, and experiences teething differently. If you have more than one child, you may have one who struggled through teething while the other experienced it without a hitch. What’s important throughout your child’s teething experience is to experiment with different natural remedies and find what works best for your baby and the stage that they are in.
Once you find something that works for your little one and provides comfort, it can really make all the difference in the world.
As with every stage that your baby experiences, teething is temporary. As a parent, it may feel like this stage lasts forever, especially if there is sleep regression involved, but when you look back, it’ll seem like it went by in a flash. So, just enjoy the extra snuggles, provide as much comfort as your babies needs, and know that this will pass before you know it.
It is so exciting to see that your baby is going from big toothless grins to belly laughs full of front teeth! For many parents, the process your baby must go through to get to a mouthful of teeth can seem never ending and full of struggles and discomfort. I hope that you found this information on natural teething remedies and products as a starting point of things to try to give your baby comfort as he/she embarks on a teething journey.
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