TEETHING – IDEAS FOR FOODS TO HELP TEETHING BABIES
Our in-house nutritionist Catherine Lippe has written this blog to help you navigate your way through teething with your little one.
Teething is different for every baby. Some babies will breeze through it with very few symptoms and others will become quite unsettled and irritable as the tooth erupts.
When will my baby get their first teeth?
The age at which your baby’s first tooth erupts can vary but babies will usually get their first tooth sometime in their first year, often at around six months. The bottom two front teeth are usually the first to come through followed by the top two front teeth. From here it’s typically the top incisors (either side of the top front two teeth) that come next and then the bottom incisors. The first molars follow, then the canines and finally the back molars.
That’s a lot of teeth! And, as uncomfortable as this might all sound, your baby may not be bothered by every tooth that emerges. Every baby is different and some teeth might break through the gum with few symptoms whilst others might really make their presence known. The good news is that all these teeth usually come through gradually over 2-3 years so your baby will have plenty of teething-free time in between and it won’t last forever.
What are the symptoms of teething?
Some of these pesky teeth might cause a variety of symptoms. Once again, no two babies are the same but you may notice some of the following symptoms as your baby teethes:
- Red or sore gums
- A raised temperature
- Red cheeks or a rash on the face
- Chewing on objects, fists, toys
- Dribbling more than usual
- Clingy, irritable and unsettled
- Disturbed sleep
As a Mum of two boys, I have certainly experienced the crankiness, drooling and lack of sleep that can come with teething and, if you’re currently experiencing this with your little one, you have my full sympathy. Hang in there, you’ve got this and we’re here to help with our top tips for soothing your teething baby.
Top tips for soothing your teething baby
Unfortunately, there’s no magic solution for teething and what soothes one baby may not work for another. You can try a few different remedies to find out what does the trick for your baby. Here are some suggestions:
- Teething babies might take comfort from biting and chewing on teething rings, sticks or toys. Teethers are often made from natural rubber, silicone or other durable materials that your little one can chomp on to ease their discomfort and distract them from the pain. There’s no right or wrong teether, you can choose one that feels right for your baby. Teethers can be cooled in the fridge first for an extra soothing effect, just be sure to check the manufacturer's guidelines about how long to chill them for. Avoid putting teethers in the freezer as it might harm your baby’s gums.
- Comfort and cuddles.
- Just like any other time your baby is irritable and in pain, lots of extra cuddles and comfort can be an effective way to soothe them. Chatting, playing and giving them plenty of attention might help to distract them from the discomfort.
- Pain relief medication.
- If your baby is in pain, paracetamol and ibuprofen can be a very useful way of providing some relief and reducing their temperature if it is raised.
- Soothing foods.
- Your baby might find particular foods comforting to chomp and chew on when they are teething. Read on for some soothing food suggestions.
What are the best foods for my teething baby?
Cool finger foods such as chilled melon, cucumber sticks or bell peppers are all ideal foods for teething babies. Prepare the finger foods as you normally would and place them in the fridge for at least an hour before offering them.
Your baby may also prefer to eat cool, smooth foods such as yoghurt or cool fruit or vegetable purees when they are teething. Smooth foods are easier to eat than lumpy textured foods and your little one may find cool purees particularly appealing. Even if they are usually a pro at accepting lumpy textures and family foods, they may regress to purees a little when those new teeth are on the move. Go with it and offer the foods your baby fancies. Once those pesky teeth have popped through you can get back on track with more diverse flavours, foods and textures.
Babease has plenty of recipes to help you tempt them here.
Does teething affect my Baby’s appetite?
Most likely, yes! Just like when we feel a bit under the weather or out-of-sorts, when your baby is teething, they may have a reduced appetite. This is very normal for babies and is nothing to worry about. Keep up with fluids and your baby’s usual milk feeds and offer them lots of comfort and cuddles. As soon as the teeth have popped through and symptoms have settled you will usually find that your baby’s appetite increases to make up for lost time.
During periods of low appetite, whether that’s caused by teething or illness, aim to offer your baby’s favourite foods or those that they find easier to eat. If they have a low appetite they may not be interested in new foods or complex meals but might be more likely to accept familiar, comforting and soothing foods. Try to suss out what ticks that box for your baby at that time and stick to those foods whilst they are feeling the pain of teething. Variety can come back in with a bang once they are feeling 100% again.
We hope this helps and we love to hear from you so if you want to get in touch please drop us an email here
GET 20% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER!
Join the Baby Club for FREE weaning help and advice.