Teething changes everything
As a new parent you are probably tracking each milestone in your little one’s development with keen interest. From the first smile to the first time they recognise your voice, these early stages of development come quickly in a child’s first few months.
While most developmental milestones quickly become fond memories, teething is a more troublesome chapter in your child’s growth. Teething changes everything, so be prepared for some disruption to your schedule!
Most babies begin to teethe from around four to six months old. The symptoms of teething, whilst harmless, can cause discomfort and lead to stressed out parents and unhappy babies. Here’s a helpful guide to the big changes you can expect when the first little tooth pushes through:
Late nights and lack of sleep
You may already be experiencing sleepless nights if your little one is restless. However, the pain and discomfort of teething can keep babies up through the night, leaving you feeling exhausted and drained.
A good way to have your teething baby ready for sleep is preparing them well during the day. If your baby is actively teething, offering a cool teething ring to bite on is an option, rubbing their gums with your clean finger, or giving them a clean cold wet flannel to suck can works wonders. These daytime remedies may help alleviate pain during the night, as this care takes heat and swelling out of their gums in advance. A light supper before bed may also induce a deeper sleep.
Despite the disruption caused by teething, it’s also essential to try and stick to your baby’s bedtime routine. Establishing a routine early will help you to avoid these late nights in the long run. In the meantime it’s important to understand how to cope with sleep deprivation – here’s a great guide from Babycentre.
A moody baby
An unhappy baby with achy gums can be a challenge, and they’ll need more comforting and soothing than usual to distract from the pain. The extra tears and moodiness can leave you feeling helpless and exasperated.
Many parents find their first experience with teething rather upsetting because they aren’t used to seeing their child upset and in pain. Some parent’s even find themselves feeling guilty if they don’t recognise the early symptoms of teething until the first tooth erupts. Remember, it’s not your fault and teething is an important milestone that all children will experience.
To help you retain a sense of calm, prepare for teething by familiarising yourself with the symptoms of teething and the techniques for soothing your little one. You can read our handy guide to preparing for teething here.
Refusing to feed
You might find that feeding time is disrupted by teething. It’s not uncommon for babies to lose their appetite during the teething stage, as sore gums can prevent them from wanting to feed from breast or bottle.
This can be a stressful situation for new parents, so try feeding from a different shaped teat or even a free-flowing beaker or cup if they are over 6 months. If your little one has started on solids, try feeding them cold apple puree or plain yoghurt so they’re getting a nutritious intake and eating something soothing.
From a raised temperature to pulling at their ears, the symptoms of teething can easily be confused with more serious conditions. It’s perfectly normal to worry about these symptoms and if you are really concerned then get the opinion of a health care professional.
For a quick reference on the symptoms of teething, you can read our article: ‘Is it Teething or is it Trouble?’
Remember teething is an important milestone in your little one’s early development and something that all families will go through together. While it’s tough at times, remember that there’s a beautiful smile waiting for you at the end!
Ashton & Parsons Teething Powders are a traditional herbal medicinal product for use in the symptomatic relief of teething pain and the symptoms associated with teething which are sore and tender gums, flushed cheeks and dribbling, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional herbal remedy. Contains tincture of Matricaria. Always read the label.