By Hils Robson
Some babies will see their teeth arrive with ease and others may find it very uncomfortable.
Some babies will have teeth appearing from a very young age and others later in their first year (our eldest didn’t get any teeth till she was 18 months old!) and all of that is normal, it has no relevance to their development.
What can you do to help them?
Quite a bit, and all naturally and better still, free!
- Cuddles: When you cuddle your baby, you will be helping them produce lots of wonderful hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin. These can help lower stress and anxiety, regulate your baby’s emotions, and even act as a natural painkiller.
- Sweet smells: These can act as a natural pain relief as they remind your baby of the amniotic fluid smell in the womb and can comfort them. Try holding something sweet under their nose.
- Wet a cloth. Except only half of it so they can hold the dry half and let them chew on it. (It can even be put in the freezer for a bit).
- Try a cold spoon: Put a teaspoon in the fridge for 30 mins – hey presto, lovely and soothing.
- Massage: It’s a funny thing, you think when your baby is feeling pain in the mouth area you shouldn’t touch there BUT it’s the opposite! By gently putting pressure anywhere around the jawline or gum area, the pressure goes to the brain before the pain, so by massaging their face, you are helping to take their pain away for them. I have witnessed babies who are regularly massaged, bringing their parents hands up to their face when they are feeling sore, as they know it helps. (Interestingly, it’s also why babies often bite down on things, they are helping themselves).
- Distraction: Can work a treat. Go to another room, sing to them, snuggle, head outdoors, read stories – all of this will give their mind something else to think about.
- Frozen banana: For older babies who have started to wean, one of the best remedies is a frozen banana!
- Give them a toothbrush: Not only does this get them in the habit of brushing their teeth but is also good to bite down on.
- Rub their gums: With a clean finger, try gently rubbing their gum – again this pressure will help with the pain. You could even run it under a cold tap for added benefit!
- Foot massage: Babies love their feet being massaged and this can really help as there are reflexology points which link to the teeth. Try concentrating on gently rolling each of the toes between your fingers and massaging the big toe, just under the nail bed in little circular motions, it’s like magic!
- Wipe their face: Your baby may start drooling more due to extra saliva production (due to their tongue being constantly near an inflamed area) and so try and keep their face and chin dry to prevent skin rashes appearing and adding to their discomfort.
- Use a cotton bib: To soak up some of this excess saliva, try a cotton bib as it will be soft and is very absorbent.
These are just a few tips I hope will help, but make sure you look after yourself as well, as it might be you are having disturbed sleep and unsettled days and you are important too. I promise you the massaging along the jawline in little circular motions used to help all our babies drift back to sleep again during the night. You’ve got this. Love, Hils x
Hils Robson founded Best Beginning in 2009 and is an award-winning Infant Massage Instructor, Doula and Mother of 4. During lockdown, she and her husband filmed and produced an online baby massage guide to help parents learn from their homes. This step-by-step guide is emailed immediately after purchase and parents can start learning how to massage their babies within minutes (and has lots of other baby tips throughout the easy to follow videos). Hils is passionate about helping parents enjoying life with a baby and being the parent they want to be. For more information, visit www.bestbeginning.co.uk or follow on Facebook or Instagram.