First-time parents will always have plenty of questions when it comes to taking care of their babies—questions on how one must take care of their little ones and what stuff they should or shouldn’t buy.
As for the things they should buy, baby teethers will inevitably come up at some point. Newbie parents may have some questions, too, and a challenging time picking out the best one. We attempt to answer these questions here.
What is teething?
If you look at your baby’s gums and you see it starting to lighten up to a mild, pinkish color on the gum’s edge and a darker pink hue at the base, you’re witnessing a natural development called teething.
Your baby’s biters gradually stick out from their sore gums to form what is commonly called “milk teeth.” Alongside this significant physical change come the behavioral changes that will affect you and your baby.
Often, these changes can be uncomfortable, but not if you manage them the right way.
When does baby teething happen?
Your baby’s teeth don’t grow out simultaneously and at a set period. Teething can start late and progress slowly, but it can also develop early and progress fast.
The average period of when teething will start is between your baby’s 6th month to about their 18th month. After that, the growth of baby teeth will gradually pop out of the soft gums and become complete between the 24th month and the third year. By the time they’re toddlers, you’ll see a full set of little white calcium—19 – 20 of them, gleaming back at you.
How do I know if my baby is teething?
The thing about teething is that you only notice it when one or several little teeth pops out. Some infants don’t exhibit the signs and symptoms that usually accompany the teething process.
As for the rest, they can start showing subtle to very noticeable symptoms:
Difficulty sleeping – Your baby will turn in late or skip the daytime naps more often.
Cranky mood – Your baby may exhibit irritation from what seems like nothing. For example, they may start becoming more sensitive or cry when you start feeding them or try to make them fall asleep.
No appetite – They might start to turn their head the other way when you try to give them the bottle feeder. And even if you succeed in putting the nipple of the bottle inside their mouth, you don’t see them sucking it dry.
Excessive drooling – You’ve been putting out more baby towels than usual. And all of those towels are used for wiping off your baby’s mouth and chin.
Frequent gnawing – You frequently catch your baby chewing air. Another scenario would be seeing your baby chewing on whatever small object lies within their reach.
Chewing on hard objects – Your baby’s mouth is drawn to a lot of hard stuff. Once it’s on their mouth, it stays there for a while as they constantly chew on it.
What if it’s more than teething?
Common teething symptoms are an indication of natural growing pains. But, on the other hand, there are teething signs you must watch out for that may mean it’s time to pay the pediatrician a visit.
Fever – Your baby scores 101 Fahrenheit or more on the fever scale.
Diarrhea – Your diaper supply dwindles, and you always see the brown stuff whenever you do diaper-changing sessions.
Runny nose – You also wipe your baby’s nose apart from their drools and in very short intervals.
Inconsolable crying – Comforting your baby whenever they cry becomes futile. So you try different approaches to alleviate them only to get tired.
Is it painful for your kid?
Yes. The pain can also be continuous and may last between 1 to 8 days. Teething pains are normal, and it’s not worth worrying about. Conclusion: there are ways for parents to manage it for their baby to feel at ease.
The pain doesn’t end after several days. That’s because another tooth will grow out, so the pain will be felt in each process. This will have you pull graveyard shifts when taking care of your little one.
How can I help my baby when they’re teething?
To help soothe the pain and manage the symptoms, parents can do the following treatments to keep their little one calm.
Wet and clean cloth – Get your fresh and sanitized baby towels and put them inside a freezer. Then, when the baby gets a chewing fit, you can have them chew on the towel. This will soothe their baby gums and be good for their oral health.
Soft and cold food – Cold stuff is key here. Apart from chewing cold towels, you also must serve chilled food. It also has to be soft, so your baby is encouraged to swallow it instead of spitting it away.
Rub and clean – Make sure you rub the gums to soothe the itchy feeling caused by the cutting tooth. It also cleans the gums and prevents bacteria buildup, which can cause even more itchiness and even mouth infection.
Use teethers – A baby teething toy or a teething ring is an excellent way to manage your baby’s behavioral changes caused by teething pain. This object will help satisfy their urge to chew on something hard.
So what are baby teethers?
Teethers are objects made of hard materials for babies to hold and put in their mouths but soft enough to bite on.
Teethers come in different sizes and types, from the ring-type design to small toys to modified pacifiers. These designs are built to help soothe your baby’s gums as teeth grow.
Are baby teethers safe to use?
Yes. The best baby teether (gel-based), for example, is safe because it’s non-toxic. So it’s perfectly okay to let your baby hold it in their little hands or put it in their mouth without having to worry about hormonal abnormalities caused by the substances on the plastic material. Some sensory teether toy products are also made from hypoallergenic natural rubber, and there are non-toxic silicone teether variants in the market as well.
What are the benefits of baby teethers?
Teethers more than help your baby relieve pain. While that is the primary benefit, several secondary benefits are equally important.
Helps babies wean from breastfeeding
Teethers help introduce the baby to the practice of chewing. This converts to the capability to chew solid food effectively. Keeping them on a teether habit also decreases their breastfeeding time, which helps wane and eventually transition to feeding solids.
Develops their mouth’s sensory system
Babies use their mouths to feel things. It’s their main form of sensing objects around them in a tactile sense. So giving them teethers helps them develop the mouth and its senses and satisfies their oral fixation phase.
Strengthens the mouth and jaw by encouraging up and down movements
Teethers are like exercise equipment for your baby’s mouth and jaw. The more they bite and chew on teethers, the tougher their mouth and jaw muscles. Soon, they’ll be chewing solid food with ease.
How do I choose the best teethers?
The best-selling baby teethers are snagged off the shelves better because of the following factors:
Shape – The shape of the teether encourages the baby to not only bite the object but also to suck. That means the shape must compose both thin and long and thick, round and beefy areas.
Freezer-safe – The teether must retain the material’s relative softness even after it’s frozen. If the teether becomes hard as a rock, it may do more harm to your baby.
Hypoallergenic – Teethers must not cause any allergic reaction in and around your baby’s mouth. The material must also be capable of easy sanitation to avoid any bacteria buildup.
Size – Teethers must be large enough to prevent choking as babies tend to suck on objects as well.
The Best Baby Teethers
We hope this series of answered questions has clarified things in your head and helped you gain the knowledge to choose the right baby teethers for your baby.
If you need more information regarding satisfying your baby’s needs, visit Ashtonbee and check out the blog section. And while you’re at it, you can browse through some of the baby goodies in there as well!