Let’s face it – teething isn’t usually fun at any time of year, is it? But at Christmas time, we really want to make the most of enjoying the festivities, especially if it’s your little one’s first Christmas! We can’t do much to control when those little teeth decide to come through, but we can try to help ease their discomfort through some simple and practical ideas.
When a baby’s gums are swollen due to teething, providing something chilled to ease the inflammation makes complete sense. This could be chilled water in a bottle (boiled and cooled for babies under 6 months); a clean cloth or flannel soaked in chilled water for them to bite down on; a cold spoon or even frozen natural fruit/vegetable/yoghurt lollies. Make sure to practice a good tooth care routine for your baby or for your toddler alongside this as even natural sugars can have cause tooth decay, and wash and dry cloths and flannels in between uses to avoid harmful bacteria.
You might already have experienced the odd nip or two from your baby on your finger (or worse when breastfeeding!), as the urge to bite takes over! We say, get in there first by giving them a relieving gum massage. Firstly, make sure your hands are completely clean. Then, using the pad of your finger, rub in a circular motion all along the gum line on the inside of your baby's mouth. You can do this both inside and outside along the jawline.
Food grade silicone (FDA Approved) is super for teething little ones as it comes from naturally derived material, passes the ‘Goldilocks’ test (not too hard, not too soft – it’s just right!), can be chilled in the fridge and is easily cleaned in a dishwasher or sterliser. Lots of teething toys are made from this and even weaning spoons, so you may see your baby enjoying a good gnaw on their spoon when they’re eating. This chewing can even help those little teeth to break through quicker, which can only be a good thing, right?! Some teethers also have textured surfaces that can provide extra relief for little gums, and the option to add a teething gel, so baby can chew where it hurts most.
Body massage releases feel-good endorphins for baby. A cold-pressed oil or vegetable oil is recommended as these are completely natural. If you've never done baby massage before, the NCT offer a great starter guide, video and advice to help get you going. You can give your baby a massage at any time of the day, although many parents like to incorporate this with a bath and/or bed-time routine to help relax baby for sleeping.
Although most of us will be having a quieter Christmas than usual, there still should be enough distractions going on to take their little minds off teething for a while at least! Present opening, family walks and just the general magic of Christmas might help to keep them happy and stimulated throughout day times. If you’re finding it hard to keep to a routine, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to abide by this and make sure you are sharing the workload so you are able to have a break when you need it.
Whatever your plans for this Christmas, we hope that teething doesn’t prevent you from enjoying it – your baby won’t remember if you cooked an amazing Christmas dinner or if the house was tidy, so try to go with the flow and make the most of your special family time together.
Sending Christmas love,
Julie & Amy x