What is teething?
Teething in your baby starts with the eruption of the first tooth from the gums. The process usually begins around 6 months of age and follows a sequential pattern. And by the time your baby is 3 years old, he will have all the primary teeth.
Symptoms of teething
Teething is often painful and can make your baby irritable or fussy, and prone to crying without any apparent reason. He can also get into the habit of chewing his fingers or toys and refuse to feed despite being hungry because his gums hurt. Teething can also cause him to drool and feel restless.
This article suggests some time-tested and safe remedies that can help your baby manage gum pain and sail through this phase with a toothy grin.
Home remedies for teething in babies
Feed your baby slightly chilled thin slices of fruits like bananas or apples, or vegetables like carrots to soothe teething pain. But remember to look out for signs of choking, as your baby can’t let you know that she is choking. Some mothers also swear by tofu soaked in fruit juice. Another age-old remedy is a variant of the traditional kai murukku and resembles a soup stick. Check out this hand-me down recipe:
Raw rice – 200 g
Urad dal flour – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch dissolved in water if using the cake or ¼ tsp
Butter – 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water for kneading
Oil for deep frying
1. Soak the rice in water for about 2 hours.
2. Drain the water and spread the rice on a clean cloth to allow excess moisture to be absorbed.
3. Once dry, grind the rice into a fine powder in a mixer. Gently sieve the powder to obtain soft flour.
4. Dry roast the urad dal flour till you can smell the aroma. Sieve this as well.
5. Mix the rice flour, urad dal flour, salt, butter and asafoetida well.
6. Add water, a little at a time (use the asafoetida-dissolved water now), to this mixture and knead into a pliable dough.
7. Pinch off a small portion of the dough, roll it with your fingers into long, soup stick-shaped pieces.
8. Deep fry these pieces till they turn crisp and golden brown.
Allow your baby to chew these perfectly safe and flavourful bites to help ease the pain.
This is a time-tested remedy to soothe puffy and painful gums. Apply gentle pressure with a clean finger on your baby’s gums to relieve the pain.
How do you go about spotting the signs of teething in babies because symptoms can start earlier. This ClipBook helps you with this problem and much more.
Place a small piece of sterilized soft cloth or hand towel in the freezer. Once the cloth has cooled a little, allow your baby to chew on it. This will calm him down, as chewing anything cool numbs the gums and helps ease the inflammation.
Essential oils and hydrosols
Another natural way of relieving teething pain is to apply diluted essential oils of chamomile, lavender and clove to the gums, cheeks and jaw. Clove oil has been widely used since centuries to relieve tooth or gum ache in India. The use of chamomile and lavender oils are also catching up.
However, it is important to keep in mind that essential oils should not be used before a baby is 6 months old. Also, only diluted forms of about 0.25–0.5 per cent or 1 drop per teaspoon must be used.
Hydrosols are a much safer substitute for essential oils. They are by-products of the distillation process of plant matter and are much gentler than essential oils. They can be diluted further to safely apply to baby’s gums.
Teething can be very stressful for babies and the entire household. Your hugs and kisses along with these natural teething remedies can provide your baby with the much-needed comfort and relief from pain.
To know about complete oral care for your child, read the following article: